<br /> Lee Letter: a028

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: – – – –

. . . for $15.00. He was a pretty bay, & was sufficiently broken to be rode. He had not however forgotten his wild habits. On returning to his native plains he became much excited, seemed to know where he was, & one evg just after being unsaddled, made a violent lung, broke his fetters, & away he went. He had come 30 miles that day, had neither eaten or drank, but flew over the prairie like a bird. I mounted a Mexican with his lasso, on my sorrel mare, Minna (not bay Mary) as soon as he could be prepared, & after a chase of five miles, he brought him back. Five days afterwards, when encamped at another water hole, as the men were driving up the animals at sunset to secure them for the night around the wagon. This horse who always gave some trouble, broke from the men, ruptured his hobbles & finding himself free again, took over the prairie. Minna was standing quietly with her lariet loose, looking on. Seeing the horse break for the prairie, she either felt a desire to join him, or thought she must again pursue him. So away she started. I mounted a couple of men on mules to try & turn them, but it was useless. They could not get near them, & darkness soon hid them from sight. Next mng on resuming the journey I left two men behind to search the valley, thinking it possible they might come back for water. But they saw nothing of them. I think it probable the horse continued his journey back to his native fields all night & the mare followed him. Both were thus lost. I am particularly sorry to lose the mare, as she promised to make a fine animal. She was only 4 years old, but strong & fleet, & was becoming very docile. She was half Andalusian & half American. Sorrel, with a star on her forehead, & white right hand foot. I hope she has reached green pastures, & will lead a happier life than in my service. I fear she may fall into the hands of worse masters. I have told you a long story & must now say good bye. God bless you my dear son.

Your affectionate father

R E Lee


Ely-DeButts PapersLibrary of Congress

Transcribed in Francis Raymond Adams, Jr., An Annotated Edition of the Personal Letters of Robert E. Lee, April, 1855 – April, 1861, pp. 129 – 30. The first part of this document is missing.