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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Richmond 7th [1863 June]


My dear little Mild

Why have you not written to me. I have been expecting either to see or hear from you every day this week & begin to feel very uneasy, lest you should be sick especially now that I am so helpless & unable to write you & then your brother Rob came very unexpectedly having been sent by Fitzhugh to take Charlotte to H. Hill. I should have written to you as soon as he came but He said he could not stay, but has been delayed here from different causes until this morning when he went off. He has been wishing so much that you would come. you said you only expected to stay a week at Mr Cooks & Monday it will have been two since you got there. If it had not been for Rob’s visit I should have been perfectly willing for you to stay as long as you wished tho’ I was so anxious to see you, now I fear you will not see him as the cavalry are about to move. indeed some of them have moved already. Do write immediately if you have not already done so & tell me all your plans. I have already told you what to do in case you arrive in Richmond without giving us notice. If we hear in time your brother will meet you at the cars. Rob looks very well, has an incipient moustache & military pants & jacket. He has not yet got a uniform coat. His papa gave him Grace Darlings1 colt which is now a fine horse & he has bought another black mare so that he has two horses & a servant a boy he took from Romancoke. Danger2 is in town so you would have seen him too. He is appointed a Major in Jenkins Cavalry in western Virginia. There is no news here but many flying rumors. Miss Lizzie Beverley brought me a letter she had got yesterday from Sarah Turner giving a long account of poor Tom’s death & the brutality of the Yankees. I will keep it till you come. Jane & Millie Randolph were there. you must write to Janie & I will try & get your letter through. I have not heard from your sister lately but expect she will be able to come out soon, I heard Ada was to be married immediately to Willy Randolph3 you must remember me most truly to your kind friends at Mr Cooks. Do the young ladies return to Raleigh. I have a letter from your papa in which he says he thinks it is best you should do so, & why delay till the Session is half over. If the Miss Cooks are going back you might go there when I start for the Spring & return with them. Dr Smedes wrote to your papa speaking of you in very complimentary terms. I have the letter which your papa sent me. He was much gratified with it I have a recipe which is said to be an infallible cure for rheumatism. I tried to get the materials at Shirley but did not succeed.

Possibly none of the servants at Mr Cooks could get them & you could pay them I suffer so much & nothing I have taken here seems to afford me the slightest releif [sic] I can not walk a single step without crutches & very few with them. I send you the materials if you could have them got & boiled down for me & put in black bottles & brought here I could add the whiskey & molasses here but I send the whole recipe perhaps. Mrs Cook may like to keep it. Do try & get the materials for me. Norvell sends her love & is very sorry you have not come all this time as she is going into the country on Monday to stay some time with a young friend. I have nothing new as I suppose you have heard of Genl Ewell’s marriage.4 I am afraid your hope of getting your sister off your hands is rather faint unless she has picked up a beaux in King George. I enclose a sweet little note from cousin Anne. Do exert yourself if you get this letter in time to procure those barks for us, & have them boiled down

All here send love yr affectionate mother MC Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 336, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 May 3



1. Grace Darling was Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse, which he had before the war and during the early years of the Civil War. She was captured by the Federals in the spring of 1862. Her colt, which Rob took, he rode for the rest of the war.

2. Henry Llewellyn Dangerfield Lewis (1841-1893). He was a Virginian who served in both the cavalry and the infantry.

3. William Welford Randolph (1837-1864) was from Clarke County, Virginia. His parents were Robert Carter Randolph (1808-1887) and Lucy Nelson Wellford Randolph (1810-1882). He was killed at the battle of the Wilderness. He was the husband of Ada Marian Stuart Randolph (1841-1914), with whom he had one child.

4. Richard Ewell was married to Lizinka Campbell Brown on 1863 May 26. She was his first cousin, who had nursed him when he was wounded.

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