<br /> Lee Letter: a073

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee

Our mail dearest Mary, arrived from San Antonio a few days since but brought no letter from you. I hope it was not caused by indisposition, or your inability to write, & that you are at least no worse than hitherto. The late cold Spring we have had here, makes me fear it has been equally unpropitious with you, & that you may have suffered more than ordinary on account of the unseasonable & rapid changes of weather. Yesterday for instance I was in my white linen coat & shirt all the afternoon, & the thermometer in my tent with the walls raised & a fine breeze blowing through it, stood at 89°. I could not bear a blanket at night, but about 12 oclock, a Norther came roaring down the valley of the Clear Fork, & made all my blankets necessary. This mng fires & overcoats are in fashion again, & we have an excess of Compy, to enjoy them. You must know a Genl Court Martial has been convened here, for the trial of Lt Eagle 2nd Cavy, who has been charged with some breach of discipline during my absence. I am Pres: of the Court I am sorry to say; Col: Bainbridge, Major Thomas, Major Van Dorn, Major Paul, Capt King & others whom you do not know, members. I have pitched a couple of tents by the side of mine for Major & Mrs Thomas, for she has accompanied him again, & they are to take their meals with me. The Major can fare as I do, but I fear she will fare badly, for my man Kremer is both awkward & unskilled. I can however give her plenty of bread & beef, but with the exception of the preserved vegetables & fruits, I fear I can give her little else. I sent yesterday to the settlements below & got a few eggs some butter & 1 old hen. The latter I shall not inflict on her. The game is poor now &out of season, & we are getting none of it. In my next I shall be better able to tell you how I get on with my entertainments. The only letter of much interest that reached me by the last mail, was one from Custis, of the 29th March, which was very satisfactory in all but the little prospect of his being able to accompany you to the Springs the coming Summer, as he thought his work would be continued under the new appn [appropriation] throughout the Summer & he would be unable to leave it. The local news, of Savannah & its inhabitants, I suppose he has acquainted you with. I will not therefore repeat it. He seemed to think that Lt Whiting, who by this time was to have been married, would not take charge of the work at Amelia Isd, & that some change would be necessary in consequence of the death of Major Dutton. I see however that Col DeRussy is ordered from California to take charge of the works on the Delaware assigned to Dutton, & presume no change will be made in the orders or destination of Lt Whiting. I still hope therefore that Custis may visit you some time this Summer.

You must give much love to your father Markie & all the children & remembrances to all friends. I only write to take advantage of the opportunity & as I have nothing particularly to say & am much engaged will close. I pray God to guard & bless you all

Very truly & sincerely yours

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. 334 – 36.