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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



My dear Mrs. Cocke1

            Edmund2 was here last evening but I did not see him as I was in my room laying down & hoped he might come again but as it is doubtful I am going to send you a little memento of the General which he always used & was on his office table. You must use it too for I know he had no friend whom he more esteemed. I wrote you a long letter a few days & you must excuse this as I am very tired & about to rest. The girls all send love as ever.

                                                                                    Yrs affectionately

                                                                                                Mary Custis Lee


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2012.005

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 Mary 26

1. Phoebe Preston Cocke (d.1873), wife of Edmund.

2. Edmund R. Cocke (1841-1922) was a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War, serving in the Black Eagle Rifles militia group from Virginia. He was wounded during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg and captured at Sailor’s Creek. Though initially a staunch Democrat, he later became involved in populist politics and joined the People’s Party in 1892. After the surrender in 1865, Robert E. Lee's family were invited to stay at the Oakland plantation, Cocke's childhood home, by his mother, Elizabeth Randolph Cocke.

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