• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 Culpepper 27 July 1863

                I have heard my precious daughter that you have returned to your school. I cannot tell you how I regret not having seen you. I had looked forward to your vacation with so much pleasure this summer in the hope of seeing you a little while at least. But it is past & I am disappd. I wanted to see how you were, how you looked & whom you resemble. Have you no photograph of yourself that you Could send one. I am glad however that you have returned to school for your sake. I think it is the best Course you Could have pursued. I hope you will be able to learn a great deal this year & by the next that there will be peace over the land & that we shall all be together when I can enjoy the happiness of being once more with you. I long for that time very much & pray that we may all be long united in this world & forever in the next. I heard from your mother on her way to the Hot springs, the day she started from Ashland. She had got that far very well & her prospects for a Comfortable journey were good. I trust that she may be relieved from her great affliction & at last find ease. I hope in deed all may be benefited & especially that Charlotte & Agnes may be cured, the one of debility & the other of neuralgia. I suppose sister had a great [words have been cut out] sufferings of our poor [words have been cut out] extends pretty much [words have been cut out] make up our minds to bear it. I saw some of your acquaintances in the valley who enquired particularly after you, particularly Miss Sally Dandrige & Miss Fanny Mc___ of Smithfield. I have forgotten her name but her mother was a Miss Nelson. She said she was a great friend of yours & that you had once accompanied her home during some holy day. I saw her mother also & Dr Nelson &c &c. Poor Winchester has been terribly devastated & the inhabitants plundered of all they possessed; Mr James Masons residence has been torn down to the ground. Scarcely one brick stands upon another & a pile of rubbish rests upon the hill on which it stood; I hope you will have time to write to me sometimes, for though I have little time to reply, I shall enjoy the perusal of your letters very much. You must tell me how you found your mother Charlotte sisters & Rob. I suppose Rob thinks himself almost a man now. I hope you had a pleasant visit to Virginia & that you have carried back with you pleasant thoughts & reflections. My only pleasure is to think of your mother & my children. May God bless you my dear daughter, strew your path in that world with every happiness & finally gather you & all of us to his mansions of bliss in heaven is my daily & hourly prayer! Tell me of your companions; your roommate, studies, occupations &c. All that concerns you will be interesting.

[Close of letter missing]



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 467, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 August 1

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