Stratford Hall and the Lees Connected with Its History, by Frederick Warren Alexander, Sixth Generation

Stratford Hall and the Lees Connected with Its History


Samuel Phillips Lee.

SAMUEL Phillips 6, second child of Francis Lightfoot 5 (Richard Henry 4, Thomas 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born at “NUTTY,” Fairfax County, February 13, 1812. Entering the Navy at an early age, he spent almost his entire life in the service of his country; a brief resume can only be given here:

He was appointed Midshipman from Virginia, November 22, 1825; ordered to ship-of-war “Hornet,” West India Station, February 7, 1827; ordered to line-of-battle-ship, “Delaware,” and transferred to the Mediterranean as Captain’s Aid to frigate “Java” August 24, 1827; ordered to Norfolk School, Virginia, October 16, 1830. Promoted to Past-Midshipman, June 4, 1831, and ordered to Navy Yard, Boston, July 28, 1831. Ordered to frigate “Brandywine,” Pacific Squadron, as Second Master, and transferred to the “Vincennes” as Acting Lieutenant and additional navigator, April 17, 1834. Promoted to Lieutenant, February 9, 1837; ordered to Exploring Expedition, July 19,1837; ordered to West India Squadron, December 13, 1839; ordered to Receiving Ship, at Alexandria, Virginia, December 8, 1841; ordered to Coast Survey schooner “Vanderbuilt,” August 4, 1844; ordered to Navy Yard, Pensacola, Florida, November 11, 1844; ordered to command Coast Survey schooner, “Nautalus,” March 9, 1846; ordered to command Coast Survey brig, “Washington,” December 29, 1846, on his own application to participate in the Mexican War; was present at the capture of Tobasco, and subsequently transferred to the command of the Coast Survey steamer, “Legare.” He always considered coast-survey duty as one of the best schools of naval practice, and advocated its return to the administration of the Navy Department. Ordered to command the brig, “Dolphin” on special service, to make deep sea soundings, try currents, search for vigias, etc. (report published by Congress, 1854), July 3, 1851. Detached and ordered to duty on wind and current charts, July 7, 1852. Promoted to Commander, September 14, 1855. Ordered as member of Examining Board, March 12, 1858; ordered to command sloop-of-war,  Vandalia,” with orders to the East Indies, November 1, 1860. When he learned, at the Cape of Good Hope, of the rebellion, assuming the risk of acting against orders, he brought his ship back and was assigned to the blockade off Charleston, South Carolina, where he succeeded in maintaining it with the ”Vandalia,” a sailing vessel, when her steam consort was blown off.

Before the return of the consort, a British steam-gunboat ventured in to inspect the blockade, and finding it, under such conditions of weather, actual and close, foreign scrutiny was terminated. Ordered to command the sloop-of-war “Oneida,” January 20, 1862, and to report to Admiral Farragut. In the expedition against New Orleans, he commanded the advance division below the forts, Jackson and St. Philip. In the gunboat actions, when the gunboats took part in the bombardment, to draw the fire from the bomb-vessels, the “Oneida” was at one time engaged alone with both forts. In the action of the passage of the forts, the “Oneida” was one of the three vessels first to encounter the enemy’s fleet, and she relieved the “Varuna” by driving off the two rams which had ramed her, forcing their burning, and captured the commander of the “Governor Moore.” The “Oneida” participated in the capture of the Chalmette batteries below New Orleans; became advance guard above the city. For a time Lee commanded the advance division below Vicksburg and participated in both the passages of the Vicksburg batteries, the “Oneida” being the second in line on each occasion. Promoted to Captain, July 16, 1862. Appointed to Acting Rear-Admiral, September 2, 1862, and ordered to the command of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Was engaged in blockading the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina, and zealously co-operating with the armies in the defense of Norfolk, Newbern, and Washington, fighting with their iron-clads and heavy fortifications in Trent’s Reach, and their field-batteries along Grant’s line of communication on the James River, always securely held while Admiral Lee was in command, for two years he fulfilled the arduous duties of his command, perfecting and maintaining a vast blockade.

“The dangerous navigation of the North Carolina coast, owing to the long shoals of Cape Fear, between the two ports into Wilmington; the nearness of the British ports of Bermuda and Nassau, from which steamers of excellent form and great speed, of low build and gray color, ran in at night; the immense profits tempting the risks, made the blockade an undertaking of the greatest difficulty, and yet the Confederacy was, in effect, isolated, by several girdles of cruisers (a system originated by Rear Admiral Lee), from foreign recruits, supplies, and munitions of war. Of the total number of blockade-running steamers captured or destroyed by this squadron, sixty-five in all, fifty-four were captured or destroyed by the fleet under Admiral Lee’s command. Besides blockading, the main duty of the squadron, it, independently, or in co-operation with the army, was engaged in ninety-one actions and expeditions during this period. The efficiency and importance of this service, together with the small loss of shipwreck on so dangerous a coast, have excited the approving comment of foreign military observers. Detached and ordered to command the Mississippi Squadron, October 21st, 1864. The efficiency of this squadron was maintained, notwithstanding the withdrawal of a large number of experienced officers. Lee’s movement up the Cumberland to support General Thomas was in co-operation with the army against the apprehended crossing of the river by Hood and his marching to the Ohio. The flag-ship was stopped at Clarksville by the low stage of water, which was still falling on Harpeth Shoals; the river rising barely enough in time to allow Fitch to move the gunboats at Nashville and participate in the defeat of Hood, but not enough to make Harpeth Shoals passable three days later.

