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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Camp near Hicks Ford

Jan 3d/65


Your letter dear Milly, came upon me this morning just as I was rising from my blankets. I can’t dignify my resting place at night by the name of bed, & you must excuse me but I actually read it before dressing myself, & it was not until I had finished both yours & ma’s that I bethought myself of what a dreadful step I had taken reading a communication from a young Lady “en dishabille.” On the back of your letter was inscribed “Politeness of Mr Garnett” but as that Gentleman had arrived last night & at the time was snugly rolled in his blankets & snoring “What a nice young man he is,” I did not see why you should call my attention to the Politeness of Mr G. However the letter has been read & I am truly grateful that “your leisure time” admitted of your writing. I hardly should suppose that a country presenting the doleful appearance that this does could probably produce hold & rear the schoolmates of my sister & it surprised me to find that there were so many of those dear creatures in this neighborhood. I shall try & get to see them all especially the miss Young who will feed me so well those are the Girls for my money, that is the way to win a young soldiers heart. So if you have any designs on any unsuspecting youth & want to touch his heart, do so by bringing out the “victuals” Excuse the word, The Genl is going to give his Xmas dinner tomorrow to all his officers & I shall be happy for one day at least with the consciousness of having secured enough within me to sustain me. I have not been to see a single soul since I came to the Southside of the James River so you must not think hard of your brother if he neglects your good counsel about visiting. I here [sic] that Norvell Caskie is engaged to Dangerfield Lewis, how about that? I am afraid that ever[y]one is getting ahead of us, you must try & do something for yourself & me to[o] for I have a very poor chance. Remember me to Miss N when you see her & tell her I am very glad that she has left the Navy at any rate though we are going to lose her.

We are all very well here & pretty cheerful. Tell ma that I got the shirts & am very much obliged for them. Give my best love to all my friends & relations to Buff & the Baby

your loving brother

Rob E Lee




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 562, Section 29, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 26             

Meaning to be dressed in a careless manner.

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