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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Savannah 26 Feby, 1862,


And are you really sweet sixteen? That is charming & I want to see you more than ever. But when that will be my darling child I have no idea. I hope after the war is over we may again all be united & I may have some pleasant years with my dear children that they may cheer the remnant of my days. I am very glad to hear that you are progressing so well in your studies & that your reports are so favourable. Your Mother wrote me about them. You must continue to do likewise to the end of the session when I hope you will be able to join your Mother. It has been a long time since I have seen you & you must have grown a great deal. Rob says he is told that you are a young woman. I have grown so old and become so changed that you would not know me. But I love you just as much as ever & you know how great that is. You must remember me to the Powells, your Cousin Manitta[,] Mrs. Barnes, the Carters &c., and tell them how obliged I am for their kindness to you. I hope you appreciate it, & that your manners & conduct are so well regulated as to make your presence & company agreeable to them.  I hope you will be admired and loved by all my friends & acquire the friendship of all the good & virtuous. I am glad that starvation agrees with you so well. You know it is considered vulgar for your ladies to eat, which I suppose is the cause of your abstinence. But do not carry it too far, for you know I do not admire young women to be too thin. Who is so imprudent in Clarke as to get married? I did not think in these days of serious occurrences, that any one would engage in such trivial amusements. This is a serious period indeed, & the time looks dark, but it will brighten again & I hope a kind Providence will yet smile on us & give us freedom & independence. These reverses were necessary to make us brace ourselves for the work before us. We were getting careless & confident & required correction. You must do all you can for our dear country. Pray for the aid of our Father in Heaven, for our suffering soldiers & their distressed families. I pray day & night for you & may Almighty God guide guard & protect you! I have but little time to write my dear daughter. You must excuse my short dull letters write to me when you can & love always your devoted father

R E Lee


P.S.      Thomas Robert Lee De Courcy has turned I fear a little Yankee       REL        




Source: Typescript copy, W. Gordon McCabe Papers, University of Virginia Special Collections, Charlottesville

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 June 12  

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