Hdqrs: Near Richmond
10 Aug ’62
I have recd dear Mary your letter of the 5th. I have not seen Mr Jeter since I wrote & do not know that I will again. F[itzhugh] had better write to Mr Eacho1 to become the agent of the two men you speak of & take them out of jail & hire them out to pay the fees &c. I do not know whether they are men with families or not nor did I before hear anything of them. I got letters from the girls the other day, which I sent to Custis. They are well & write in good spirits. I believe they have some old beaux around them.
I also recd in a mysterious way a short note from Annette. I believe it was brought by some of her sweethearts (unnamed). I sent it to the girls to when I was writing at the time. She says they were all well & all at home. That Mary H. & her spouse had been on a visit to them. The former very well & quite herself again. Mrs Mary Stevenson goes on tuesday to Georgetown with Genl L Thomas,2 Markies friend, in a steamer. Mrs. Webster goes with her. I hope they will reach their friends in Comfort & safety. I saw Custis & M. the other evg when I was called in by the Pres: They were as usual.
Mrs. Caskie I am sorry to say is quite sick. She is Confined to her room with fever. I have nothing new. I was called down to Malvern Hill on Wednesday in Consequence of the advance of the enemy to that point. I found him in battle on again the same ground & same lines in which he was on tuesday 1 July & apparently in the same strength, Infy Cavy & Arty. I thought he was going to fight the battle over again. It was an oppressively hot day. Some of our men had to march some distance & it was sunset before they Could be got in position & drive in their advance &c. We Could therefore only close with him that night & lay on our arms to refresh the troops. Next morg on moving up it was found he had slipped through our lines during the night leaving in our hands some 40 prisoners & on the field a few of his dead. He made use of his Gunboats, transports &c as before in getting off. We had a hot march back as he again retired within his lines & under his Gunboats. I have just heard of the death of our old friend Col: Payne.3 He died near Goochland CtHouse, was Conscious to the last, anxious & prepared to leave this world of sorrow. I trust he is now at peace. Give much love to Chass & F[itzhugh], all with you & believe me
always yours R E Lee
Source: Photocopy of photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 377, Section 19, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 January 17
1. Edward D. Eacho (1819?-1895), a collector and tax agent in Richmond who dealt in matters involving runaways slaves. He also served in the Richmond local defenses as well as the 24th Virginia cavalry. He was wounded in June of 1864 and deserted in December of 1864. After the war, he worked as a clerk and real estate agent.
2. Lorenzo Thomas (1804-1875), an adjutant general in the Union army.
3. Mathew Mountjoy Payne (1787-1862).