• 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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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 curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Hd Qrs Cav. Camp

25th Sept 64


Your last letter, my dear mother, was duly received. I am glad to hear that your general health is so good & still hope & pray for your ultimate relief from your grievous complaint. You have truly suffered. I am afraid Dr. Hughes1 is not what he represents himself to be. Still if his medicines do you no harm, he is better than the other [illegibile]

I am sorry that you seem to be dissatisfied with Uncle’s disposition of his property. I do not think he could have done otherwise. I certainly do not wish him to differently. I would not at this time be bothered with Negroes for any consideration.

I have no desire for more of this world’s goods than I already have. If she could have lived it would have been different. My only wish is for the welfare of yourself my family & country.

I deeply feel for your exhortations to ‘lay up for yourself treasures in heaven” would be to God I could feel a certainty that I would join her there!

I saw Papa a few days ago. He was quite well but still in his tent. If he continues to live in a tent, he will certainly injure his health & perhaps endanger his life, which is so essential to our safety.

Rob is looking very well & has entirely recovered from his wound. He has trimmed out his beard & looks quite [words missing]

give much family news

[illegible] His was [illegible] in August

I see that the cars are now arriving to Fredericksburg, which will be a great improvement [rest of letter missing]




1. Dr. Alfred Hughes was born on 1824 September 16 in Wheeling, Virginia [now West Virginia]. He was a doctor of homeopathic medicine who attended Philadelphia’s Homeopathic Medical College. Early in the war, he was arrested by Federal authorities for his support for the Confederacy, but he was released and took up residence in Richmond. One of his patients was Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee. Hughes became a member of the Virginia legislature later in the war, and he volunteered to take up arms during the Dahlgren raid of 1864. He was an advocate for the enlistment of African American soldiers into the army, though the measure was not carried out until the last weeks of the war. After Lee’s defeat, Dr. Hughes moved to Baltimore, where he died and was buried in 1880. 



Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 546, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 January 22    

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