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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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


 

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Petersburg      25 Nov ‘64

 

My dear Mary

 

I find that Col: Corley has no socks, you had better write to major Ferguson to send up & get them, weigh & pack them & send them, I suppose the yarn was furnished by Govt, the price of the wool must be charged to the men. On arriving here on the evg of the 23rd. I found we had charged our camp. The house that we were occupying was wanted indeed had been rented by a newly married Couple, & they had ejected Col Taylor that day. We have however a very good abode about 1 ½ miles from Petersburg, south of the Appomattox, belonging to a Mr Turnbull, who had sent his family off for fear of Genl Grant & his missiles. It is dreadfully Cold. I wish I had a good wood to encamp in, where I Could pitch my tent. But there is none convenient. My door will not shut, so that I have a goodly Compy of cats & puppies around my hearth. But I shall rectify that. I hope my poor little Agnes is relieved. Write me word. It made me very sad to leave her suffering. I send to Mildred the notification from the cliosophic society to get her advice on the subject. The only benefit that I could be to their oratory of the fair members would be to exhort them to practice saying “yes,” so as to be prepared for an emergency. I return Miss Ruffins note, which you promised to answer. Tell her the socks fit exactly & are very nice. I am extremely obliged to her. Miss Carrie has been so far away that she has had no opportunity of enjoying Confederate poetry. I therefore send her Mr Caylats last production.1 Tell her she must omit the poetry but accept the intention. I hope daughter well. She must tell Miss Bettie Brander that Col. Marshall is busy having his photograph taken. I do not see what she wants with the original & copy too. Remember me to all the household give much love to my children. I hope you are better & that your pains will soon leave you.             

 

With much affection

Very truly yours

R E Lee

 

 

 

Source: Checked against original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 555, Section 28, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 5       

 

1. Likely referring to Charles E. Caylat, a private in the Washington artillery of Louisiana, which served in the Army of Northern Virginia. Caylat liked to compose songs, such as “Of ‘Bull’s Run’ the 18th; and Masseh the 21st July, 1861," which contained the first verse: “When the Great Judge, Supreme and Just/Shall once inquire for blood/The humble soul who mourns in dust/Shall find a faithful God.” He also composed a broadside called “Southern Victories: Chickahominy, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, Etc.: Warning to All Such Fanatics as Lincoln, Greeley, & Co.” After the war, Caylat returned to Louisiana and lived in New Orleans. He was there for the race riot of December 1866. He lost a daughter in the yellow fever outbreak of 1878. He later lost his job and wound up destitute.

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