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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp Fredg 31 May 1863

            I have been trying all the week my dear Mary to write to you. But have been unable. You must always remember when you do not hear from me that I have no time to write, & have nothing particular to say. I am very glad to hear that you are even a little better. I trust your improvement will Continue & that you will attain your usual Comfortable condition. That will be a great relief for which I shall be fervently thankful to our Heavenly father. I told you you would not be satisfied with the Photographs. I should indeed like very much to see Mildred on her return from school, both for the pleasure it would give me, & also that I might better form an opinion as to her future Course. But where I may be then, or what may be the condition of things cannot say. I shall leave it therefore to you & Custis. I think I can trust the discretion of the latter in this case. I enclose a very Complimentary letter from Dr Smedes. I have been extremely gratified at his account of her progress & deportment. As far as  I can now judge I think she had better return for I do not see what better she can do in the present unsettled state of affairs. I am sorry indeed that Mr C is deprived of the services of Arthur. He has doubtless gone to the enemy. Young Toler is very well.  I have seen him since the last battle, on the battlefield. Beverly C I can hear nothing of. I should like to know where he is. I have recd a letter from Charlotte. She was at Culpepper CtHouse very comfortable & happy. Had seen the review & all the Genls & had much to say about F. It was written in pencil so I suppose ink is scarce. F & R were both well & according to C[harlotte] looked uncommonly handsome at the review. Tell Miss N[orvell]. about R. Give my kindest regards to Mr & Mrs Caskie. I hope they are all well & Miss Nannie Hutchinson also. Genl Hooker has been very busy the past week & equally active. He has not said what he intended to do but has given out by his movements that he designs crossing the Rappk. I think we shall hear from Genl Stoneman next week also. I hope we may be able to frustrate their plans in part if not in whole. He has Genl Heintzelman with him now on whom the northern papers seem to place great reliance & his Corps of veterans of 30,000 men. I pray that our merciful father in heaven may protect & direct us. In that case I fear no odds & no numbers. Kiss Agnes for me & Custis. I hope the Presidents health is improving, though I suppose he cannot feel better as long as this uncertainty hangs over Vicksburg. May God bless us with a victory there too! Genl Ewell came up day before yesterday with his wife son & daughter. He looks very well & is very stout of heart. Mrs E[well] & daughter I think returned to Richmd yesterday. God bless you my dear Mary. Truly yours

R E Lee   




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 455, Section 22, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Nicholas Tarchis, 2017 June 1

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