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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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




7 Aug ‘64


I have recd dear Mary your letter of the 4th & those of Dr. Hughes & Miss Manly. I do not know what you must do about the former. Although I highly appreciate the kindness that prompts his actions yet it is difficult to express it & in this & similar cases impossible to return it except in feeling. That is very unprofitable to the recipients & in present times I fear destructive. I trust God will restore you & enable you to devise some material mode of shewing the appreciation of both of us of his unselfish & untiring attentions. As regards Miss Manly you ought not to have let her undertaken such a labour. I am however extremely obliged to her & her kind colabourers, & impressively touched by the sad thoughts which must have been interwoven with their stitches. May God lighten their sorrows & gladden their hearts by good works. I went up to Richmond friday evg to see the Pres: on matters of business, intending to return Saturday evg as my time was very limited, & business pressing. On going to the depot I found there was no train & I came down early this morg leaving the whole household asleep. I was very glad to get a glimpse at Mary, Custis, Smith, & indeed all the occupants of the house, & was sorry you & your fellow travellers were not there. I only had a glimpse of them though, for I was all the time with the Pres. Little Annie was sick & I only saw her on my first arrival. I was saddened too to hear of the death of our good old Uncle Wms. It was however a great relief to think he was now beyond the reach of his cowardly persecutors the Yankees, & enjoying the mercy of an everloving God, & I trust his pardon & forgiveness. It has been revolting to my feelings when I have thought of his destitute position & the indignities to which he was subjected. He died Saturday morg & was to be buried sunday evg in Richmond by the side of his wife. With the exception of Mrs. Fitzhugh he was the last connecting link to the persons whom I enjoyed in my boyhood & who made my days so happy. I found Mary pretty well. She complained of being weak, was very thin, but in her usual spirits. She seemed to enjoy little Lizzie Wickham as much as Mildred did Custis Morgan. She is indeed a dear little child. I do not think M[ary] will leave R[ichmond]. I think she prefers it. She sees more people, &c. I hope she will keep well. Do not make yourself uneasy. Custis is very well & very kind & affectionate. I was glad to be with Smith too. He looks very badly I think. I hope you have recovered from your fall. It must have been a dreadful blow in your condition. Present my kind regards & warm thanks to the kind people around you. Tell my precious A[gnes] I will reply to her kind letter. Kiss Life for me.

With true affc

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 539, Section 27, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 November 7


1. Williams Carter (1782-1864) was married to Charlotte Foushee Carter (1787-1822). His daughter was Charlotte Georgiana Carter Wickham (1822-1863). He is buried in St. John’s cemetery in Richmond.

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