Lexington, Va: 16 Decr 1869
My dear Col: Taylor
I must wish you first a Merry Xmas & many happy New Years for yourself, your wife & all your little children; and may each revolving year shower upon you more blessings than the preceding. Secondly, I must ask your kind offices to pressure me some good oysters for New Years day. Please ask some reliable oysterman to put me up eight gallons of good Hampton or York river oysters, & send them by express so as to reach here the 30th or 31st Inst. The express freight comes from Staunton every day & the packet from Lynchburg leaves there every Monday, Wednesday, & friday afternoon, after the arrival of the orange train. The latter is the easier route but the former the more certain if the agent at Staunton will forward promptly. The canal sometimes freezes inopportunely & he had better make it certain. Ask him also to send me his bills for oysters & Kegs & I will remit him the money.
I like my friends to taste some good in the course of the year & hence my troubling you. All send love & I remain yours
R E Lee
Colonel Walter Herron Taylor
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.374, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 October 21