<br /> Lee Letter: p001

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Charles Carter Lee

My dear brother Carter

I was very much gratified yesterday at recg your letter of the 5th & pleased to learn the good health of your household & the safe return of Sis-Lucy & Mildred. What did you let them go away from you for? The raiders might have Captured them & taken them to Yankee land. I fear Sis-Lucy did not show much skill in preparing that breakfast, or she Certainly would have been Carried off & Mildred made to bring in the hot Cakes. Do not be uneasy about the location of my Camp. You will be delighted I am sure at the name of the place – “Violet Bank.” Is it not attractive? The shells do sometimes burst over us, but not often, & they have as yet done no harm. Besides where Can we go to get rid of them? They pervade all space for miles & I Cannot be too far away. But Genl Grant has ceased his fire now & taken to digging. He is intrenching strongly in our front & has moved a large force over on “Dutch Gap” on James river & is Cutting a Canal across the neck of land. What use he proposes to make of it when finished I now do not see. He may think he may draw off the water above & thus leave our iron clads high & dry; or having stopped up the natural Channel, he may wish to open a better artificial one. We must be patient Brr. Carter. I suppose he is preparing something to startle us & frighten us out of our propriety. We should however not to have to wait long, for he has a large force at work in reliefs of 600 men each & he will therefore progress rapidly – He has lately paid a visit to Harper’s Ferry & arranged matters to his satisfaction there & was yesterday at the Dutch gap. Our poor Cavy horses suffer especially, much from necessity, more from neglect & ignorance. Your idea of the feed is a good one. I had never thought of it before, & have already given it to the Adjt Genl of the Cavy that he may have it tested. I fear the billeting the horses on the farmers would prove hazardous. We find that guards are necessary these thinning days to secure them. The farmers Could not undertake that. – Your nephews are all well & will be glad to receive your remembrance. I have grieved at the death of our dear Uncle Wms. Yet I take comfort at the thought of his escape from the sorrows of the times & the indignities & oppression of our enemys. He is almost the last to recall to me the happy days of my boyhood. I have heard recently of our dear Cousin Anne. She was well – , unmolested & quiet & R – was looking beautifully – Mary Goldsborough, George & his wife, had gone to St. Catharine’s wells, Canada. Give much love to Sis Lucy, Mildred, the boys, Mrs. Taylor & all with you – Always

your brother

R E Lee

C. C. Lee Esqr.

Notes:

Owned (2005), private hands. Courtesy of Lee Finney.