“Army communication were kept open and operations supported with vigor and effect, and the lower Mississippi was vigilantly guarded against the intervention of the trans-Mississippi Confederate forces. The operation of the squadron on the Tennessee River prevented Hood on his retreat from crossing where the Tennessee was navigable, forcing him to cross six miles above the head of navigation on Muscle Shoals, the rocky barrier that effectually closed navigation for thirty miles above the close piers of Florence Bridge, where he had previously crossed. Detached from the Mississippi Squadron, August 14, 1865, which after much arduous labor, had been disbanded, vessels laid up or sent to other squadrons, officers and men discharged or transferred. Promoted to Commodore, July 25, 1866; ordered as President of Examining Board, to meet at Philadelphia, March 6, 1868; ordered as President of Examining Board, April 16, 1868; ordered as President of Court Martial at New York, May 29, 1868; ordered as President of Board of Examiners, February 13, 1869; ordered as member of Board to examine the Atlantic Navy Yards and was author of the report to imp[r]ove them, March 10, 1869; ordered in charge of Signal Service, Washington, D.C., October 13,1869. Promoted Rear-Admiral, April 22,1870; ordered to special duty at Navy Department, June 27,1870; ordered to command North Atlantic Squadron, August 9, 1870; detached, August 15, 1872. Retired February 13, 1873”; (Hammersly, Records of Living Officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. 1890). Died at Silver Springs, Md., June 7th, 1897 and is buried at Arlington.

Elizabeth (Blair) Lee.

Admiral Lee was married April 27, 1843, to Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Preston Blair, they had but one child.

I—Blair Lee 7. See [below].

John Fitzgerald Lee.

John Fitzgerald Lee 6, third child of Francis Lightfo[o]t 5, (Richard Henry 4, Thomas 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born at Sully, Fairfax County, May 5th, 1813, died, St. Louis, June 17, 1884.

John Fitzgerald Lee entered West Point as a cadet on July 1st, 1830, and graduated in 1834; was appointed brevet 2nd. Lieutenant 1st artillery, July 1st 1834; 2nd. lieutenant, July 23rd, 1835; served in Florida against the Seminole Indians, as captain in the regiment of mounted Creek volunteers; made 1st lieutenant light artillery, December 17th, 1836; a brevet captain, January 27th, 1837, “for gallantry and good conduct in the war against the Florida Indians”; 1st lieutenant of ordinance, July 9th, 1838; served as ordinance officer at Little Rock, 1838–40; at Washington, 1841–42 ; commanded the arsenal at Fortress Monroe, 1846–47, the Washington arsenal 1847̵;48, and later at St. Louis; was made captain of ordinance, March 3d, 1847; appointed Judge Advocate of the Army with headquarters at Washington, 1849–62, with brevet rank of major of staff.

He studied law and when the office of Judge Advocate of the Army was created he was appointed to that position. When the Civil War broke out his sympathies and affection went with the South, though his judgment convinced him of the hopelessness of this contest against the North, so in 1862 he retired to the “Lodge” his estate in Prince George County, Maryland.

In 1862 Major Lee was chosen a member of the Maryland Constitutional Convention and a member of the State Senate at the next Assembly. At his death the following appeared in a St. Louis paper:

The grave will close today over the remains of this gifted man. He was little known in St. Louis, where he died, but for nearly fifty years he has been a prominent member of society in Washington City, and his name is a household word with all other officers of the United States Army.

He was born May 5th, 1813. He was a grandson of Richard Henry Lee, the colleague and almost the equal in eloquence of Patrick Henry in the Congress of 1876. He was admitted into the United States Military Academy as a cadet from Virginia in 1830, and graduated with distinguished honor in 1834. Commissioned a lieutenant of artillery, he was afterwards attached to the ordinance corps, and stationed at various fortresses and arsenals, according to the exigencies of the service, until 1849. During this interval he served one campaign in Florida, in the Seminole War.

When the Civil war broke out, Major Lee was placed in a painful and delicate situation. He condemned secession unreservedly, both as a political heresy and a blunder in statesmanship; but he could not make up his mind to bear arms against his friends and relatives in Virginia. While he disapproved of their views and their conduct, he could not divest himself of some sympathy for their persons. He was, therefore, entirely out of harmony with those who regarded any such sentiments as a crime, and by the Act of July 17th, 1862, he was legislated out of office. He therefore, retired from the army and has since resided in Washington City, or its neighborhood. He had a farm in Prince George’s County, Md., and there he passed all but the winter months of each year. Those he spent in Washington City with his family. He married in 1845, Miss Hill, a lady of Prince George’s County, who survives him, and of this marriage there were five children, a daughter and four sons, who also survive. Of these sons the three eldest, William H. Lee, Arthur Lee, and John F. Lee, Jr., are, and have long been well known and respected citizens of St. Louis.

Major Lee was a man of unusual capacity, improved by extensive and well-directed reading. His vivacity, wit, and cheerfulness rendered him a delightful companion, and these qualities, with his elevated and generous spirit, made him a cherished friend to all who had the privilege of friendship with him. Seldom is a man of equal ability to be seen more entirely free from ambition. He was a man of most scrupulous integrity. He loved his family and his friends and found his happiness in their service and society; but from all the weakness of vanity he seems to have been altogether free. Like many who have been in military life until past middle age, he considered himself unfit for civil pursuits when he left the army. Only by an irksome effort did he imagine that he could succeed in the attempt to form new habits of life, and as in one sense no necessity existed for over coming his aversion to these new methods the effort was not made.

His departure makes in his family circle a void, which is unspeakable an irreparable. To his few surviving contemporaries, while it renders their remaining days more dreary, it is at the same time a warning that he has only by a brief interval preceded them to the silent shore. One who has for more than fifty years known and loved him offers this tribute to his memory.

St. Louis, June 18, 1884.

April 29, 1845, he married Eleanor Ann Hill, of Prince George County, Md., a lineal descendant of Clement Hill, the first Surveyor General of the Province of Maryland, under Lord Baltimore.

And by her he had five children.

I—William Hill 7, born, Washington, D.C., March 7, 1846. Is President of the Merchant’s-Laclede Bank of St. Louis, Mo., where he resides. Married, November 3, 1869, Julia Turner, daughter of Major Henry S. Turner, of Marengo, King George County, Va., and by her had seven children.

1st—Eleano Hill 8, born, St. Louis, October 6, 1870, died September 18, 1874.

2nd—Henry Turner 8, born in St. Louis, June 27, 1872, and is now living near Columbia, Boone County, Md., married Katherine De Hart Patterson and has three children, viz., Wilson Turner 9, born Feburary 26, 1901, Julia Hunt 9, born April 26, 1903 and Phebe McDonald 9, born May 14, 1910.

