West Point Oct 29th/60
My dear Mildred,
I have been wanting to write to you for a long time ever since I left you in fact but something has always prevented; in New York I was always occupied in going about, & here I have had so many letters to write, I thought I never would get through. I hear from home you are well and satisfied with your school, but should like to hear further particulars from yourself.
I suppose of course you are studying hard, behaving beautifully & in short are the best scholar and the finest young lady in school! Is not that so? I suppose you have recieved [sic] a great deal of good advice from your different relatives & if you would only follow half of it you would be all that I have said. But I know also how much easier it is to give than to recieved [sic], and above all how “one always knows best oneself” so I will be chary of mine. But I trust you are taking good care of your health and your eyes. Walk, be in the open air no matter how inconvenient, no matter whether you don’t have time. Tell Hattie I depend upon her for that. And try dear Mildred to act from principal, and as if Our Father in Heaven was always looking at you.
Don’t stop speaking to girls on any account. That I always thought so silly but I will cease now on these subjects trusting to your good sense & to your feeling you are a lady, must be a lady, and especially to Our Savior’s love to keep you in the right way.
I have had a delightful visit in New York. Spent a week at Morrisania. They were so sweet & kind. Talked a good deal of you and wanted to have had you there this summer. Minnie wanted your direction. She & Annie are great friends of mine, & I shall always remember my visit to that beautiful place with the greatest pleasure. I am staying here with Mrs. Church. Maggie (Mrs Blount) is here with a sweet little Albert. Neva Carling has just gone to Old Point Cornelia Clarke is married & gone to Amelia Island. Marnie Mahan is here & Denny asked after Mildred & says he “has forgotten you a good deal!” Mr Wheeler is here with a sweet little girl. Guy. Henry Jimmy Cuyler, & Willie Bartlett are all cadets. Neddie & Freddie Bartlett are as great boys as ever & so on. A number of our old friends have asked after Rob & yourself. I have dined at Col. Delafield’s (the present Superintendent) and our old house is so changed in side you would hardly know it. The Misses Tompson are just the same, but in most of the families there are many changes. You have of course seen something of the visit of the prince of Wales to this country, though I suppose you school girls don’t think of a boy or man even if he is a prince! I have seen him many times & very closely. He is a sweet, good looking, modest boy, shy rather but with very good manners. I went to the ball in New York which was very handsome. Then the prince had a fine review up here of all the cadets and soldiers, and riding next morning in the hall.
But I must say goodbye now. Give much love to Hattie, tell her I have not forgotten her pleasant visit to Arlington. I shall probably return to N. Y. this week. If you write very soon direct 6 East 34th St. New York. I will return home after remaining there a little while. Your attached sister
Source: Photocopy of original letter, Mss1 L51 c 263, Section 14, Lee Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 30
1. Neva Bartlett Carling (1840-1928) was married to Elias B. Carling (1837-1875), who graduated from West Point in 1859. She is buried in Yonkers, New York.
2. Edward VII (1841-1910) was the first member of the royal family to visit the United States. As a young prince, he visited Mount Vernon among other places and traveled as far south as Richmond. He reigned at the king of Great Britain from 1901-1910 after the death of his mother Queen Victoria.