Lexington 25 Oct 1868
My dear Nephew,
Yesterday your letter of the 20th arrived & to day that of the 22nd. I yesterday evg visited the Express office, but the packages sent by you had not reached Lexington, & the agent said there would be no arrival from Goshen before Monday night, which would be too late for a letter to reach you before sailing.
I therefore write to day to acknowledge the receipt of your letters & the bills of lading, & to thank you for the books wines etc. Every thing shall be distributed as you have desired, & I shall leave to the recipients to notify you of their reception & to express their thanks. I will acknowledge mine in advance & also express my sincere thanks for the Shakespeare & Worcester & my share of the wine. The boots will keep you before me when our mud begins to grow deeper & on the 28 Nov our special prayers & good wishes will be offered for your happiness & for her who has so large a share of our affections.
The note I enclose from your Aunt will convey her own messages & tell I presume that she is regularly taking the medicine you bought her. She does not find it very palatable but is faithful in her treatment. No change in her condition is as yet perceptible, nor is it time. Mildred is steadily improving & rides out whenever the weather is suitable. She will no doubt enjoy your Port & I hope it will be of Service to her. Her mother still retains her preference for the pure juice of the Rockbridge grape. Your Aunts letter will I hope tell you of all domestic matters, & to it I must refer you. As you have interrupted our daily routine, you can conceive of me at the college every mng & engaged in my ride in the afternoon. The weather continues delightful & not only promotes the enjoyment of our exercise but enables us to advance in our outdoor work. As it is doubtful whether this letter will reach you before you sail for Europe I am not encouraged to continue it, but will write soon to your address in Paris.
All unite with me in sincere love & all desire me to present their thanks for your kind remembrances of them.
With my fervent prayers for your comfort safety & happiness.
I am your affectionate
R E Lee
Mr. Edward Lee Childe
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.367, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 30