Camp 24 Mar ’64
I recd this evg dear Mary your note of the 23rd with the bag of socks, &c. I concur with you in wishing that their number had been greater, but they are still a great help this snowy weather. The bag only contained 17 prs socks & 1 pr gloves. You had better get one of the girls to Count them accurately & set down the number. The number of prs scarcely ever agrees with your statement & it may be that some of them are abstracted. If so I should like to know. I gave the white pair to Bryan to take over to Priv Jones brother. This made one of the 17 prs. Bryan was delighted to recover his tobacco, & I am much obliged to you for the jacket. I sent this batch of socks to the Stonewall brigade, having ascertained that there were about 300 men whose homes are within the enemy’s lines, & who are destitute of socks. This will make about 162 prs that have been sent to that brigade. We had a very deep snow tuesday. Col Murray said he measured it in several places in the woods around our camp & found it 18 inches deep. But I believe in the neighborhood it is rated at 15 inches. It has also been very cold. Monday I was on Clarke’s Mt: & along the Rapidan & to my feelings with the N Easter blowing in my face it was as cold as any day in winter. I hope you have not suffered, but are still progressing favourably. I pray to God hourly to bless & comfort you, & oh may he restore you in his own good time. You must not become weary but arm yourself with patience & resignation. How are those poor little girls. Mildred has it in power now to give them a great treat. Squirrel soup thickened with peanuts. Custis Morgan1 in such an exit from the stage would cover himself with glory. Tell Rob I have had a present of a very pretty pipe. It is beautifully carved, made by a Mississippian in camp, with his penknife. Ask him if he would recommend my commencing the inspiration at this late day. I hardly think it worth the trouble.
You must give a great deal of love to my children & kind regards to all. God bless you & all with you. May he be always with you & always preserve you.
Very truly & affly
R E Lee
P.S. I enclose a note from Dr. McCaw. I have no means of preserving such, do not like to destroy them, & therefore have previously sent some of the same character that they at least may be be preserved in your remembrance.
Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 506, Section 25, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward 2017 February 22
1. A pet squirrel.