<br /> Lee Letter: a069

Washington and Lee University

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

I acknowledged in my last dearest mary yours & Marys joint epistle of the 7th Inst: Since that I have recd from San Antonio your letter of the 4th. I now enclose my check No 125, of this date to your order, on the Bank of Commerce in New York for $200.00 which I hope will be sufficient with the funds in your hands, & those you can collect from coupons payable in April & June already mentioned for Summer excursion. I will send to Fitzhugh his last quarterly allowance for this term, & in my next will send you the drafts for the July dividends of the Virginia banks, which you can draw for, on the Br Farmers bank of Alexa while away, should you get short of funds. The Court I think will get through with its business tomorrow. I understand the steamer leaves for New Orleans this mng: I therefore take advantage of it to write, but have little time. The session of the Court has been much shorter than I anticipated. In fact the matter presented has not been very serious, & the evidence meager. Major Thomas anticipating a long sojourn brought down Mrs T & not knowing what to do with his servants, brought them too. Cook, dining room servant, &c. Mrs Thomas was telling me last evg of her troubles in relationship to her womenkind. She brought two sisters from New Orleans, under the obligation to remain in her service for two years. One of them has become enamoured of a soldier at Fort Mason, & has engaged herself to marry him. Col Taylor informs me that his two women whom he brought with him, one had been his cook at Fort McHenry many years & the other he brought from Cincinnati, are both married to soldiers at Fort Brown. One was married without his knowledge about a fortnight after his arrival. The other since I left there. It seems we have our troubles wherever we are, & cannot escape them. My servants have informed me they cannot go back to Camp Cooper. It is too dreary. I tried to replace them in San Antonio, as I came through, but could not. I have been equally unsuccessful in this place. Indeed I tried on the Rio Grande for they notified me before leaving Camp Cooper last Fall. I must pick up someone on my return to San Antonio. I believe I have given you an account of all the ladies of the Court & gentlemen too. There is little else to speak of here except the camels, which arrived last from the East. There are 43. Big & little. I saw one of them yesterday lie down to be packed. Two bales of cotton, each weighing 500 Lbs. making 1000 lbs in the whole, were packed on him, & he rose & walked off with great ease. Thirty of them start today to join the advance party now at Camp Verde. Those that remain here, have not recovered sufficiently from their sea voyage for the journey.

You must give much love to your father, Markie, Mary & all the children. Childe, Fitzhugh & Marie if with you.

Direct to me at San Antonio as usual. I shall continue my journey to Camp Cooper on my arrival there. God bless you all.

Truly & affy

R E Lee

Notes:

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. 317 – 19.