• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 30 Jany 1859

My dearest Cousin Anna

I very much regret my inability to See you. My daily attendance at the meeting of the Army board from 10 AM to 3 P.M consumes most of the day, & the passage to & from Washington the balance. I fear I shall be occupied in the same way all this week, but will go into Alexa the first day I Can.

I wished to go in to day, but I still have a wretched cold, & in addition I thought the carriage was full enough for the state of the roads. I do not recollect ever having seen them worse. It took me yesterday 1 ½ hours, in a steady walk, to reach Washington. I brought back Fitzhugh. He reports them all as usual in Baltimore. Anne about the same. Florence looking badly. The Judge quiet, Child content, Mary gay & busy.

All were well at Mrs Kerrs. Cousin George was there & reported favourably of those he left on the E.S.

My visits to Washington enable me to See Smith every day. Our boards meet in the same building. He is quite well & occupied.

Thursday night he was at Lady Napiers grand party. Friday night at a Senatorial dinner at Mr Cochrane’s (on gold). Last night I really forget where, but another dinner. Yesterday Nannie was not very well. Fitzhugh Called but was not able to see her, so I did not go up. I saw John & C. The former had heard nothing very recently of his Minesota project. The latter was well & Smiling. I hear nothing in Washington, but what you get by the Papers. The death of Mr Prescott is a national loss.

I suppose Mary reported the state of ourselves to day. Orton has arrived since & given Martha an opportunity of letting off much sentiment. All unite with me in much love & I remain very Especially & affy yours

R E Lee



Source:  Digital scan of original letter, The Papers of Robert E. Lee, 1749-1975, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 27

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