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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



WHouse New Kent Co: Va:

20 May 1870


My dear Custis


I recd your letter of the 15th yesterday & am glad to hear that all are well with you. I expect to go up to Richmond on Monday next & after having a consultation with Drs Houston, McCoy & Cunningham shall proceed to Lexington. They asked me to give them three days, which if they require that time will not allow me to reach Lexington before the last of the week & should I learn that the canal is navigable, will be in the boat that will arrive on Saturday morg. Otherwise I shall have to try the stage from Goshen that night. I am glad to say that my health is better. I am stronger & free of pain, though still very rheumatic. I found all well here but Tabb who continues unwell, but I hope will improve in a few days. Agnes will go with me to Richmond but threatens to desert me there. Your mother’s plans are not matured, but she will remain here a short time yet. I have been down to Roberts & found his farm much improved. If he had decent buildings on it, he would be quite comfortable. I hope to see you so soon that I will defer my narrative of events till my arrival. Your mother says she recd the check for $15 &c and acknowledged it in one of her letters to the girls which  she hopes has reached them ere this. I am very glad to hear the favourable accounts of Drs Guild &c & am sorry that I missed Mr. Robert Gordon & party. All here unite with me in much love to you the girls & all friends. Thank Mildred for her letter to me & tell her that I feel glad at the prospect of returning so soon. I hope that nothing will occur to delay me or prevent my seeing Mrs Wm H. Smith. George Custis is overmatched by the mice. You must remember me kindly to Major Maynard when you write & thank all my kind friends for their interest in my welfare.

Your affectionate father


R E Lee


Source: Digital scan of original letter, Papers of Robert E. Lee, 1749-1975, Rubenstein Library, Duke University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 May 23




1. George Fletcher Maynard (1829-1879), a native of Richmond, who served as a quartermaster in the Confederate army and died in California after working as a city auditor.

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