3rd—Julia Hunt 8, born St. Louis, September 22. 1874, died September 27, 1877.

4th—Jane Fitzgerald 8, born St. Louis, January 16. 1877. married Captain Edward Carpenter, U.S. Army and has two children.

5th—William Hill, Jr. 8, born St. Louis, September 26, 1879, died January 8th, 1889.

6th—Margaret Loretta 8, born St. Louis, January 16th, 1883, unmarried.

7th—Marianna 8, born St. Louis, June 25, 1884. married Charles Martin Polk, of Arkansas and have two children.

II—Arthur 7, born Fortress Monroe, Va., June 1, 1847, died unmarried, St. Louis, Mo., April 12, 1899. Graduated at Georgetown College in 1867 and finished his legal education at the University of Virgin[i]a 1869–70. For two years he was secretary to his Uncle, Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, then in command of the North Atlantic Squadron. He was admitted to the practice of law in Maryland and soon after settled in St. Louis and formed a partnership . with his brother, John F. Lee.

Admirably grounded in the principles of law, his standing in the profession was a most enviable one and he was one of the best known men in St. Louis His prominence was due largely to the depth of his learning. He was accounted an authority on the best books, and served for years on the Public Library Board.

III—John Fitzgerald 7, born June 29, 1848, is now practicing law in St. Louis, Mo.

IV—Anne 7, born April 24, 1851. Married Henry Harrison, of Leesburg, Va., January 8, 1885.

V—Francis Phillips 7, born May 8, 1856, is living unmarried hi St. Louis, Mo.

George Lee.

George 6, third child of George 5, (Thomas Ludwell 4, Thomas 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born about 1796, died at Leesburg, 1858, married Sarah Moore Henderson and had a very large family it is said twenty-three children, of these however nothing is known except that a daughter Orra 7, married John M. Orr and Evelyn Byrd 7, married Thomas Delaney. Maria and Elizabeth Claggett died unmarried. Archibald Henderson 7, died unmarried, and George 7, born at Leesburg May 3, 1831, died at Brooklyn, N.Y., April 14th, 1892. Married June 27th 1860, Laura Francis Orr, and had at least four children, Hugh Douglass 8, Elanor Orr 8, Asa Rogers 8, and Arthur 8.

Hugh Douglas Lee 8, is the representative in the male line of Thomas Lee, of Stratford.

Henry Lee.

Henry 6, fourth child of Henry 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), was born at “Stratford,” Westmoreland County, Va.; May 28th, 1787, died at Paris, France, January 30th, 1837.

He graduated at William and Mary College in 1808; was appointed Major of the 36th Regiment by President Madison, April 8th, 1813; served on the Canadian frontier on the staff of General James Wilkinson, and later on that of General George Izard. “On his return from Canada, he met in New York, Lord Jeffrey, the ‘Edinburgh’ reviewer, and both men were much sought after in society on account of their brilliant conversational powers.” Major Lee was an ardent and influential supporter of General Jackson in his canvass for the Presidency, in whose behalf he wrote several essays, and was rewarded with the appointment of Consul to Algiers. But, as his appointment was rejected by the Senate, Major Lee left Algiers after a short residence and travelled through Italy on his way to Paris. While on his trip he met “Madam Mere,” the mother of Napoleon, for whom he entertained an extravagant admiration, as shown in the following note to Madam Bonepart:

Rome, April 2nd, 1830.

As I feel the most profound respect for Madam, the mother of Napoleon, that one being can entertain for another, I beg leave to offer for her acceptance the enclosed autograph letter from General Washington to my father, considering this precious memorial of the American hero and patriot well bestowed in being placed in the hands of a lady, great in her own character and illustrious in her offspring; especially in having given birth to the greatest warrior and the most generous conqueror and friend that ever existed.

March 1817, Major Lee married Anne R., daughter of Daniel McCarty, of Westmoreland County, and had one child, Margaret Lee 7, who was accidently killed when about ten years of age, by falling down the high stone steps of the “Stratford” mansion. At least the following is the story told by Eleanor Griffith Fairfax, of Westmoreland County.

Some years ago Aunt Miny, an old colored woman, told me the sad story of the death of Major Henry Lee’s only daughter, a niece of General R. E. Lee, which story was corroborated by Dr. Stuart, he having frequently heard his Aunt, (Mrs. Storke, a sister of Henry Lee’s wife), speak of the death of her sister’s child, little Margaret, aged ten, who during a sleet while playing-around the front hall door, fell down these stone steps and was killed.

Besides his review of Jefferson’s writings, Major Lee began, while residing at Paris, a history of Napoleon’s Italian campaign, but completed only one volume, which was published after his death.

Charles Carter Lee.

Charles Carter 6, sixth child of Henry 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), was born at Stratford, November 1798, died March 21, 1871, and was buried at his home, “Windsor Forest,” in Powhatan County. He graduated from Harvard in 1819, second in his class. He possessed a mind of a very superior order, had a thorough classical education, a most retentive memory, and a keen wit. Being an omniverous reader, a brilliant conversationalist, his society was most entertaining, and in consequence he was greatly sought after at all social gatherings. He was a lawyer by profession and practiced first at Washington City, then in Floyd County, Va., next in Mississippi, where he resided for several years; later he removed to Hardy County, and finally settled in Powhatan. Some verses of his, known as the Virginia Georgics, written for the “Hole and Corner Club of Powhatan,” were published in the club in 1858.

May 13, 1847, he married Lucy Penn, daughter of George Taylor, of “Horn Quarter,” King William County, and of the same family as President Taylor. They had the following children:

I—Geo. Taylor 7, born Richmond, Va., March 8th, 1848, and lived with his parents at “Brookfield,” near Richmond, until about seven years old, when his parents moved to “Windsor Forest,” Powhatan County. He entered the Virginia Military Institute when sixteen years of age and served with the cadets until the close of the war; part of the time in Lexington, part in Richmond and part in the field. After the war, he entered Washington & Lee University and graduated a B.L., and has been practicing law in Johnson City, Tenn., (where he now lives), since 1891.

