• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 26 Decr ’62


My precious little Agnes


I have not heard of you for a long time. I do not know where you are, or to how to address you. I hope you are well & enjoying the happiness of doing all the good you can. I wish you were with me, for always solitary, I am sometimes weary, & long for the reunion of my family once again. But I will not speak of myself but of you. I hope your old enemy, neuralgia, has left you at peace this winter, & that you take a great deal of exercise in the open air. I have a fine trotting horse that would agitate you much in a small space, that delights in a lofty head, & would feel proud to bear your gossamer weight. Come up & try him & tell Miss Sallie I have a smooth ambler for her. But I shall not let the young men look at her. I have only seen the ladies in this vicinity when flying from the enemy, & it caused me acute grief to witness their exposure & suffering. But a more noble spirit was never displayed anywhere. The faces of old & young were wreathed with smiles & glowed with happiness at their sacrifice for the good of their country. Many have lost every thing. What the fire & shells of the enemy spared, their pillagers destroyed. But a kind Providence will shelter them I know. So much virtue will not be unregarded. I can only hold oral communication with your sister [Mary]. I have recd one letter from her, but have forbidden the scouts to bring any writing, & have taken back some that I had given them for her. If caught, it would compromise them. They only convey messages. I learn in that way she is well & is profuse in speech. All the family are likewise reported in good condition, & Carrie as being uncommonly pretty. I fear she caused the capture of a tall youth a week or two since. He left with such a heavy heart that on being discovered by the enemys patrols, he could not keep up with his party & was overtaken. I have therefore forbidden them going to the house.

I must stop now. You always have my prayers for your health & happiness my dear daughter, & I now wish you many returns of the New Year, each more freighted with happiness than the other. With kind regards to all friends.

I remain always your father

R E Lee




 Source: Photocopy of photocopied handwritten original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 422, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 16    

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