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 It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online.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



Lexington Va 20 July 1866


My dear Mary

I was glad to receive your note this morg, & wish it Could have reported a marked improvement in your health. But that I trust will come in time. It has been impossible for me to return to you this week, & indeed I do not see how I can absent myself at all. I shall endeavour to go to the Baths Monday & hope during the week you may be able to determine whether it would be more advantageous for you to remain there or go farther, as I shall have to return here as soon as I can. I can accomplish nothing while absent. Custis has determined to accompany Mr Harris to the W. Sulphur Monday, & the girls seem indifferent about leaving home. They ask properly what is to become of it? Mr. Peirre [sic] Chouteau,1 Son of Julia Gratiot & Charles Chouteau, will hand you this. He will remain over Sunday at the Baths, & can tell you all about St. Louis. I send such letters as have come for you. I have no news. The heat seems to extend every where, but it will be Cool enough after a time. We are as usual, except that aunt Caroline seems more overcome, & Harriet indulges in the lighter attire. I fear Mrs. Myers had an awful time.

The Elliotts do not Seem in haste to leave town. They are waiting for a cool day to go to the natal bridge, & do not seem to have decided whether to go to the Baths or Alum springs. We had an arrival last evg from the latter place, Genl Colquitt2 & daughters. They return tomorrow. The girls will write of domestic matters. I recd a letter from Rob to day at Romancoke. He is still taking chologogue [sic]3 but well. Nothing of interest has occurred.

Affy yours

R E Lee    




1. Pierre Chouteau (1849-1910) was the son of Julia Augusta Gratiot Chouteau (1824-1895) and Charles Pierre Chouteau (1819-1901), a St. Louis family.

2. Alfred H. Colquitt (1824-1894), who commanded Georgia troops during the Civil War. Later, he became governor of Georgia.

3. Cholagogue was a medicine used to help purge bile from the system.



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c, Section 31, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 March 29 

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