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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Dabbs farm 25 June ’62

            My dear Mary

            I did not hear how you all were yesterday. Bryan was in but I did not See him till night. I hope Custis is improving & that you & daughter are well. I want to see you all very much but have no time. If possible I will endeavour to do so this evg. When I do go in I Cannot enjoy myself as I would, feeling anxious for affairs here & fearing that Something will require my presence on the lines. I hope our merciful Father in heaven will in his own time relieve us from our present troubles & enable us once more to enjoy the society of each other & our dear children. I recd a letter from Mr Anderson of Savannah the other day in which he mentioned the death of good Mrs Mackay.[1] She died as she had lived in the full hope & assurance of a blessed immortality. Three of her daughters were with her, but he did not state which. When you write to Mrs Stiles please express my sympathies & the pleasure I have in having Seen her last Winter. May God bless you dear Mary & guard & guide you & our children now & forever

Truly & devotedly yours

            R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 362, Section 18, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Nicholas Tarchis, 2017 June 1


[1] Eliza Anne Mackay (1778-1862) died 1862 June 13. She was the mother of one of Lee’s best friends from his time at West Point, Lieutenant John Mackay, who passed away in 1848, nineteen years after the two had been cadets. 

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