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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Laburnam 20th Aug [1861]

My dear Mildred,

    Your last letter from Winchester was only unanswered because Papa told me he had written to Mamma to take you away, & I knew with her you had all your questions answered (?) & knew of the scattered Lee family. We had two charming visits at Shirley & Brandon of a fortnight each. They all enquired after you as well as the rest of the family.

    We are now staying with Mrs. James Lyons who has a pretty country place about two miles from Richmond. Mrs. L is lovely, & the rest of the family are very kind. It has been raining ever since we have been here so we are much confined to the house. Tell Mamma, Mrs. Wise is here, talks of her a great deal & sends much love. And what have you been doing with yourself? I suppose You are with Mamma in her visits; you must write to me & tell me all about them. But I hope you will have both returned to Kinlock before this reaches you. Tell Mamma if she is going to the Hot (some one told me there was only one man there & it was to be shut up, so she had better find out) to make her arrangements by the middle of next week not later as we are going into Richmond & do not wish to remain more than a few days. And when she has fixed the day to start be sure to go, for we may go to Gordonsville by ourselves & would be very awkward to find no one there, & to be sure & give us time to get the letter three or four days at least. Charlotte wants us all to come up to the Montgomery White which is a good deal resorted to this year for safety &c. I think the board is $35 per month but I am not at all sure: C has promised to write. You would hardly know our precious little nephew, he looks so badly. Mamma ought to write Rob! the day we pass so he might see us if possible. I am afraid you will think this letter is very little to you, but as we are so much among strangers there is not much that will interest you. Cousin Brit & Markie1 are boarding in Richmond both looking very well. Custis is looking well too. Says he writes & writes to you all, for which he gets no credit. Robert C has gone up to Uncle Carter’s. Dan is a great deal better. I have nothing more to tell except that I want to see you all very much & long to be with our family again. But every one is very kind & all try to make us enjoy ourselves. Tell Mamma to write soon & in time. Yours Agnes N. B.

Orton is at Mephis Tenn. with Gen. Polk. Where is Sister?



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 380, Section 19, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 June 6

1. Brit and Markie are Britannia Peter Kennon (1815-1911) and her daughter Martha Custis Kennan (1843-1886). Brit had leased Tudor Place. The two were traveling through Virginia and eventually returned to Washington, D.C., in January 1861.

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