• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 9 Feby 1860

My dear Cousin Anna

The preparations for my departure are Saddened by the reflection that I shall be unable to see you before I go. Last night I recd orders for Texas, & tomorrow morg before light I propose leaving here. As long as this journey has been before me, & as often as it has been delayed, still I find when it does Come, it is not the less sorrowful or hard to bear. But when I Compare the present state of things, with what they would have been, had I left no representative behind, I have so much Cause for gratitude, & take So much Comfort, that my mind is Comparatively easy. Custis & Fitzhugh being both on the spot, & able to attend to the general welfare, as well as their individual interests, relieve me of a weight of Care. They will also I hope be better able to attend to their mother & sisters than I am, & do more for the general good. All I trust therefore will do well.

Marys visit to the White House is not definitely fixed. She is preparing, but waiting for a latter from F. or C. before making her final determination. Probably she may get a letter to day. Next tuesday is the day she had proposed to F. if all things suited. I was in hopes I should have been able to have seen her on her way as far as Richmond. But she cannot get ready to go with me, & I can not wait for her. I shall take the Lynchburg extension & so on to the grand junction & thence by the Jackson R. R. to New Orleans, where I hope to arrive in time to take the Steamer on thursday to Indianola. Otherwise I shall have to wait there till Sunday. A I should dislike to embark on. And now my dear Cousin Anna I must bid you good bye. May all health & every happiness attend you & may I soon very soon see you again.

Please present my kindest regards to Mrs Kerr & Miss Eliza & say to my dear Sister Anne & little niece how Sorry I am not to be able to get to see them. I pray that we may all meet Soon.

I have given my advice for Sis Nannie to Smith

With Sincere affection I am always & truly yours

R E Lee


Mrs Fitzhugh



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

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 July 3

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