University of Va
As soon as I arrived here this fall, I wrote you a long letter, apologizing for what you called my neglect of you. But I hav’nt received a line from you in acknowledgement of it; I think it is my turn now to complain of neglect. However my heart is a little softer than yours, & if it is really neglect I forgive you for it.
I have just finished spending a delightful Christmas down at the White House, together with Ma Fitz Charlotte Annie Agnes & the baby. We had quite a family gathering. They were all very well & seemingly happy. I wish very much you had been there. You have never been down there I believe. The farm is lovely, the land, lying level near the river & breaking into beautiful hills as you go back inland. The House is small but very comfortable & very nicely furnished; the grounds around the house are being improved daily. But the most delightful thing about the place is the set of negroes. They are the real old Virginny kind, as polite as possible devoted to their master & mistress, who are devoted to them & who do every thing for them. Fitz has a plenty of horses & we had some splendid rides & drives. There is very little society immediately in the vicinity, but about ten or twelve miles (nothing in that level country) there is plenty of the best sort.
I do not think I have seen you since I caught that running glimpse of you, as I passed on to Harper’s Ferry I suppose you are a real live young Lady, & the longing desire of your younger days has been fulfilled. If I was’nt afraid of being “blown up” I might give you a great deal of good advice as to how a young lady should conduct herself but I will defer till some other time.
I suppose you have seen the promotion of Fitz in the papers. He is a Lt. Col. of Cavalry & Col Johnson is his Colonel, the regiment is attached to Gen Holmes’ brigade stationed near Fredericksburg Va. You[r] Pa being a Lt Col in the old army & Johnson (not the same one) was his col: quite a singular coincidence
I must now bid you good night hoping you may receive this & also my answer
R E Lee Jr
Source: Photocopy of photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss 1 L51c 337, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 9