May 16, 1888, he married Mrs. Ella Marion (Goodman)
Fletcher, of Arkansas, and by her had the following

(1) Charles Carter 8, born at Lanoke, Ark., April 9,1889, and lives at Johnson City, Tenn.

(2) Lucy Randolph 8, born at Johnson City, Tenn., September 19, 1893, and lives there with her parents.

(3) Geo. Taylor 8, born at Johnson City, Tenn., December 26, 1895, and lives there with his parents.

II—Henry 7, born Richmond, Virginia, July 9, 1849, died in Macon, Georgia, May 13, 1901, and is buried there. Married July 19, 1888, Lillian Elizabeth Worlen, who is still living and resides in Moultrie, Ga. They had four children.

(1) Charles Carter Lee 8, born Roanoke, Va., April 8, 1889, and died at Roanoke, May 8, 1889, and is buried there.

(2) Robert Henry Lee, born in Winston-Salem, N.C., September 3, 1890, and is now a cadet at West Point, N.Y.

(3) Lillian Virginia Lee, born at Winston-Salem, N.C., December 26, 1893, died at same place, September 11, 1903, and is buried there.

(4) Soule Alice Lee, born at Charlotte, N.C., October 1, 1900, and resides with her mother.

III—Robert Randolph 7, born Richmond, Va., May 22, 1853, married February 4, 1886, Alice Wilkerson, and had by her four children; Wm. Carter 8, born March 14,1891 and Robert Randolph 8, born September 10, 1892; Alice 8, born September 10, 1895; Mildred Carter, born April 2nd 1899, he resides at Fine Creek Mills, Va.

IV—Wm. Carter 7, born September 8, 1852, died unmarried in a railroad accident, June 21, 1882.

V—Mildred 7, born November 20, 1857, married Dr. John Taylor Francis, February 4, 1888.

VI—Catherin Francis 7, born August 27, 1865, married Dr. John Guerrant, of Franklin County, July 10, 1892.

VII—John Penn 7, was born in Powhatan County, September 11th, 1867, at “Windsor.” Went to the county public school and then to Washington & Lee University, took first an academic course, and then law, graduating in law in 1888. At the age of twenty-one, commenced practicing law at Rocky Mount, Va., where he now resides. Was appointed judge of the County Court of Franklin County about 1898, and remained on the bench until that court was abolished by the late Constitution. Was elected a member of the House of Delegates of the State of Virginia from Franklin County for the session of 1910, and served during that session. Married, December 2, 1896, Isabella Gilmer Walker, of Lynchburg, Va., and by her had seven children, five of whom are living:

(1) Catherine Dabney Walker 8, born at Rocky Mount, Va., September 3,1897.

(2) Richard 8, born at Rocky Mount, Va., June 14, 1899.

(3) Chiswell Dabney, born at Rocky Mount, Va., June 14, 1902.

(4) Charles Carter 8, born at Rocky Mount, Va., Ja[nu]ary 28th, 1906.

( 5 ) Henry 8, born at Rocky Mount, Va., June 24, 1907.

Sydney Smith Lee.

Sydney Smith 6, Eighth child of Henry 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), was born September 2, 1802, at Camden, New Jersey, where his mother happened to be visiting a friend; he died July 22, 1869. Upon graduating at the Naval Academy, he was appointed a mids[h]ipman, December 30th, 1820; promoted lieutenant, May 17th, 1828; a commander, June 4th, 1850, and resigned, April 28th, 1861, to enter the service of the Confederate States.

A daughter of General Robert E. Lee has thus written of him:

No one who ever saw him can forget his beautiful face, charming personality, and grace of manner, which, joined to a nobility of character and goodness of heart, attracted all who came in contact with him, and made him the most generally beloved and popular of men. This was especially so with regard to women, to whom his conduct was that of a preux chevalier, the most chivalric and courteous; and, having no daughters of his own, he turned with the tenderest affection to the daughters of his brother Robert. His public service of more than thirty years in the navy of the United States is well known. He entered it as a boy of fifteen, and faithfully served his country by land and sea in many climates and on many oceans. He was in Japan with Commodore Perry, commanding his flagship, when that inaccessible country was practically opened to the commerce of the world. He was commandant of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and afterwards in command of the navy yard at Philadelphia. When the war of secession began he was stationed at Washington, but when Virginia seceded he did not hesitate to abandon the comforts and security of the present and ambitions of the future, and cast his lot with his native State in a war in which, from the very nature of things, there could be but little hope for a naval officer. Uninfluenced, then by hope of either fame or fortune, he sadly parted with the friends and comrades of a lifetime, including General Scott, who had been likewise devoted to him as he was to his brother, and for four years served the Southern Confederacy with the same ardor and energy and unselfishness that he had previously given to the whole country. When the end came he accepted the situation with characteristic resignation and fortitude.

During the Mexican War, Sydney Smith met his brother, Robert, at Vera Cruz; in a letter home, the soldier told of his work in placing a battery in position, and added:

The first day this battery opened, Smith served one of the guns. I had constructed the battery, and was there to direct its fire. No matter where I turned, my eyes reverted to him, and I stood by his gun whenever I was not wanted elsewhere. Oh! I felt awfully, and am at loss what I should have done, had he been cut down before me. I thank God that he was saved. He preserved his usual cheerfullness, and I could see his white teeth through all the smoke and din of the fire. I had placed three 32 and three 68-pound guns in position. . . . Their fire was terriffic, and the shells thrown from our battery were constant and regular discharges, so beautiful in their flight and so destructive in their fall. It was awful! My heart bled for the inhabitants. The soldiers I did not care so much for, but it was terrible to think of the women and children. . . . I heard from Smith today; he is quite well, and recovered from his fatigue.

