I received your letter but I gave it to Mama, to read and it cannot be found but I will try to remember what was in it
I wish you would tell us a little about your studies but you never say what your marks are and we think that looks suspicious We are all ways anxious to hear how you get along and do tell me something about some person else besides your self
We are getting well - Rob expects to go, to school tomorrow and Mildred is quite well. Sister is not quite so well but is mending and I hope she will get well soon, I am very well except that I have got a little cold in my head. Aunt Ann is right well and so is Uncle Marshall.
Mr. Bonaparte went to Washington yesterday to dine with the French Minister.
Washington Lewis has been staying here but went down to Barnunn's yesterday evening and was to go to Washington this morning at six o'clock and [letter damaged] up to Audley Monday with the twins they have [letter damaged] Hallowell's and are going to sea and I believe to [letter damaged] Wash is to be married next month in [letter damaged] of it I do not know what day to Miss [letter damaged] I do not beleave she is very pretty but [letter damaged] I have never seen her but hope to see her sometime or other.
Cousin Nat. Burwell has been staying here but went away last week. Miss Courtney Bird has been but she went away last Wednesday week. I got a very pretty valentine yesterday. I am going to dancing school Monday to learn how to trip it but am affraid the floor will suffer
Uncle Smith is ordered to sea and is to take the commission of the princeton & beleave he wishes to go to sea but I do not know what his boy's will do. I beleave Fitzhugh wants to go to West point and Smith into the Navy but I have not seen them for a long time they may have changed their minds.
I am doing right well at school I am about to commence Horace and am reading Xenephon in greek and am trying to get along to do the best I can and if I do go to college I hope to be ready by next June one year I will try any how.
There has bein one of the grandest balls that ever has been in Baltimore it came off last Thursday it cos 15 hundred dollars Miss Maria Cooper and other Washington bells came on it was all decorated with flowers and they had a grand supper and they danced until [letter damaged] and Wash lost his cap but fitted himself to a [letter damaged] off. We are all looking forward with great joy [letter damaged] when we shall see you. I expect the [letter damaged] will come up, the last part of this month [letter damaged] are too long for [illegible] this time.
I am [letter damaged] out so you must excuse my dull letter and do not forget your affectionate Brother
My dear Custis
I suppose Rooney has told you every thing but as I do not like to see a whole blank page going on to you I must endeavour to add some what Roon has received a famous valentine & is very profuse in his kisses to all the girls around I don't know what they say when his elder brother comes & is so far behind him in gallantry - but one must try & bring you out These Baltimore girls are famous in that respect as Mr Malone says they are too fast for him. You must be hailing the approach of spring at West Point after a severe winter We had the music of the sleigh bells here day & night for more than 6 weeks. I was not out once for during that time the house was full of meazles & Eliza being laid up I was nurse & chamber maid too - but I feel thankful that I had health & strength for both duties - Annie & Mil have just commenced with their governess a Miss Poor from the North. I saw her here as the paper thro' Baltimore & she is quite a nice young lady & sings & plays sweetly - Your Aunt Annie is much as usual always moaning over Lover boy who from his own account is flourishing [letter damaged] western Country Tell Lawrence we are glad to hear [letter damaged] accounts of him & that I shall expect after [letter damaged] him graduate with some eclat - Your cousin [letter damaged] she hears good accounts of Conny & while [letter damaged] a respectable standing & his deportment [letter damaged] she will be perfectly satisfied - I own I am more ambitious & am very anxious you should preserve your post as the head of your class -
I got a long letter from your Aunt Lewis which she sends her most affectionate remembrances to you & says she can give you no better advice than to follow in your father's footsteps - All much love to you when you come on next summer any of your pants that will not [illegible] for you to wear you can bring on to Roon or for the servants as far as your trunk will hold them Do you have time for any reading except your studies or do you get any thing to read Above all my son do you read your Bible Do not negelect that most important of all books for your Mother's sake if not for you [letter damaged]
Tell Charley Trumbull I hear [letter damaged] sister Kate at the Bachelor's ball as look [letter damaged] handsome -
Source: Lee-Jackson Collection, Leyburn Library, Washington and Lee University
Uploaded by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 22