Valley Mt: 29 Aug ’61
My precious daughters
I have just recd your letters of the 24th & am rejoiced to hear that you are well & enjoying the Compy of friends. You did not mention whether you had recd a letter from me, written before my departure from Richmond & directed to Brandon. I do not know, therefore whether you have funds for your projected visits. If not you must Call upon Custis. I am very Sorry to hear that he is sick. I do not Know what to for him. Not having heard from him I supposed he might have left Richmond. Fitzhugh is very anxious to get his Buffalo robe, which was directed to be Sent to my Care at the Spottswood, & which I wrote to Custis to forward, or rather to get Col [Abraham C.] Myers to forward to me at Huntersville. He fears it may be lost. He had Come up to take his dinner with me. Sunset is the time of my banquet, & therefore recd the latest intelligence of you & of Charlottes departure for the White (Montgomery). I hope the mountains may restore her little boy & benefit her. It rains here all the time, literally. There has not been Sunshine enough since my arrival to dry my clothes. Perry1 is my washerman, & socks & towels suffer. But the worst of the rain is, that the ground has become so saturated with water, that the Constant travel on the roads have made them almost impassable, so that I cannot get up sufficient supplies for the troops to move. It is raining now. Has been all day, last night, day before & day before that, &c. But we must be patient. It is quite cool, too. I have on all my winter clothes & am writing in my overcoat. All the clouds seem to concentrate over this ridge of Mts: & by whatever wind they are driven, give us rain. The mts: are magnificent. The sugar maples are beginning to turn already, & the grass luxuriant. Richmond2 has not been accustomed to such fare or such treatment, but he gets along tolerably. Complains some, & has not much superfluous flesh. There has been much sickness among the men, measles, &c. & the weather has been unfavourable. I hope their attacks are nearly over, & that they will Come out with the Sun. Our party has kept well. I do not know whether this will find you in Richmond. But if it does, give my kind regards to all friends & warm thanks for their remembrances. Although we may be too weak to break through their lines, I feel well satisfied that the enemy Cannot at present reach Richmond by either of the three routes leading to Staunton, Milboro, or Covington. He must find some other way.
I want to see you very much, your poor mother & all. I hope that day may come, but it is far off I fear. God bless you my children, & preserve you from all harm is the Constant prayer of
your devoted father
R E Lee
Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 311, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 November 28
1. Lee's African American body servant.
2. Lee's horse.