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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



San Antonio Texas

28 Feby 1860

My dear Son

I recd yesterday your letter of the 15th, the Statement of BK of Commerce, letter of Mr Ambler, & of Thos: Biddle & Co. I have written to the latter that you would send them the band & Power of Atty & have requested them to reinvest the Acct in Missouri, Virga or other State Stock, as may be most admirable, & to transmit you the bands when purchased. If I have the money to spare at the time, I will add to the amt of the bands sufficient to purchase $3000; so as to keep up my Capital, which has been depreciated a little. I have executed the Power you enclosed to me, which if you please, you Can substitute for that left with you. I will write to Mr Ambler & Rob in time. I am glad Mr Beveridge has paid up for the last year. Your receipt will be good to him. Endeavour to keep him to punctual payment. It will be easier for him & you. I wrote to him that he must this spring put the flood gate in the Causeway across the creek. His excuse last Summer was, that the travel across the Dyke was So Constant, that he could not open the Causeway. It is therefore that I wish him to do it now. Taking rip-tide for the occasion. I am much obliged to you for filing away all the insights & writing me so satisfactorily about all matters. I will write to Mr Winston to hasten the accts: of the Estate, as I am anxious to have them closed for the year & to see how I stand with him. As regards the operations at Arlington, you know what is best to be done, & must with Mr McGuinn push them over to the extent of our means. After I settle with Mr Winston, I will send you a check for the balance in Bank, that you may have it all in your hands & know what you can, do after paying the expenses of the house & family. The Mim from time to time will be wanting a little money, which you must give her, as she is always wanting to do a little shopping. I am sorry she was discounted in her plans about going to the White House, as it may be important for her to be there. I did not understand from her letter to Fitzhugh, that he was to write, unless he wished to change her plans, & I suspect he was at Richmond tuesday to receive her. It is however done now & I hope all is for the best, & that she may be Safe & Sound at the White House, unless other arrangements more agreable have been made. I have written to all the girls, save Precious life, Since my arrival & hope some of the letters have reached them. I wrote to you from N. O. & now do not know where to write to your mother. I wrote to her also from N. O. & on my arrival here, but directed to the White House. I have nothing so Say of myself but that I am well & Solitary. There are reports of Indians & marauders daily. The troops are always out. The Cavy horses are nearly worn out; Sometimes drop dead in the trail, which is always followed till they give out. The indians are frequently picked up & all their horses captured. Small bands of three, five, seven, twelve steal in on foot to the settlement, provide themselves with horses, do all the mischief they can & return.

I am sorry I did not see Turnbull. Tell him I wish I had you both here with me. Give much love to your mother, the Girls & all friends. When you or the girls write, if you see any items of the papers, about the Army, War, troops, or matters of interest, Clip them out & enclose them in your letters. They Come quicker. I have bought me a horse. Have only rode him once. Hope he will prove good. He has had a bad kick on the leg of which I am afraid.

With prayers for you all, I am your devoted father

R E Lee


P.S. I have written to Mr Ambler to prepare Robt for the University, & Robt to the same effect. He has expressed a wish to go there




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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