White House

New Kent C. H. P.O.

26th Sepr 66


My dear Agnes,

I am sorry to have been so long in answering yours of the 4th, for I desire to give every encouragement, in my power, to any attempt at correspondence on the part of my sisters.

Rob spent Sunday with me and we both concluded that our sisters care very little for us, or else their time was monopolized by some eligible candidates for matrimony. We both agreed that if there was chance any show of ‘game’ we could console ourselves “that our loss was their gain”, but as all their efforts so far proving fruitless we thought that some of their time might be bestowed upon us. Rob said he had heard nothing from home for a long time & was very eager for news, which I gave him, to the extent of my ability. I wrote to ma a few days ago & gave her all the neighbourhood news. Dr. Garlicks engagement is the principal topic of conversation. What think you? It would have been pleasant to have had a sister so near. I have seen none of your Richmond friends but Baldwin. I cured him with chologne. He was very sick with bilious fever. He now looks upon me as the greatest Dr. of the age. We are very sickly here just now but so far I have escaped. I heard of your remaining at the baths through the Harrisons. I hope you have regained your health, as well as having had a pleasant summer. I should like so much to see dear cousin Markie again. Her lot in life seems to have been a very hard one. She must have enjoyed seeing you all again.

I can’t hear a word from Custis. What has become of him? Does miss Phoebe still hold him in Cumberland? When I asked my dear Rob to guess who was to be married & told him he would never think of the right person. He at once said that Custis was the man.

I am very much interested in my saw/mill. To day an ambulance filled with Ladies and children white and black, paid me a visit. They had heard the whistle and came to see the show. I did the honors and refreshed them with cool water from the well, and they went off much pleased.

I don’t mind the days, as I am busily occupied but the nights are dreadful.

You must give my love to all, and thank Miss Mary for her note, which I should answer shortly. Ask Mildred if she still stands upon the pinnacle of offended dignity.

Your aff. brother

W. H. F. Lee            




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

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 April 19