In 1834, he married Anna Maria, daughter of Hon. John Mason, of “Clermont,38221; Fairfax County, in old Christ Church, Alexandria. They went to Arlington, where the festivities were continued. Lieutenant Robert Lee and his friends took part in this old Virginia frolic. Seven young men were bivouacked in one room at Arlington. Captain Canfield, one of the number, made much fun for the party. In the morning the negro servant made so much noise on the bare floor, bringing wood and making fires, that Canfield called out, “Moses, why not come up on a pony?” At this point Mr. Custis threw wide open the door and called out, “Sleep no more; Macbeth hath murdered sleep.” Every night, before the party retired, punch was bounteously dispensed from a punch-bowl, which had belonged to General Washington. In the bottom of the bowl was a painting of a ship, the hull resting on the bottom, and the mast projecting to the brim. The rule was to drink down to the brim—a rule strictly observed. As this bowl has a history, it may be stated that it was presented to General Washington, by Colonel Fitzhugh, a former aide-de-camp, who afterward left Virginia and settled in the Genesee Valley, in Western New York.

Captain Sydney Smith and Anna Maria (Mason) had seven children.

I—Fitzhugh 7. See page 298.

II—Sidney Smith 7, born at Georgetown, D.C., the 10th of February, 1837; died the 15th of April, 1888. Was in the navy; served on the Confederate cruiser “Shenandoah” under Captain Waddell. He never married.

III—John Mason 7, born at “Cleremont,” January 24, 1839, joined the cavalry in 1861, and was wounded on the way to Gettysburg, rose to the rank of Major and was with the army at the surrender at Appomattox, married October 25, Nora Bankhead, of Orange County, and by her had five children.

(1) Nannie Mason 8, born 1877, resides with her father unmarried.

(2) Dorothea Bankhead 8, born 1874, married, February, 1907, I. Linwood Austin, and have two children.

(3) Bessie Winston 8, born 1877, married, October, 1900, C. P. Cardwell and have three children. They reside at Signal Hill, Hanover County, Va.

(4) John Mason 8, born 1878, married, April 19, 1910, Rachel Trimble, of Augusta County, Va.

(5) W. Bankhead 8, born 1882, resides on his farm in Stafford County, Va. Unmarried.

IV—Henry Carter 7, born at “Clermont,” January 9th, 1842, married, September 24th, Sally Buchanan, daughter of John Warfield Johnston, who now resides in Richmond, Va. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the “Richmond Howitzers,” and later was transferred to the staff of General W. C. Wickham, where he served as Adjutant General. He died in Richmond, Virginia, June 6th, 1889, and is buried at Alexandria, Va. His children were:

(1) Johnston Lee 8, born at Abingdon, Va., April 14th, 1870, died unmarried in Richmond, Va., June 25th, 1909, and is buried at Wythville, Va.

(2) Sydney Smith Lee 8, born at Abingdon, Va., September 20th, 1871, resides in Richmond, unmarried.

(3) William Floyd Lee 8, born at Abingdon, Va., September 5th, 1873, resides in New York City, unmarried.

(4) Ann Mason Lee 8, born at Abingdon, Va., July 10, 1877, resides in Richmond, Va., unmarried.

These children are great neices and nephews to both General Joseph E. Johnston and General Robert E. Lee.

V—Daniel Murray 7, born at Alexandria,Va., July 14,1843, and at sixteen years of age entered the Virginia Military Institute. While there, he was given an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., to enter June, 1861. In the mean time, Virginia having seceded, he left the V.M.I., in April, for Richmond with the corps cadets to drill troops at the Fair Grounds, was then sent to Manassas as drill master in Whitings Brigade. After that battle, he was commissioned as midshipman in C.S. Navy, and ordered to Norfolk, Va. Served in the navy until the naval brigade was captured at Sailor’s Creek, when he escaped during the confusion and joined the cavalry and was assigned to his brother Fitzhugh’s staff with the rank of Captain, where he served until the surrender at Appomattox. Saw service in the army at Manassas and Appomattox, and in the navy was in the following engagements: Hampton Roads, Monitor and Merrimac, Drury’s Bluff, Naval attack on Fort Sumpter and Morris Island, the capture of the United States Steamer, Underwriter, capture of Plymouth, N.C. In the trenches around Richmond, with sailors in charge of guns, at Cold Harbor fight, and in the attack on Fort Fisher, N.C.

In June, 1865, he entered the Merchant Marine, at Baltimore, where he remained until 1872, when he settled on his farm, “Highland Home,” in Stafford County, Va., where he now resides. On October 14,1874, he married Nannie E., daughter of Joseph Burwell Ficklin, and by her had six children.

(1) Daniel Maury, Jr., 8, born at “Anchorage,” Stafford County, September 11, 1876. Lives unmarried on his farm at Wide Water, Va.

(2) Joseph Burwell Ficklin 8, born at “Anchorage,” Stafford County, Va., December 6, 1877. Unmarried in charge of Mrs. Phoebe Hearst’s Ranch, “Blanco Pedro,” San Simeon, California.

(3) Edna Corbin 8, born at “Anchorage,” Stafford County, Va., September 29,1879. Unmarried.

(4) Sydney Smith 8, born at “Anchorage,” Stafford County, Va., March 13, 1881. Unmarried, 1st lieutenant in U. S. Marine Corps.

(5) Mary Custis 8, born at “Highland Home,”
Stafford County, Va., April 15, 1884. Unmarried.

(6) Harry Fitzhugh 8, born at “Highland Home,” Stafford County, Va., March 21,1891. Unmarried, is a cadet at V.M.I., Lexington, Va.

VI—Robert Carter 7, born at “Cleremont,” November 17th, 1848. Died in Fredericksburg, Va., December 5, 1904, and is buried in the family lot at Alexandria, Va. Was in the confederate service, 1864–5.

VII—Elizabeth Mason 7, born at “Cleremont,” February 17th, 1853, and died when seven months old.

Robert Edward Lee.

Robert Edward 6, the fourth son of Henry 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), and Ann Hill Carter, his second wife, was born at Stratford, Westmoreland County, the 19th day of January, 1807, and died at his home in Lexington, the 12th of October, 1870. When Robert Lee was about four years old, his father moved with his family to Alexandria, where they lived, first, on Cameron Street near old Christ Church, next on Orinoco Street, and, lastly, in the-house on north Washington Street, now used as the parsonage of Christ Church. When only eleven years old, he lost his father, who, prior to his death, had been absent from home for several years, so Robert Lee was reared almost entirely under the watchful and loving care of his mother. It is said she taught him, from his earliest childhood, to “practice self-denial, and self-control, as well as the strictest economy in fincial concerns,” traits which he ever exhibited through life.

