Cleydael 10th Nov.
Why you persist dear Mill in saying I never write I can’t imagine, I wonder if I did not write to you just before Ma went to the Hot (enclosed in one of hers) & no answer have I ever seen. Just see tonight. I am writing the very day after your letter was recieved. “Little Mildred” is not forgotten I assure you, though I sup= you are growing almost out of your sister’s recollection. I have wanted very much to see you this summer, & have enquired most particularly of every one who has seen you. I do hope the time will come & that soon when we can all be together again. I am glad you have enjoyed yourself so much this summer, so have I, but it would take too long to tell of it now, except the fact, which may be a sorrow to you that I am not engaged! nor your sister Annie to my knowledge. That is to be married; we are very busily engaged in making clothes & knitting socks for the soldiers, which is the best engagement for young ladies these times. I am glad your summer’s pleasure has not prevented your studying so hard though the consequence (the loss of your hair) is a very serious one. “As the whole world” couldn’t convince you it is your fault. I won’t try, I do not believe however a net will save it! Mine was falling out so fast about two weeks ago I had it all cut short around my head & Now it waves & twists itself up; some say it is very becoming. I do not advise you to do it, for I suppose you would sooner cut your head, but only suggest that if it continued to come out & nothing will stop it this will be a good time, so that it will be long enough to twist up again when you leave school. It is quite fashionable now, I know several young ladies in Richmond who had theirs short this summer, & another who had hers cut less than two years ago & now has a beautifully thick suit quite long enough to tuck up. But some nice hand should cut it, a barber for instance. Mine is delightfully comfortable, so little trouble & I can wash my head every morning.
Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 322, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 23