• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 Petersburg 24 July ‘64

I recd this morg dear Mary your note of the 21st & am rejoiced to hear of your daily improvement. You must present my grateful thanks to Dr & Mrs Cocke for their kindness to you & my sincere wishes for their health & prosperity. Mrs Shippen near whom I am encamped (the lady whom I mentioned to you as having suffered so much from articular rheumatism & which left her after a severe attack of pneumonia) says that she applied stimulating applications to her joints as she was recovering, that if she had not have done so she thinks they would have become rigid again. She was so weak as to be unable to stand & of course could not walk for some time, but her joints remained flexible. I do not know whether you apply anything to your joints or not. Red pepper was a large ingredient in the application she used & I think she mentioned having used Belledona ointment. Custis has spent a night with me since your departure & yesterday Fitzhugh & Robert paid me a visit. They all were very well. I was very uneasy the morg after your departure from Richmond & I was fearful that you would be caught in its suffer. How did you manage? Fitzhugh had recd your letter written before your departure with the gloves, of which he said he stood much in need. Mrs Baker is Correct, the ladies of P[etersburg] have sent me a nice sett [sic] of shirts. They were given to me by Mrs Jan: R. Branch & her mother Mrs Thos: Branch. In fact they have given every thing which I fear they Cannot spare, vegetables, bread, milk, ice cream &c. To day one sent me a nice peach, the first & only one I have seen I think for two years. I sent it to Mrs Shippen. Mr Platt held service again to day under the trees near my Camp. We had quite a large Congregation of Citizens, ladies & gentlemen & our usual number of soldiers. During the service I Constantly heard the shells crashing around the houses of Petersburg. Tell Life I send her a letter from one of her friends which I hope gives good account of Custis Morgan. It was imprudent in the winter to send it to my Care as it has prolonged its journey. I also send her a song composed by a french soldier. As she is so learned in that language, I want her to send me a reply in verse. Kiss the girls for me & believe, always yours

R E Lee


Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 537, Section 27, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 July 18

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