• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Arlington 5 May 1858

My dear Cousin Anna


I returned yesterday from Cincinnati & passed Monday in Baltimore. I went to see Mrs. Kerr, but she & Edward, whom you may have heard is in on a visit from Davenport, were out making calls on their neighbours. Miss Eliza was in & gave a good report of the family. In the afternoon She, Edwd, & George Goldsborough came around to Mr Childes. I have never seen Edwd looking so well, & he seems to be pleased with his vocation & location.

George1 looks to be stronger & in better health than I ever saw him. He had come over from Myrtle G. that morg & left every body well. I Could not persuade him to come on with me. Weddings, Brides, Bridal presents, Parties &c formed the chief topic of interest in Baltimore. Those that had passed away, were flat & unprofitable, but those in the future caused much excitement. Miss Nina Reed & Albert Carroll (3rd son of Charles) were to be married the evg of the day I left (Tuesday) Mary Childe was to be one of the Bridesmaids. The ceremony was to be performed at 9 P. M. at the cathedral. Then the reception & supper at Mrs. Reeds. Mary & Agnes had inspected Monday the presents & dupes which were said to be magnificent. I hope they will all be happy.

My poor Anne seemed to be very feeble. She had not been out of bed for many weeks & appeared more depressed than usual. Louis had come on from Governors Isd. Saturday to spend Sunday, & was telegraphed monday to return that night. He is to start with a detachment of troops Thursday for Leavenworth. He left Rooney at Govrs Isd: well. Uncle Wms had returned from Phila & carried charlotte to Hanover. Mrs Tom Carter had also retired to Annfield & left Mary & Lucy in B__

Bernard & his bride were in B. but I did not see them. Indeed I had no time to see any one. Florence was better & enabled to come down stairs & even ride out. Childe was to go to Boston some convenient time after the wedding & leave Mary & Agnes at Smiths. I do not think they will go before the latter part of next week, or more probably the beginning of the week after. I see that Commander Gillis has been appointed to the Phila Yard, but I do not know when Smith is to be releived.

This has been a dark rainy day & I have thought much of you at R__ alone. Happily your time & occupations are so well regulated that days with you flow with an equable pace, whether it storms or shines. I wish however we were nearer to you, that we might vary your arrangements. I wished to take one of the girls up to you, that you might have some oral conversation in the evg. But tomorrow I must go in to Alexa on some matters, & am afraid I shall have to employ the horses the other days of the week in hauling out lumber &c. Mary says this is to be your last week at R__ If you should be detained let us know.

All Send much love. M & Mary I believe have written their own messages & I have little else to relate. The CtMartial adjourned Friday evg. I left Cincinnati Saturday morg & reached Baltimore Sunday. I left Genl Smith in Cincinnati, very feeble. I do not See how it is possible for him to undertake the expedition to Utah; under a miracle.

I had much pleasure in seeing my Cousin Charles Page & his family. His wife Seems to be a Sensible woman & his children promising Goodbye My dear Cousin Anna I hope to see you soon. I fear my plans for the summer will be interrupted, as my Regt is ordered to Kansas, & is probably moving now, preparatory for active operations on the Plains & if they occur, I must join it. I must therefore bring on such arrangements as I can accomplish here in anticipation of an abrupt summons away.

very truly & affy yours

R E Lee


Mrs Fitzhugh





Source: Scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Papers, 1749-1975, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 May 1                  



1. “Myrtle Grove” plantation in Maryland was owned by Robert Henry Goldsborough (1779-1836), the son of Robert Goldsborough (1740-1798) and Mary Emerson Trippe Goldsborough (1738-1811). Goldsborough served as a U.S. senator from Maryland and served as a cavalryman during the War of 1812. He was married to Henrietta Maria Nichols (1781-1838). His children included Robert William (1800-1857), William (1802-1890), Charles Henry (1804-1836), Susan Elizabeth (1806-1839), Mary Caroline (1808-1890), Henrietta Maria (1811-1835), John McDowell (1813-1895), Eliza (1815-1888), and George Robin (1821-1899).

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