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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




5 Nov 1861


My dear Mary


I recd. last night your letter of the 2nd & would have ansd. it at once but was detained with the Secr till after 11 P.M. I fear now I may miss the mail. Saturday evg I tried to put down to you to Spend Sunday but Could find no Govt boat going down & the Passenger boats all go in the Morg. I then went to the stable & got out my house, but it was near night then & I was ignorant both of the road & distance & I gave it up. I was obliged to be here Monday & as it would have Consumed all Sunday to go & Come I have remained for better times. The Pres: said I Could not go to day, so I must see what Can be due tomorrow.

I will come however wherever you are, either Shirley or the W.H. [White House] as soon as possible, & if not Sooner, Saturday at all events. If you wish to Come to R____[Richmond] Come to Spottswood. That is the only place I Can see you & there but rarely as I am occupied all the time & in illustration I Commenced my letter to you the first thing this morning & now at 1 P.M. I have progressed thus far.

I am glad to hear you are well & the baby better.

I have sent the letter to F_____[Fitzhugh]. Custis is still in N.C. I have not got the letter enclosed to him. Hoping to See you very soon with much love to C.[harlotte] & all at S____[Shirley].

I am as ever



                R E Lee




Source: Mss 1 L51c 321, Section 16, Lee Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 25

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