Camp 12 Aug ’64
My precious Agnes
I have been expecting for a long time a letter from you, for I felt you had been intending to write. Do you recollect what Profr Spoule1 used to say to the Cadets on that Subject? Bear it in mind. “I am glad you have found such Kind friends & have such an agreable & Cool abode.["] this hot weather. It is scorching hot in the trenches & I wish ardently for the time when our poor men may have access to the Cool shades, the figs, peaches & ices you describe. But you Cannot tempt me or my staff. We have abandoned the use of such articles. What would you Say to some apples—ripe--. But you must Come quickly, for they are as evanescent in Camp as the dews of night. I would then put you on Ajax, but I doubt whether he would Camp you as Pleasantly as Black diamond. I hope he will gallop off the neuralgia, which I have a feeling is passing away. I trust so at least. You must thank Dr. Mrs. Cocke for their kind message. It would give me great pleasure to visit them & I am cheered by the hope that I may some day be able to do so. The pleasure I should derive from their Company would not add to the gratitude I feel for their kindness to your mother & Self. I was called to Richmond last Saturday. The heat here is intense there it is suffocating. To prolong our life your Uncle Smith & I walked around about 9 P.M. to see [illegible] but she was so surrounded by Cavy I Could only get a glimpse of her. It carried me through the night & by daylight I was off. Your brothers are well & so are your Cousins. I See them but rarely & when I do I Can scarcely enjoy their Company. But I want to see you my precious child & my life & long for the day to Come. Daughter was looking tolerably well, but very thin. She however was in good spirits & much occupied with Miss Lizzie, who is a Sweet little child. Sweet Annie was sick, so that I Could not See her. I send you Some poetry, which I hope you will find beautiful. Mrs. Clarke who wrote the lines on Genl Polk, is the lady who Composed those on dear Annie. I knew her well in Texas, where she went for the benefit of her health, She is a resident of N.C.
Give much love to your Mama. I trust she has recovered from the effects of her fall, that her general health is improving. Tell Life Miss Mary Triplett ran in to see me the other evg of my arrival in Richmond, looking as beautiful as an Angel. No wonder Custis Morgan fell in love with her & deserted his mother. With great love your aff father
R E Lee
Miss Agnes Lee
Source: Photocopy of letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 540 , Section 27, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 1
1. Lee might be referring to Rev. William T. Sprole, who was in Department of Geography, History, and Ethics at West Point while Lee was superintendent.