• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



            Camp Fredg

7 Decr '62


I have recd dear Mary your letter of the 1st Inst: by Major Taylor. When he went to Richmond I supposed you were in Hanover, & as his departure was sudden I did not write. I am very sorry to hear of Robs attack. I hope it has been slight & that he is now well. I have not seen Fitzhugh since I last wrote. He has moved his camp to the vicinity of Port Royal & is some 20 miles from me. I hear he is well & his command has been active. Sixty of his old regt: under Major [Thomas] Waller, dismounted & crossed the Rappk a few nights since, & captured 49 of the enemys Cavalry Picket, & brought them over with their horses, &c. A bold expedition & well planned by Col [Richard L. T.] Beale of the 9th [Virginia Cavalry], F[itzhugh]’s old Regt: His Horse arty too aided the other day in driving away the Gunboats that had been lying opposite P[ort]. R[oyal]. very much to my dissatisfaction. I fear though they were not as much damaged as I could wish. We had quite a snow day before yesterday & last night was very cold. It is thawing a little this morg though the water was freezing as I washed. I fear it will bring much discomfort to those of our men who are bare-footed & poorly clad. I can take but little pleasure in my comforts for thinking of them. A kind lady, Mrs. Sally Braxton Slaughter1 of Fredg sent me a mattress, & some catsup & preserves, during the snowstorm. I was quite warm last night. You must thank Miss Norvell for her nice cake which I enjoyed very much. But tell her I preserve kisses to cake. I had it (the cake) set out under the pines the day after its arrival & assembled all the young gentleman around it, & though I told them it was a present from a beautiful young lady, they did not leave a crumb. I want a good servant badly but I do not think it is worth while to commence with Fleming at this late day. He would have to learn a good deal before he would be useful, & on the 31st of December I wish to liberate all of them. Those in Richd & those at the W[hite]. H[ouse]. I have asked Custis to have the papers prepared for my signature, as I cannot attend to it myself. The greatest trouble will be to get at those hired on the R.R. I wish you would ask C[ustis] if he has found out where they are. Perry is very willing & I believe does as well as he can. You know he is slow & inefficient & moves much like his father Lawrence, whom he resembles very much. He is also very fond of his blankets in the morg. The time I most require him out. He is not very strong either. I hope he will do well when he leaves me & get in the service of some good person who will take care of him. I sent F[itzhugh] word that Rob was sick. You must give much love to Chass & Agnes for me & give my Grddaughter a kiss. I am sorry I cannot give it myself. I hope her sweet mother is well now, but she must be very careful this winter & take all the exercise & breathe all the fresh air she can. Present my kind regards to Mr. & Mrs. [James M.] Caskie & all friends.

Very truly & affly yours


R. E. Lee




1. Sarah Moore Braxton Slaughter (1827-1881) was married to John Warren Slaughter (1820-1866). John’s brother was Montgomery Slaughter (1818-1897), the mayor of Fredericksburg.



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 412, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 6



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