13 May ’62
My dear Mary
I Can only write a few lines to you. It is very late & I got but little sleep last night & have been much occupied all day. But the loss of the Virginia has produced such profound sensation that all personal Considerations are Smothered. I fear Agnes will not be able to get up. I will leave with Mr. Caskie funds for you. All I have in Bank. Tell Annie & the girls it will be necessary for them to take the bonds &c. The thing is done & cannot be undone. I desired to make some arrangement to provide for them as well as I Could. I wish it was better, but I hope it may be sufficient for their wants. It is better it should be so. I have Considered the matter maturely. I had intended writing a letter to them all, explaining the matter & my reasons. I wish it to stand & hope it may serve their Convenience & Comfort. As for yourself I will leave the bonds either with Mr Caskie or Mr John Stewart (whose house we occupy). They are Coupon bonds & if lost are gone. The girls’ are registered, & Can be renewed.
Custis will write & tell you every thing.
God bless you my dear wife & children.
Truly & affy
R E Lee
Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 352, Section 18, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 27