• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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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Camp Orange Co: 3rd Apl ’64

My precious little Agnes

 

The storm of yesterday retarded the train so much, that it did not reach Orange till late in the night, & I did not receive your letter of 31 March till this morg. It was a welcome harbinger of a brighter day & has turned my thoughts much to you & those with you this holy morg. If you have missed me how much more must I have missed you? I wish indeed you could pay me a visit. There are plenty of houses as you say, whose owners no doubt would receive you, but I know their Condition, few or no servants, little or nothing to eat, want & devastation around them. How Could I ask them to augment their troubles. Besides the time has arrived when we may become actively engaged any day, & for those in the army to have not for those out of it to Come. It is not a time for reviews or merriment but for hard & serious work. As there is no place near me where you could obtain accommodation I should be able to see but little of you, & you would see not more of the army than you do at present. I hope however the time may come when you can see the army as you desire & I can see you as I wish. I shall in that case surely take advantage of it. During winter when we are more apt to be quiet, the weather keeps you housed, & in more favourable weather the army is “not at home.” I am very much obliged to you for your attention to my shirts. Those now with me elicit my tenderest care & like the snows of winter are fading from view. I must send you my pipe to keep for me. I infer that Bertus does not recommend my indoctrination into the odorous art, as he has withheld his desired advice. I fear it is rather late for me to learn anything good. Remember me to my Cousin Lavinia & tell sweet Annie Leigh I want to see her badly. I hope Fitzhugh got down comfortably yesterday. I Could see but little of him when here. Give my love to your mother & sisters & kiss Maggie for me. I shall have no cake to give you when you come. We have consumed three larger pound cakes, besides smaller choses,[1] all from over the mountains. My staff are all so devoted to the ladies, that it takes a quantity of sweets to satisfy them. You must give to Miss Mary Lyons my sincere wishes for her happiness.

With earnest prayers my dear child for every blessing to you. I am as ever your

father

R E Lee

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 510, Section 26, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

 

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 July 7        

 

[1] Lee apparently is using the French word for “things.”

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