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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Fredg 12 April 1863

            My dear Mary

            I recd your note of the 7th by Capt Caskie enclosing Mildreds. The report of her studies is very gratifying, & embraces a large area. I hope she may understand them all. But poor little Lifes wardrobe seems to be very scant. What can be done for her? I have some socks & other garments with which I can supply her & can lend her a long pair of boots that cover up a great deal of space. She could hang over some drapery which would make her Comfortable. I think she will have to come up to the Army where we are accustomed to short commons every way & scant wardrobes are fashionable. She had better set to work I think & make something for I suppose that  is the only way it can be obtained. I am much better my Cough is not annoying, pulse declining & I am free of pain. I hope in a few days I shall be as well as ever, though that I fear will not be a very elevated standard. Still I am very thankful for the condition I have attained. I hope you are better & that you will be able to pay your visit to Hickory Hill, though I fear you are hardly in a condition to travel. We shall now have to leave those things to the young Mrs. Lee & you & I will have to find some spot, if that is possible, from which we shall only be required to make one more journey. The Revd Mr Lacy held service within about a mile of me to day, but I was unable to attend, fearing to stand out in the open air, though the day was mild & bright. I had my solitary prayers in my own room & enjoyed a sermon sent me from Hampden Sydney College, preached by the Revd Mr Dabney in commemoration of the death of Lt Carrington. It was a beautiful discourse, & the character he drew of Lt C. was delightful to see. He was killed in the battles around Richmond Fraziers farm. How many noble martyrs have laid down their lives on the altar of their Country, I recd a letter from Charlotte the other day & am glad to find she was so well & cheerful. She was so full of telling me of Fitzhugh, that the she told me nothing of herself, or even where she was & where she was going to be. I cannot therefore write to her. I enclose a letter to Agnes, whom I suppose has gone to Mrs Braxtons. You must keep it till her return. As to the Gondolier Coat I do not know what to do with it. I cannot afford to carry about a coat to sleep in & another to wear. I have to make one do for both purposes. If you can find some one that is in actual need you had better give it to them. I hope Mr Caskie will soon be able to take the field & perhaps it may suit his purposes. Spring seems at last to have opened upon us. The ground has dried amazingly. The grass is springing. I suppose I shall soon hear from Gen Hooker. Give much love to every body & believe me always yours

            R E Lee



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 444, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Nicholas Tarchis, 2017 June 1  

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