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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




July 2 ’61

I have recd. dear Mary your letter of the 25th announcing your return to Kinloch with Mildred & I am glad you three are together. Charlotte & Annie are at Mr. Wickham’s. Agnes in this city with Mrs. Warwick. The latter, with Agnes, is full of projected visits about the State, Brandon, Cedar Grove &c & of having “pleasant times,” as if enjoyment was the order of the day. I hope no other times may befall her, but in my opinion these are serious times & our chief pleasure must be what is necessary & proper for the occasion.

Agnes told me of the letters you sent her & of their contents. The other day a package was sent to me addressed by you to Mr. McGuinn at Arlington, which had been opened. The contents I suppose undisturbed. It contains a letter to Anne, Sally, Marcelena &c. I suppose seeing it directed within the enemy’s lines, the postmasters considered it illicit. Why it was sent to me I do not know.

I shall be unable to forward them except by accident. Indeed should I meet persons going to that region or to Baltimore, they would be indisposed to carry letters that would indicate their associations, & that might compromit them. Travellers have to be very particular now. You will have to forego the indulgence of your correspondence at present.

I shall enclose ten dollars in small notes as you desire. They are all current here. I do not know whether they will pass with you. That reminds me that the note you sent me, of a wheeling bank, will not pass. You must be careful in taking any of that city, or any point occupied by troops of the U. S. Govt: No one receives them here, nor will any of the banks. Wheeling is considered to have gone over to the Enemy.

I am glad you are engaged working for the soldiers. They will want all they can get, & will particularly stand in need of the prayers of the good. May they be heard & answered.

I get many accounts of the number of troops & strength of positions of our opponents. I am prepared to find them as strong as they can make them. I trust a way through them will be opened to us when the time arrives.

[words missing] you as to the dis [words missing] ing from the tone of the journals. They do not  contribute to our self respect, or to a solution of the troubles of the country. They will change in time I hope. At present they are angered by the tone of the No[orthern]. Press.

You must give much love to every body. I pray for your happiness & welfare & that every blessing may be showered upon you.

This letter has been before me all the morg & has been written line by line at intervals.

I have kept the worst for the last. Custis is ordered to N. Carolina to inspect the forts & works there. My greatest comfort is therefore taken from me.

I do not know how long he will be absent.

Truly & affy

R E Lee

Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 303, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 November 17  

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