Lexington Va: 21 Mar. ’66
My dear Mrs. Chouteau
I have just rec’d your note of the 6 Inst: which has been kindly forwarded by Dr. Miller. As there is nothing you can ask which I will not grant, so it is with much pleasure that I send the autograph you desire. I also enclose the last photograph of me. I have nine taken in uniform, but they are all alike; & tempt me almost to deny myself. Do you recognize your old Uncle? You will ever live in my memory as my “beautiful Jule”, and I require nothing to recall you to my recollection. You stand before me now, as you then appeared; in the broad sunlight of youth & joy, undimmed by a single shadow of the intervening years. I regret very much that I did not see Miss K. Eveleth when in Washington. I wished much to do so, but my stay was very short, (Saturday & Sunday) & time entirely occupied. Besides I am considered such a reprobate, that I hesitate to darken the doors of those whom I regard; lest I should bring upon them some disaster. But I hope some day that I may again see you, & that your little children may not learn to abhor me.
Praying that the blessing of Heaven may attend you & yours
I am with great respect most truly yours
R E Lee
Mrs. Julie G. Chouteau
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.341, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall. Gift of Marie A. Eaton, Eleanor Hallowell and Frederic Gooding, Jr., 1987 April 28.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 23