• The Lees of Virginia
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  • 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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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Warm springs August 16th [1863]

 

I am quite in despair of hearing from you again, my dear Mild & therefore commence this letter to tell you I have left the Hot without any very visible improvement except a slight relaxation in one knee. altho I took the baths most faithfully every day I am going now to try the warm & have taken rooms here, for a month we have a delightful cottage with a portico all around covered with beautiful vines & roses & looking upon a meadow full of Haycocks & a clear stream running thro’ it & very near the bath which is one of the finest in the world. I wish you were here with us now we are so comfortably fixed. Mary & Agnes have each a room opening into mine, mountains all around. The fare is tolerable corn & tomatoes & plainly of rice vegetables & some kind of dessert every day. I do hope I may get better here for I have suffered greatly of late especially at night.

We have heard from Custis that Roon was doing very well walking about on crutches & there is some prospect of his being exchanged.1 Indeed I wish he could be on Charlotte’s account as her health is very delicate, she has been quite sick, ever since she came to the mountains & has had a Dr attending her. He pronounced the Hot a bad place for her so she has gone to the Bath Alum with Anne Leigh & has been sick since she got there. Rob has gone back to the army & I very well he went on horseback & called at H Hill & Julia almost jumped out of her skin with joy. They write word they miss us all dreadfully there & long for our return only hoping the young ladies would not have as much work to do next time. We left Mr Caskie at the Hot improving daily but much distressed at the Proprietor saying he would close the Hotel next Wednesday. However he intended to see if he could not remain as a sort of private boarder. Norvell is still in Richmond. 19th another mail & no letter from you a little note from Mr Caskie this morning. He has prevailed upon the Proprietor to allow him to remain & furnish him from his own private table. The rest of the boarders have come over here so this place is getting quite full. Agnes & Mary have gone to Bath & talks of writing to you but I think it doubtful if she does for altho’ there is no amusement here & but few persons they know they never seem to have time for anything. I hope you are improving yet, & have a more systematic arrangement of it. I send you your papa’s last letter. Take care of it. We have had a sudden change of the weather & it is now as cool here as October but bright & delightful. How is it with you? I hope some of your old friends have returned & that you are enjoying yrself with them. I have just completed my new calio, lined all thro’ body & sleeves & made Garibaldi fashion & find is very comfortable this cool weather. Agnes too has just finished her domestic she has made it too in the Garibaldi style only very close around the neck & it looks very well. I hope you have a great comfort in all your dresses            

 

My dear Mildred

 

Mamma insists upon my “finishing off” off [sic] this half sheet & even deprives herself of the great pleasure of writing, in order that I may not commence on a fresh one. So you must not imagine that I am anxious to curtail the length of my epistle. In truth, there is but little matter here or anywhere that I have been since we parted, to make a letter of any size interesting & Raleigh would, I am sure, furnish more “materiel” than either the “Hot” or the “Warm.” Of course Mamma has told you of our sufferings at the former & has got on to the latter place, where we are comfortably established in a charming cottage, surrounded by pretty [illegible] & embosomed in shrubbery. My great source of enjoyment is the bath in which I luxuriate everyday. Agnes is making considerable progress in broidering but I am too weak, & too easily exhausted to do much in that line without the assistance of a plank. There are a good many people here, principally soldiers & invalids, with a few ladies & children. We like long walks up the mountains every day, & gather quantities of blackberries, huckleberries & green apples, but there is as usual very little fruit in this region, & I have not seen a peach this year. How do you like school this session & who did you determine on for an alcove mate? Could you find me small enough? I hope you are studying very hard & making the most of your last year. Do pay particular attention to your music in spite of your indifferent teacher. I suppose I know none of the boarders so I will not send my love. Agnes is dressing to take a horseback ride with Mr Peter Wainwright. The half sheet is filled so I must stop. Write to me very soon & believe me ever your affect Sister

Marielle

 

Source; Checked against original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 472, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 12

 

 

 

 

Source: Photocpy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 472, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 16

 

 

1. William Henry Fitzhugh Lee had been wounded during the battle of Brandy Station and captured while he was recovering in Ashland, Virginia.

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