Camp Petersburg, 5 July ’64
My precious Life
I recd this morg by your brother your note of the 3rd & am very glad to hear that your mother is better. I sent out immediately to try & find some lemons but Could only procure two, sent to me by a kind lady, Mrs. Kirkland, in Petersburg. There were gathered from her own trees. There are none to be purchased. I found one in my valise, dried up, which I also send as it may prove of some value. I also put up some early apples which you Can roast for your mother & one pear. This is all the fruit I Can get. You must go to market every morg. & see if you Cannot find some fruit for her. There are no lemons to be had. Tell her lemonade is not as palatable or digestible as buttermilk. Try & get some good buttermilk for her. With ice it is delicious & very nutritious. I hope she will Continue to improve & be soon well & leave that heated City. It must be wasting now. The sight of Sweet Mary T. [Triplett] would be refreshing. Take her to see her poor mother. Tell her I can only think of her & pray for her recovery. I wish I Could be with her to nurse her & Care for her. Keep Custis Morgan out of her sight & if you would immerse his head under the water for five minutes in one of his daily baths it would relieve him & you of infinite trouble. Good bye my dear daughter. Give much love to precious Agnes. I am glad your dear Sister is well enough to be out. Tell her she must get strong & take Care of your mother. I want to see you all very much, but Cannot now See the day when. I think of you, long for you, pray for you. It is all I Can do. Think sometimes of your devoted father.
R E Lee
Miss Mildred Lee
Source: Photocopy of letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss 1 L51c 532, Section 27, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 1