Head Quarters Lee’s Brigade
November 17th, 1863
Your letters reached me two or three days ago, & I am only sorry that it did not come through the “regular mail” instead of by “Private Opportunity.” I think our family has a great many failings as a family, but none show out so plainly as our fondness for taking advantage of people’s good nature & of getting them to take letters bundles &c to our absent relations & friends, which could be as easily disposed of through the proper modes of conveyance. Still I am too glad always to hear from you all to complain of the manner in which my letters come. My direction is Robert E. Lee Jr 1st Lt &ADC HdQrs Lee’s Brigade Lee’s Cav Div Army NVa. I wish you would give me your direction for I don’t like to be troubling Mrs. Caskie with my letters.
I am very much obliged to Ma for her Kindness in thinking of my wants as regards the clothing requests for the covering of the human frame especially of the lower limbs but I believe I am very well off for every thing, except a hat & a pair boots & if you can raise a subscription amongst the good ladies of Richmond to purchase me [copy is faded] for I don’t how in the world I can ever do it, for I eat all my pay up monthly. Genl Fitz went off on an expedition of some Kind this evening with one of this Brigades Genl Wickams, & I hope he’ll be successful. His Hd Qrs & ours are together at Mr Madison’s old home; planned by four Presidents, Rumor says, but from looking at the old thing I should never judge that any humble man had any thing to do with it.
The Army has resumed its old pontoon along the Rapidan & Mead I believe is the other side of Culpeper CH doing nothing I belive. I have not seen Pa since the night before we fell back from Culpeper. His Hd Qrs are near Orange CH
I think I’ll be able to come & see you all in Richmond the Xmas if we ever get anyway settled, so you had better [copy is faded] to make me presents now.
Give my best love to Custis & Mary & Milly when you write & Ma also I hope she is not so bad off as she says she is & I want to walk out shopping with her. Remember me also to all my friends male & female & believe me your loving brother
Always to command
Robert E. Lee Jr
Source: Photocopied letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 489, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 July 6