Miss Emily V. Mason, in her Popular Life of General Lee, tells this of his loving care of his mother:

This good mother was a great invalid; one of his sisters was delicate, and many years absent in Philadelphia, under the care of physicians. The eldest son, Carter, was at Cambridge, Sydney Smith in the navy, and the other sister too young to be of much aid in household matters. So Robert was the housekeeper, carried the keys, attended to the marketing, managed all the out-door business, and took care of his mother’s horses.

At the hour when other school-boys went to play, he hurried home to order his mother’s drive and would there be seen carrying her in his arms to the carriage, and arranging her cushions with the gentleness of an experienced nurse. One of his relatives, who was often the companion of these drives tells us of the exertions he would make on these occasions to entertain and amuse his mother, assuring her, with the gravity of an old man, that unless she Was cheerful the drive would not benefit her. When she complained of cold or “draughts,&38221; he would pull from his pocket a great jack-knife and newspapers, and make her laugh with his efforts to improvise curtains, and shut out the intrusive wind, which whistled through the crevices of the old family coach.

When he left her to go to the West Point, his mother was heard to say; “How can I live without Robert? He is both son and daughter to me.”

Years after, when he came home from West Point, he found one of the chief actors of his childhood’s drama-his mother’s old coachman, “Nat”— ill, and threatened with consumption. He immediately took him to the milder climate of Georgia, nursed him with the tenderness of a son, and secured him the best medical advice. But the spring-time saw the faithful old servant laid in the grave by the hands of his kind young master.

Robert Lee was educated at private schools in Alexandria, Va., and prepared for entrance into the military school at West Point, for from earliest youth he seems to have desired to enter the army. His first teacher was Mr. William B. Leary, an Irishman, who lived to meet his pupil after the war. Next he went to the once famous mathematical school, kept by Benjamin Hallowell; of his school days, Mr. Hallowell has left this memorandum:

Robert Lee entered my school in Alexandria, Va., in the winter of 1824–25, to study mathematics, preparatory to his going to West Point. He was a most exemplary student in every respect. He was never behind time at his studies, never failed in a single recitation, was perfectly observant of the rules and regulations of the institution; was gentlemanly, unobtrusive, and respectful in all his deportment to teachers and fellow-students. His specialty was finishing up. He imparted a neatness and finish to everything he undertook. One of the branches of mathematics he studied with me was conic sections, in which some of the diagrams were very complicated. He drew the diagrams on a slate, and although he well knew that the one he was drawing would have to be removed to make room for the next, he drew each one with as much accuracy and finish, lettering and all, as if it were to be engraved and printed. The same traits he exhibited at my school he carried with him to West Point, where I have been told, he never received a mark of demerit, and graduated at the head of his class.

General Lee entered West Point in 1825, and graduated second, (not first, as frequently stated) in his class, in 1829. He received an appointment as second lieutenant in the corps of military engineers; in 1835, he served upon a commission for settling the boundary between Ohio and Michigan; was made first lieutenant in 1836, and captain in 1838. In 1846, he was appointed chief engineer on the staff of General Wool, in Mexico, and the next year was brevetted major for gallantry at the battle of Cerro Gordo, and, for services at Contreras and Churubusco, was brevetted lieutenant-colonel in 1847. At the battle of Chapultapec he was wounded and brevetted colonel. After this war was over, he was appointed superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, and filled the position from 1852 to 1855. In 1858, he was with Albert Sydney Johnston, fighting the Indians in Texas. His last service in the “old army,” was the capture of John Brown and his band, at Harper’s Ferry, at the close of 1859.

It is useless and unnecessary to describe in this connection the military life of General Lee during the thirty years he served in the United States army; it is sufficient to say that every duty was fulfilled with scrupulous fidelity, and that he rose steadily from grade to grade, rewarded at each promotion by the encomiums of his superior officers. General Scoot entertained the greatest admiration for him as a man and a soldier. A gentleman has stated that he had frequently heard him speak “in the very highest terms of Robert E. Lee as a soldier and Christian gentleman, but that on one occasion, when in the course of a confidential interview, he asked the direct question: ‘General, whom do you regard as the greatest living soldier?’ Without hesitation, and with marked emphasis, General Scott replied: ‘COLONEL ROBERT E. LEE is not only the greatest soldier of America, but the greatest soldier now living in the world. This is my deliberate conviction, from a full knowledge of his extraordinary abilities, and, if the occasion ever arises, Lee will win this place in the estimation of the whole world.’ The general then went into a detailed sketch of Lee’s services, and a statement of his ability as an engineer, and his capacity not only to plan campaigns, but also to command large armies in the field, and concluded by saying: ‘I TELL YOU, SIR, ROBERT E. LEE IS THE GREATEST SOLDIER NOW LIVING, AND IF HE EVER GETS THE OPPORTUNITY HE WILL PROVE HIMSELF THE GREATEST CAPTAIN OF HISTORY’.”

General Lee took no part in the political discussions which agitated the country prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the States. He was opposed to secession, but promptly resigned from the old army when it became a question as to whether he should fight for or against his native State. On that issue he had no doubts. Consequently, upon the secession of Virginia, and the firing upon Fort Sumter, he handed in his resignation, and offered his sword to defend his native Virginia. His father before him, ardent Federalist as he was, had said: “Virginia is my country: her will I obey, however lamentable the fate to which it may subject me.” Again his father had declared that “no consideration on earth could induce me to act a part, however gratifying to me, which could be construed into disregard or faithlessness to this Commonwealth.” The son therefore acted in strict accordance with the principals of the father, which, it would be safe to say, had been shared by the majority of the patriots of the Revolution.

