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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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


 

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Richmond, Va.

May 2, 1862

 

My Dear Mother:

 

Your note of yesterday was handed to me last evening by Mr. Jeter, and I will attend to your commissions though I doubt whether you will get the articles.

You need not trouble yourself further about Meredith’s clothes, as they have evidently been lost.1 I don’t think it is worth while sending marketing to us unless you have a very good opportunity, although the last sent arrived safely and even distributed as you desired.

On any day you may be without our lines and within those of the enemy; what is to become of you and the girls God only knows and to his care and protection we must confide you. How you are to obtain funds when cut off from us, is a question that disturbs me greatly. I would feel much easier if you would all come here and go further south; but I presume you will not do so. It is not now do [sic] late, think well of it.

The Abraham Waricks [sic] left town some time ago. I believe the Corbin Waricks [sic] are to remain.2 We have hard times before us, but by the help of God we will pull through in time; and should He order otherwise, must endure to the end of life without faltering. We have shown but little enterprise and activity in this war so far, have been always too slow, too late, relying too much upon others  and not enough upon our own exertions. When we are driven from all our cities and take to the field in reality, I trust we will do better. I trust we may have the fortitude to bear whatever may befall us as becomes a Christian and brave people. You had best move at once, and not linger until the last moment when the roads may be blocked with waggons and troops. Whatever you may determine upon do at once. Pa’ sends much love and says he is not surprised that you have not moved, but will be to learn that you have.

With love to all and prayers for your health, happiness and safety, I remain as ever,

Your devoted son

Custis

 

P.S. I enclose an extra which gives all the news I have to tell

 

 

 

 

1. Meredith was one of the Lee family's slaves, who worked as a body servant during the war.

2. Abraham Warwick (1794-1877) was a native of Richmond. His older brother was Corbin Warwick (1792-1877).

 

 

 

Source: Photocopy of original letter, James Lewis Howe Papers, James Graham Leyburn Library Special Collections, Washington and Lee University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 December 7  

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