• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 March 17th [1862]

I should have returned the bills immediately, dear Mildred, had you asked me to do it. I just returned from Shirley Sunday night so this is the first opportunity to send them. I went down to S[hirley] with Cousin Robert & Lou Carter in a gunboat “The Torpedo”. We had to go as far as Drewry’s Bluff, in a little tug, passed the obstructions in an open boat & took the Torpedo out side. I went all over the batteries on the Bluff with Uncle Smith Lee (who is commanding there you know) & he went down to Shirley with us to dine. I had a very nice visit: One day we went to Berkely & Westdover in a row boat. Annie sent you a great deal of love & is sorry you [are] so hungry & hard worked. You don’t know how sweet & fat little Lizzy is.

Mr. Leigh came down in a buggy to bring me up. The road was so bad the buggy broke down twice & we were out in the rain & darkness a long time. But reached here at least safe & sound.

Papa is here looking very well. He goes to-morrow. I wish you could see him. Custis is very well I don’t see a great deal of him. Binnie Mason has a fine little baby boy more than a week old. I am glad you are so learned in ancient history as to enlarge on the “flight of Xerxes”. I am not surprised at your finding “Butler’s Analogy” hard.

I hope the provisions Capt. [sic] brought were some slight comfort. Do pray don’t let anyone, large or small, tear your dresses. Make them shorter! We hear from Sister frequently but do not think she is able to get you anything.




Source: Photocopy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 g, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Hall, 2018 June 20

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