• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.


 

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University of Va

December 1st 1861

 

Dear Annie

It really is an age since I have heard from any of my sisters especially you. I think it is a shame that, with four unmarried sisters, I am not able to get a letter from any of them. Pa, though he has more to do than all of you put to-gether, is the only one of the family who writes to me. Ma does some time, but not very often. But as for my sisters, they might have all taken to themselves husbands and have gone to house keeping for all I know. Mildred wrote me a terrible letter declaring she would disown me & I do’nt know what all, if I did not write to her; so as soon as I got here I wrote her a long letter apologizing for my neglect &c but I have never heard a word from her. I got a letter from Pa written from some place near Savannah; he says he is well, but that affairs are about as bad down there as in Western Virginia, “another forlorn hope” as he expresses it. I hope not indeed. I shall certainly, if possible, come down to see you all Xmas; so look out for me the Saturday or Sunday before Xmas I long to see you very much.

Do tell Ma not to write me anything more about Sallie’s trunk, for I expect by this time that the baggage master or some soldier has got her clothes on & would be very unwilling to give them up.

I really believe I am getting to be a young man but ca’nt realize it; for I feel just as I did ten years ago; but there is no mistake about it, for I am five feet ten strikingly handsome, with a strong tenderly to a mustache & whiskers.

Such is your little brother Robert.

The University can boast of only fifty students, quite a contrast to the six hundred & fifty of last year; it is very quiet & dull, but a fine chance for studying. You all must be sure & stay at the White House until after Xmas for I want to see you very much. And I’ll certainly be down. You must excuse any little mistakes in spelling which you may chance to find, for I am studying so many languages that I can hardly write English properly. Give my best love to Fitz & Sister Charlotte & to my little God-son, & believe me your

devoted brother

Rbt E Lee, Jr

 

PS. Tell Ma that her letter reached me safely enclosing a little item which is & ever will be very acceptable to her soon

Robert.  

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 327, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 May 16

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