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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Richmond        11 June ‘61


I have just recd your letter of the 6th from Chantilly. I very much regret that my letters do not reach you. I know not what becomes of them. In a letter directed to Kinloch a few days since, I informed you of having written by Mr. F. S. Smith after my return from Manassas, which I hope has reached you. The letter Contained $100, that I thought might be useful. My previous letters were directed to Burkes Station & though written after the regular passage of the cars to that point, I thought would be forwd to that place from Manassas. I wrote to Cousin Anna, Mary, & yourself. The letters may have gone on to Alexa in which case you will never get them. One contained a letter to you from little Helen, giving an account of her return home. I enclosed in my last letter from Mrs. Cook. Both came to me from Louisville. You must be careful what you write to them now. All letters are opened. I am sorry to learn that you are So anxious & uneasy about passing events. We cannot change or hinder them, & it is not the part of wisdom to be annoyed by them. In this time of great Suffering to the state & Country, our private distresses we must bear with resignation like christians & not aggrevate them by repining, trusting to a kind & merciful God to overrule them for our good. I hope you may Secure a safe & quiet retreat & make yourself Contented with our lot, which I feel as well as yourself, & which with my other anxieties press heavily upon me. You must all endeavor to take care of yourselves, do what is needful & necessary & not care whether it is agreeable. I told you of my visit to the W. H. Our young people, as is natural I suppose, seem to look to what is agreable & I fear they will meet with disappt. Agnes is still here. Thinks of going to the W. H. tomorrow. She is going in the wrong direction & all of them ought to be away from there now. But procrastination & delay is the order of the day & may occasin [sic] the interruption of routes of travel & cut them off from where they wish to go. Events are not going to await our Convenience.

I am glad to hear that some protection is afforded dear Arlington.

Robert arrived yesterday from the university to know what he is to do. He has had chills & fevers & looks badly poor fellow. He goes back tomorrow to remain till the 4 July, when the term ends. He will then either remain there & go through a Course of Mil: instruction, or go to Lexington for the same purpose. Mil course of instruction has been introduced at the U. but I think it probable it may be better conducted at Lex. Express my great gratitude to Edwd1 for his kindness to you. I hope he Can secure you in some quiet farmhouse, away from danger & anxiety, where your prayers may be offered for our distracted Country. Hopewell is a retired spot. Give much love to Daughter. Mrs. Cooper & her party go to Abbeville in S. C. & they wish Nannie to accompy them. She invites you also. Mrs Rhett is there. Charlotte talks of N. C. & wants Annie to go with her. Write me of your plans. If Billy is useful to you keep him. It is probably too late to get him to Custis. I can take Meredith2 from the W. H. after C. leaves if wanted. I would rather you should have Billy if useful. I pray God to give you health & safety.


R E Lee      




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 298, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 March 13


1. Edward Turner, the owner of Kinloch in Fauquier County, Virginia.

2. Billy and Meredith were servants.

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