San Antonio, Texas
20 March 1856
My baggage arrived this morg. dearest Mary, & tomorrow I leave for Fort Mason, where Col Johnston & 6 Compns. of the Regt are Stationed. Col Hardee & 4 Compns. are in Camp on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, about 40 miles from Belknap. I presume I shall go there. I have left to Mr. Radziminski to make provision for the journey, & have merely indicated that I should be Content with a boiled ham, hardbread, a bottle of molasses, & one of extract of Coffee, all of which have been provided. The Regt I am told found nothing provided but Cornmeal & briskbeef. All are in tents, except the Married officers at Mason. I regret to go away without hearing from you, & also as to the progress made in the Settlement of Mr. Nelsons accounts. Two mails from New Orleans are now due, & it is possible they may bring me something. They receive two mails per week from New Orleans, & the last two have failed whether it is owing to a failure in the arrival of the Steamers or in Consequence of the bad State of the roads between this & the Coast I do not Know. Similar failures Seem to be, Common, & are so expected by the Postmaster, that he makes no inquiries as to the Cause. I shall make arrangements for my letters to be forwarded to me. So until otherwise advised direct to me here. My detention has resulted in one good at least, the few last days of wind & Seen have dried the ground amazingly & you Can now walk dry shod all over the town. The roads therefore will be in a far better state, & the streams more practicable, than if I Could have proceeded at once. I have been here exactly two weeks & a tedious time it has been. My Army friends have been very Kind, & have all invited me frequently to See them. Had I known in the beginning I should not have waited: but been led to hope from day to day the arrival of my baggage, I Continued to hope it. Capt & Mrs. Jones will leave on Monday next. I wish our roads laid together. They however go west to the Rio Grande, & I North to the Llano. Mr. Dick goes with me, & with Mr. R I shall have plenty of Compy. Nothing has occurred of moment Since I last wrote. Lucius Campbell has been to See me. He is the eldest Son of the Genl, & lives on his fathers farm, about 5 miles from here on the Salads. He is quite a handsome fellow & I hope a good farmer. He says His brother Frank is with his father in London. His love affair ended in the marriage of the Lady to Someone else & Frank is in his fathers office. I have also heard of a relative of yours here a Mrs. Twohig. I went once to See her but She was out. I am told She was a Miss Calvert. Daughter they say of Mr Edwd. Calvert. I think it probable that is a mistake, as I never heard of any other daughter than Miss Nord. My informant was positive She is a Cousin of George & Charles, & had Seen her with George in New Port. Mr. T____ is said to be a man of means. He Called on me but I was out. I have also met here the Sister of our friend A. J. Donelson. She is the wife of Cadmus Wilson’s brother. The rest of my acquaintances I have told you of.
I have thought of you all very much dearest Mary, & have prayed for the health & happiness of each & all of you. In the hands of the great & Good God I leave you; trusting in his power & Mercy, to guard & protect you from all harm, & hoping he may be pleased to unite us once again on Earth [letter is faded] Heaven
Write to me regularly, without waiting for answers, & tell me all about yourself, the Children, & of everything in which I Can aid or relieve you. Urge the Children to apply themselves to their Several tasks & to endeavour to promote the prosperity & happiness of each & all. Give much love to your father, Markie, Cousin Anna, Anne & all the children, & tell the latter to write to me when they Can.
For yourself accept my love & blessing
& believe me always yours
R E Lee
Source: Photocopy of photocopied letter, Lee Family Papers, Section 9, Mss1 L51c 151, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 March 3