Sender: Mildred Childe Lee?
Recipient: "My dear Emily"
West Point. King William Co. Romancoke. April 23rdMy dear Emily
I recd yr letter a long time ago - but do not judge my affection by my pen - you know how little dependence is to be placed on that; the habit seems to grow worse with age. Not hearing from you, I have lost all knowledge of Lexington - for Custis deals in no news or gossip; so I have no idea of what you are all about. Do write & enlighten me. I hope you are better, & have found some things or person congenial & pleasant.
How are those wretched boys? How hard you should waste your life in feeding them! Away from there - the fact of a college, or a student never dawns upon our brain wheras in Lexington, it is the sum of life! Mr Harrison? How is he - & what is he doing? John Campbell told you he saw me in Washington! I have had one wantful winter on the whole, am just learning the possibilities of life - if I had only known them sooner! I can't begin at the beginning - You shall hear of my various adventures from my own lips.
Now I am here, in the blessed calm of green fields & apple blossoms! I am devouring all Rob's new books, & glorying in fire - made of logs! For like Miss Mary D - I was born a "fire-worshiper"! Of course it is often lonely, always monotonous, but pleasures preponderate. I have no society - at least I am not bored to death, by commonplace inanities! We have just finished tea - I am seated by the table, engaged in scratching with my quill - Rob has settled himself in his arm chair - preparatory to a doze. The firelight throws a glow on my Mothers picture over the mantlepiece - taken when she was younger than either of us. At nine we both go to bed - rise at six - breakfast at seven! Every afternoon I ride or drive. The woods are beginning to look lovely - with the dogwood blossoms & yellow jasmine. Of course there is not a hole or corner of the house that has not been swept - & garnished! Oh the trash these hands have burned! Fresh shad caught from the river, form our frugal repasts & even some baked in the ashes. I shall be with you before long. For God's sake get me a cook. Is Sandford alive?
Robert E. Lee Papers (064 collection)Leyburn Library