• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 5 Sept ‘64

My dear Mary

                I recd by Rob yesterday your letter of the 3rd. I am glad to learn from him that your general health is improving & that you are enabled to continue your rides without pain. I hope your general health will produce at least some relaxation of your particular Complaint & that the approaching Fall will entirely renovate your strength. As to your future residence it is difficult to speak with any degree of certainty as to what will be best. The usual uncertainty attending all things in this world is increased by the Condition of the war. Our enemies say they will certainly have Richmond before long, in which event it will be better for you to be away. I enclose a check on the C.S. Treasury for $800 which you Can get when you desire. Bevy Codwise is not with me at present. He & some of his comrades went to the Valley some time since to procure horses to remount themselves & I have heard they were all captured. I do not know that it is true. I Called to see the Caskies yesterday on my way to the Presidents & saw Mrs C. & Miss N. Mrs C. was in her room unwell. Nearly every one is said to be out of town. I miss you all very much when I come to R. & thus lose my only pleasure attending my visit. It is excessively hot. Miss Annie & Lizzie are very well & the former very sweet. The father of the latter came to see her yesterday & in consideration of a candy douceur she recd him very graciously. She is as interesting as ever. Mrs Davis showed me her baby yesterday, which is a remarkably fine one. I hope Mary will fatten up now under the generous feeding which Robt describes as practiced at Bremo[1] & that Precious Life will find the means assuaging her appetite. Tell her she must write sometimes to her Pa’a. Tell Agnes Miss Sallie W is not very well, so she says, & that she Can not see me. Custis is remarkably well & so is Rob. The sight of them is a great comfort to me. I return to my Camp today. I Came up on some business which I fear I Cannot accomplish. The fall of Atlanta is a blow to us, which is not very grievous & which I hope we will soon recover from. Present my Kind regards to Dr & Mrs Cocke & all the family. Give much love to the girls & believe me always yours

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 544, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Katie Gibson, 2017 August 22


[1] Bremo plantation in Fluvanna County, Virginia, was built by John Hartwell Cocke in 1808. Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee stayed at the plantation during the war, where she suffered a serious fall. The Lees later stayed in the home for a brief time after the war. The home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

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