• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Near Fredg       11 April ’63


My precious little Agnes

I was very glad to receive your note of the 5th & should have been Still more pleased to have Seen you, had you & Custis Come up as proposed. I Could have given you better accommodation than I could in Camp, Seeing that I have a large room with three beds in it. The Smallest I occupy so that you & Custis Could each have had a large high post double bed, with canopy & valence. You would have slept magnificently, & I should have enjoyed “the balmy” by double proxy. For you Know what Confidence I have in the powers of my children. You would have soon made me well, for you Could have taken all my pills, &c., & Kept the doctors off me. But when you come you must leave your troops behind. I am too weak to stand the knocks & bruises they occasion. My pins are remarkably unsteady at this time, & the vigour & violent movements of young women might Knock them from under me. But you are such a little Gad Agnes, always flitting about, how do you ever expect to see me, or to be stationary anywhere? I do not see how you can tear yourself from Miss Sallie. Still I am glad you can visit your friends. Keep in the open air. Take all the exercise you can, & throw off the neuralgia if possible. If you would ask Mrs. B.[Braxton] to give you a hoe & let you go into the cornfield, she will be doing you a great Service, & you might make a few bushels of corn, & thereby benefit your Country. I am very glad to hear that Mrs. Tucker has been so kind as to give you a balmoral. I hope it will be of great service to you & ward off all harm until peace is restored when I hope I can have you with me again. If you have an opportunity tell Miss Hattie Powell that I duly recd her pretty present, & acknowledged it at the earliest opportunity & directed the letter according to her address. I am much better. I am able to ride out every day, & now that the weather has become good, I hope I shall recover my strength. My pulse is still about 90 the Drs say, too quick for an old man, but I hope the fresh air & exercise will reduce it soon. Mr. & Mrs. Yerby are very kind & their house is a fair type of the Virginia mansion. There are two or three families residing here at present & there are two young ladies in the establishment who attract the beaux. I am very much in my room. Perry brings me my meals So I am prevented from scaring off the young men & only show myself in passing out & in the house. I am longing to get back to my camp but the Drs prohibit it yet awhile. You know how pleased I am at the presence of strangers. What a cheerful mood their company produces. Imagine then the expression of my face & the merry times I have. Give much love to your mother, & remember me to all friends. If you get to Shirley tell Cousin N[annie] I wish I Could get there. I should soon be well

Very truly your father

R E Lee



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 443, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 January 31

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