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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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

 

March [no day] 1865

 

My darling Agnes

The last two days of good weather have enabled me to find a dry spot in which I can unfold my paper as well as my thoughts & I forthwith present them to you. I am afraid they are worth very little, for a more illhumored individual could not be found than your brother Robert since his departure from Richmond, for just think how I might have stayed with perfect ease & have been of more use or at least a[s] much to my country there as here. The Yankee army have been completely waterbound since we started back &now the good weather is coming & there is not the slightest chance of my getting even a very small leave.

Genl Grant we know is very anxious to move against our right; & is already, only waiting for the roads to become passable. Every thing happens for the best so I have been told & who knows but that something dreadful might have happened to me if I had stayed in R. I might have eaten to[o] much talked too much or enjoyed myself too much might have fallen in love with some one or other who knows? nobody of course so I am going to try & take “life easy as it goes” & I only wish I had the means & opportunity to buy of Smith & Bros my spring & summer clothes? We did’nt stop very long & Genl Robts but went on that night to “Burnt Quarter” Mrs Gelhams1 & stayed until after dinner the next day. We had a delightful time, found that most of the party whom we knew were still there & they really seemed glad to see us & fed us right royally. Always my dear sister be glad to see people if you possibly can there is nothing that you can do which will give them greater enjoyment. The next morning we employed our time playing Blindman’s Bluff & all Kind games in the Parlor walked out of with the young ladies sat down to a splendid dinner which was very much desired.

when we got up took as last leave of the “Girls” (for they were all going away in two or three days & we did not expect to see them again for a long time) & left & immediately regretted that we had not stayed in Richmond & made that remark in a most melancholy tone about ever mile on our stormy wet journey to camp. So you see we did not forget you all & I have been thinking that I never enjoyed myself more in Richmond than I did in those two days.

Will you please ask Mary to write me about my clothes. She can ask Major Cox to find out whether they can be made now or not & let me know whether Sam Rice got those trimmings & what they came to.           

We move tomorrow nearer to Petersburg in anticipation of the enemy’s moving out. Don’t let Sheridan get my trunk. Give my best love to ma & the girls, cousins Margaret & Carrie included & to sweet Shirley tell him I got his letter & will do myself the pleasure of answering it shortly

I will expect that weekly effusion from Milly soon as Sunday is her day for doing it. How is her finger?

Remembrances to all friends from your

Brother Rob

 

 

 

Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 584, Section 29, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 26            

 

1. Burnt Quarter is a colonial era plantation house in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. It was the scene of the battle of Five Forks in April 1865. Lee might be referring to the Gilliam family, who resided there.

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