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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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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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Jones’ Springs1

June 18th [1862]

 

My dear Mama,

Here we are at the end of our journey at Jones’ North Carolina. Mr Leigh left us this morning early before we were up. I feel perfectly lone & lost & begged him to come back just as soon as possible, he is very much pleased with this place says it is far superior to the White Sulphur; where his party are, & is sure they will be charmed with the change, he will return with them Sat, or more probably Tuesday. This is nice clean comfortable place, fine for children I should think, a nice garden, & things as nice as any one can expect now. Mr Jones says it is perfectly healthy here. Last night we enjoyed our supper extremely beautiful bread & nice butter & milk & ice. Mr. Leigh said he had not seen such a nice supper for an age & you know with us the contrast to the Arlington was striking. When we got to Petersburg, Tom Turner was waiting for us & we all four of us took a walk to a beautiful spring where our visit of a week was satisfied. Then we went to see Fanny Carter & Charles is there: his horse threw him & fell on him the day of the battle, he was just able to limp about & looks very badly, he saw all at Shirley were well, Robert’s wife is there. Cousin Warrington2 is in a quat fease3 for fear the house will be shelled. Mrs Nelson Fanny’s mother insisted upon our staying thru to tea, she told me to tell you when you come through you must stop all night. We got out at Warrenton Station & came in a most ricketty conveyance to the village of the same name three miles from the Station, where we dined. I wish you could have seen that dinner it defies description. we had had nothing all day since our breakfast before seven & were tolerably ravenous. We evidently came the day after the fair, though the hostess was still sitting at the table looking as complacently as if she presided over an elegant dinner. We took Mr Jones’ conveyance & a drive of eleven miles brought us to this place. It was a beautiful evening & the roads when not rocky quite good & ourselves & Mr Jones the only passengers so our drive was quite pleasant we got here about sunset. We have a nice large room in the house Mr Leigh thought we had better stay in the house till he came back & then I can get one we can move to a cottage. There is quite a long table here which seems to be filled with ladies. Mrs DeShields sister is here & has written to not come here. Tell Mrs de Shields if she is there that this is a nice place for her & she had better come unless she can find a place a little more in the world & nearer her husband. Tell her I thought of her last night & imagined her starving. They say the mails come every day but none came with us yesterday & I don’t expect to see a paper for a week. Do send us some Ma at once & often, you know of by chance papers arrive here there will be so many to read them. The people here seem to know & care little about what is going on, that is intolerable now! Genl Lee’s fame has hardly penetrated here, one young lady asked me if my father was a general somewhere near Richmond & then she asked Mr Leigh if he was not my brother though she said she noticed I called him Mr Leigh. Some one else thought we were from Norfolk. I have a sort of suffocating feeling as if I was buried & feel as if I was here for life & should never see or hear anything again. Do write at once & tell me the news & everything. How is Custis tell him I miss talking to him dreadfully. How is Pa be sure & tell him goodbye for me. If you hear anything from Chudie4 about the 2nd Cavl & about Capt Royall5 be sure & write me about it & don’t just write a scratchy note. tell sister to write a nice long letter. Mr Leigh has been as kind & considerate he has arranged everything for us & is the most delightful escort to be found any where. I hope you may be so fortunate when you come on. Our travelling expenses came to $21.25 & that leaves us 48.00 not quite enough to pay our board for one month not mentioning washing so Mrs Lee as I have no idea of your coming very soon. you had better send us some money by Mrs DeShields if there, or by Mrs Huger who expected to come here. You recollect I gave you a five dollar note to make up our bill at the Arlington. While on the subject of money Have you paid Mitchell that 50 cts for my watch? please don’t forget.

Mildred is asleep she is not very well & has just consented to take another pill. There is a doctor here in the house, so invalids need have no fear. There seem to be the usual amount of children here a few small boys of fourteen & one or two men. Mrs Robt Ransom6 has been here & I believe is to return. There is a calybiate spring & a sulphur not very strong though pure & plenty of green apples. I mention that for Sister’s benefit. You had better not not [sic] represent the place in a too favorable light or we may be crowded & not have such a comfortable time. Two young ladies from Norfolk have just been in to see me, they inquire if Chapman7 is my brother in law, when the various Mrs Leighs & Mrs Lees arrive here, I am afraid there will be great confusions. Did you get this paper Ma, it exceeds all our indifferent papers this is the first time I have used it. I am just writing along nothing to tell but having nothing to do or think about, it is some relief for my misery. Has nothing been heard from John Taylor? Be sure & fix yourself nicely & have your lawn made up & get yourself some shoes, & on no account or under any circumstances wear your old grey or purple travelling, wear your other grey. Give much love Fitzhugh & Pa & Sister & tell Custis he need not say he does not miss me for I know he does. Good bye your most affect

Annie C. Lee

 

direct to Jones Springs

Warren County

N. Carolina

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 359, Section 18, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

 

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 April 5

 

 

1. Located in Warren County, North Carolina.

2. Dr. Lewis Warrington Carter (1819-1888), the son of Hill Carter (1796-1875) and Mary Braxton Randolph Carter (1800-1864). He was born in Charles City County, Virginia, and lived with his family at Shirley plantation. He died in Virginia and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

3. Difficult to read in the original, but this odd phrasing means being in a “low condition.”

4. Nickname for Fitzhugh Lee (1835-1905), the son of Sidney Smith Lee.

5. William Lawrence Royall (1844-1911). He was born at Mount Ephraim plantation in Fauquier County, Virginia. His parents were Anna Keith Taylor and the Reverend J. J. Royall. His grandmother, Jane Marshall Taylor was the youngest sister of Justice John Marshall. Before the Civil War, Royall attended private school and studied law under William Green, a prominent Richmond attorney. In March 1862, at the age of seventeen, Royall joined Company A of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, which was commanded by William H. F. Lee. He was wounded at the same campaign in June 1862 that killed William Latane, who also served in the 9th Virginia cavalry. In 1909, Royall published by memoirs of his wartime service.

6. Mary Elizabeth “Minnie” Huntt Ransom (180-1881), the wife of General Ransom (1828-1892). She is buried at Cedar Grove cemetery in Craven County, North Carolina.

7. Chapman Leigh was born 1826 September 21 in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Watkins Leigh (1781-1849) and Julia Wickham (1801-1883). Chapman died in 1911 in New York City. During the Civil War, he served as a staff officer in the Confederate army. He was married to Anna Campbell Carter Leigh (1842-1900).

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