When testifying before a committee of Congress, after the war, General Lee stated that he had resigned because he believed’ that “the act of Virginia in withdrawing herself from the United States carried me along with it as a citizen of Virginia, and that her laws and acts were binding upon me.” Though his own duty in this crisis was clearly marked out for him in his own conscience, he never sought to decide for others, not even for his own son. In writing to his own wife from Richmond, under date of 13th of May, 1861, he wrote: “. . . Tell Custis he must consult his own judgment, reason, and conscience as to the course he may take. I do not wish him to be guided by my wishes or example. If I have done wrong, let him do better. The present is a momentous question, which every man must settle for himself and upon principle.”

In a letter to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson, under date of 25th February, 1868, General Lee stated clearly his position and his sentiments, which led him to resign from the army and to refuse the most tempting offers. He used these words:

I never intimated to anyone that I desired the command of the United States Army, nor did I ever have a conversation with. but one gentleman, Mr. Francis Preston Blair, on the subject, which was at his invitation, and I understood, at the instance of the President. After listening to his remarks, I declined the offer he made me to take command of the army that was to be brought in the field, stating, as candidly and as courteously as I could, that, though opposed to secession and deprecating war, I could take no part in an invasion of the Southern States.

I went directly from the interview with Mr. Blair to the office of General Scott—told him of the proposition that had been made to me and my decision. Upon reflection after returning home, I concluded that I ought no longer to retain any commission I held in the United States Army, and on the second morning thereafter I forwarded my resignation to General Scott.

This letter was as follows:

Arlington, Va., 20th April, 1861.

General,—Since my interview with you on the 18th inst., I have felt that I ought no longer to retain my commission in the army. I, therefore, tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a service to which I have devoted all the best years of my life, and all the ability I possessed. During the whole of that time, more than a quarter of a century, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors, and the most cordial friendship from my comrades. To no one General, have I been as much indebted as to yourself for uniform kindness and consideration; and it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation. I shall carry to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind consideration, and you name and fame will always be dear to me. Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword. Be pleased to accept my utmost earnest wishes for the continuance of your happiness and prosperity, and believe me most truly yours, etc.

To Lieut-General, Winfield Scott, Commanding U.S. Army.

In casting his lot with his native State, General Lee acted with full consciousness of the gravity of the crisis. He entertained no illusions, such as some on each side professed to hold, that the war would be brief and of little importance; nor did he believe that a civil war could be avoided. Writing to his wife from Richmond, under the date of 13th May, 1861, he warned her: “Do not put faith in rumors of adjustment. I see no prospect for it. It cannot be while the passions on both sides are so infuriated. Make your plans for several years of war.” At another time he said: “. . . Both sides forget that we are all Americans, and that it must be a terrible struggle if it comes to war.”

The following correspondence is interesting. Dr. May was a Pennsylvanian by birth, but had been many years a professor of the Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in Virginia, situated near Alexandria:

Alexandria, 23rd, April, 1861.

My dear Robert,—The enclosed letter was written to me, as you will see, in consequence of a remark I made to Dr. Sparrow, which he reported to the writer, Dr. May, that I hoped your connection with the Virginia forces, if you concluded to accept the command, might lead to some peaceful settlements to our difficulties. I hoped this from the friendship between yourself and General Scott. I have only time now to enclose you Dr. May’s letter, and to offer my earnest prayer that God may make you instrumental in saving our land from this dreadful strife.
In haste. Yours truly,


Col. Lee.

Theological Seminary of Va., 22, April, 1861.

My dear sir,—I am sure of your sympathy with me in the motive of what I now write, even though you may think me presumptious and lacking in judgment. Two considerations prompt me; one, an Editorial in the “National Intelligencer,” of today, placed by yourself in Dr. Sparrow’s hands and read by him to me a few minutes ago, the other a suggestion that Col. Lee, now to be put in command of the Virginia troops, might, by God’s blessing, bring peace to our distracted country. 0, how my heart leaped at the thought! How many thousands, yea millions, would rise up to bless the man that should bring this to pass.

I may be stepping out of my line in offering a word on the subject. But my heart is full, and I know you at least are willing to give me your attention. Who knows but that your cousin may be raised up by God for such a time as this? Could he bring about, at least, an armistice, preparatory to a National Assembly for a peaceful settlement of our troubles, how many hearts would he relieve and how large his share in the blessedness of peacemakers. I do not enter into the political considerations of the matter. That is not my province. It may suffice to say that, so far as became me, whether in the North or in the South, I always gave my opinion against the organization and the proposed measures of the party now controlling the General Administration. I always held that organization to be not only needless, but mischievious. When it became so sectionally dominant, I hoped still that the more thoughtful members of it would shape its course. They seem to have been overborne. The unfortunate Proclamation of the President, and the measures which were its immediate antecedents, have utterly disappointed me and saddened me. But as I said, I do not enter into the political aspect of the great question now before us. I would regard it as a Christian should and especially a Christian minister.

