• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 20 May 1863

My dear Miss Mary

            I am so much obliged to you for your Kind invitation of the 16th. I should greatly have enjoyed being present at your coronation, & to have made my obeisance to the queen of Love & beauty. You Know you have long been enthroned in my heart. But I had to deny myself the pleasure, & was obliged to attend to matters that Could not be postponed. My thoughts were with you however, & I have not yet Ceased to regret my inability to be present. Should I visit Richmond again I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you1

                                                            Very truly yours

                                                            R E Lee



1. As Lee’s flirtatious words suggest, Haxall (1849-1892) was popular in Richmond. In 1873, she inspired a duel between John Mordecai and Page McCarty in which Mordecai was killed and Page injured. Mary eventually married Captain Philip Haxall (1840-1897), a veteran of the Confederate army. Her sister Charlotte (1848-1872) married Robert E. Lee, Jr. On the duel, see Walter S. Griggs, Jr., Hidden History of Richmond (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2012).   



Source: Transcribed from facsimile of original, vertical files, Jessie Ball DuPont Library, Stratford Hall

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 January 27

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