My feeble voice I lift for peace. I have often turned my thoughts to Col. Lee. The world knows his service in the Mexican War. Years ago I asked my brother-in-law, Major A. H. Bowman (now of West Point,) what army officers thought of him as a soldier? I remember well his emphatic answer. If those who were with him (Col. Lee) in Mexico, should answer, they would unanimously declare him to be, in all military qualifications, without a rival in the service. But my interest in him was quickened by hearing of his Christian character. During his absence in Mexico, I visited his family at Arlington, and heard from Mrs. Lee, allusions to his private letters. I received then my opinion of him as a Christian, and have had my eye on him ever since. May we not hope that God has put him in his present position to be an instrument of abating the storm which now threatens shipwreck to the whole country? It is sad that so few of our public men are Christians. Col. Lee is a grand exception. I know, in an official post, which is not that of head of the government, he would find it difficult to follow the private promptings of his own Christian mind, for a soldier’s business is not to advise his superiors but to obey. But great respect would be shown to the judgment and Christian spirit of one so distinguished as he. Virginia gave us our original independence through her Washington. She gave us our National Constitution through Jefferson, Madison and others. Can she not now, while we are threatened with the immeasurable evils of civil war, give us through Col. Lee peace? In common with other States, she may justly complain of wrongs. But will civil war repair them? Christianity teaches not only the duty, but the wisdom of patience and forgiveness. Virginia, from her geographical position, from her glorious share in the past and from her great political weight, has it in her power (am I presumptious in saying it?) to come as a mediator, rather as an umpire and settle the question, not only for the happiness of the whole country, but for her own special property. Should Col. Lee be a leader in this matter and place his native State in this grand position (which I must think she could hold), he will have an honor never reached by Napoleon or Wellington. If Virginia may not call back the people of the continent to union, she yet may to peace. Standing apart from others, she would not, could not be invaded. She could be a healer or a peacemaker, and have all the blessedness of such an office. The wisdom of seniors has not been allowed its part in our great questions. Young, impetuous spirits seem to be leading the mind of the country. Especially has not the Christian mind, the Church, been heard. Its voice must be for peace. Our sins may be too great to allow us to have again the blessedness of a united country, but may we not have peace? Is there not moral power in the Christion mind of the country to stay the hand of fraternal strife? How many wives, mothers, widows, sisters, how many quiet, peaceful citizens of all classes sigh for peace. How many families, now separated by wide geographical distances, would be divided in a way far more painful and dreadful by civil war? No quiet citizen, no Christian, can think of it without a fainting heart. During the civil wars of England, in the times of the Commonwealth, Lord Falkland was known in all Britian as one of the bravest men ever born in that land. After he had seen the indescribable wretchedness of the people of his native country in the strife of brothers, he would sit abstracted among his friends, and, sighing from the depth of his heart, exclaim, “Peace, Peace.” I dare not say Col. Lee may bring us peace. The Lord can only do that. We may have so sinned that the wrath of God must lie upon us and make us suffer the awful judgment now threatening. How do all Christian sentiments, how do all the interests of the Christian Church, how do all our interests cry for peace.

I do not say the Gospel forbids war absolutely. Its direct primary call is to peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” From my inmost soul, I pray that in this our day of trial, that blessedness may be enjoyed by Col. Lee. In thus writing, do I seem to be a meddler? I am not so in purpose and motive. Perhaps I mistake my calling. I think, as a Christian and a Christian minister, I cannot err in wishing and praying for peace. Our great national questions cannot be settled except in time of peace. O, may that peace come now, at the beginning, instead of the end of a fearful conflict. So praying, I am sure of your sympathy, and subscribe myself, most sincerely your friend,


C. F. Lee, Esqr.

Richmond, 25, April, 1861.

My dear Cassius,—I have received your letter of the 23rd. I am sorry your nephew has left his college and become a soldier. It is necessary that persons on my staff should have a knowledge of their duties and experience of the wants of the service, to enable me to attend to other matters. It would otherwise give me great pleasure to take your nephew. I shall remember him if anything can be done.

I am much obliged to you for Dr. May’s letter. Express to him my gratitude for his sentiments, and tell him that no earthly act would give me so much pleasure, as to restore peace to my country. But I fear it is now out of the power of man, and in God alone must be our trust. I think our policy should be purely on the defensive. To resist aggression and allow time to allay the passions and reason to resume her sway. Virginia has today, I understood, joined the Confederate States. Her policy will doubtless, therefore, be shaped by united counsels. I cannot say what it will be. But trust that a merciful Providence will not turn his face entirely from us and dash us from the height to which his smiles had raised us.

I wanted to say many things to you before I left home. But the event was rendered so imperatively speedy that I could not. May God preserve you and yours. Very truly, R. E. Lee.

So, failing to secure peace, General Lee prepared for war with all the ability he possessed. How well he served his State, it is not necessary to describe in a sketch of this nature; as Dr. Field has said, “The world knows it by heart.”

Colonel Chesney, of the English army, believes:

The day will come when the evil passions of the great civil war will sleep in oblivion, and the North and South do justice to each other’s motives, and forget each other’s wrongs. Then history will speak with clear voice of the deeds done on either side, and the citizens of the whole Union do justice to the memories of the dead, and place above all others the name of the great chief of whom we have written. In strategy, mighty; in battle, terrible; in adversity, as in prosperity, a hero indeed; with the simple devotion to duty and the rare purity of the ideal Christian knight,—he joined all the kingly qualities of a leader of men. It is a wonderous future indeed that lies before America; but in her annals of the years to come, as in those of the past, there will be found few names that can rival in unsullied lustre that of the heroic defender of his native Virginia, Robert Edward Lee.

Leaving Lee, the general to the historian, it is the design of this brief sketch to tell something of the characteristics of the man. In pursuance of this purpose, some few of his letters, written in the confidence of friendship, or with the love of the parent, are quoted, whole or in part, as best fulfills this idea. Extracts might be taken from some of the numerous and most eloquent eulogies that have been paid General Lee, since his death, by the most gifted orators of the South. Anyone of these would furnish a complete and eloquent sketch of the man and the soldier. Yet they might all be considered the biased opinions of personal friends, or due to sectional pride. It seems better, therefore to give the impressions of a stranger of one not partial through friendship or sectional pride. In the summer of 1889, the Rev. Henry M. Field, a northern man, the gifted editor of the “New York Evangelist,” visited Lexington, and wrote two letters to his paper, giving fully the impressions he had gathered there of General Lee’s personality from the lips of those who knew him most intimately. Extracts from these two letters are given; parts being omitted which are less closely connected with General Lee. The first letter is headed:

The Last Years of General Lee.

“The last hope of the Confederacy was dead when Stonewall Jackson was laid in his grave at Lexington.” So said the Major after he had taken the greater part of a day in detailing to me, to my intense interest, the marvelous career of the great soldier. But not so reasoned all those who had fought by Jackson’s side. Not so Jackson himself; for when, on hearing of his wound, Lee wrote to him, “Could I have directed events, I should have chosen, for the good of the country, to have been disabled in your stead,” answered “No, No! Better loose twenty Jacksons than one Lee!” And now though Jackson was dead, Lee still lived, and hope lived with him; victory was still possible; and in that faith, and under that leadership the Confederates fought on for two years more. (Jackson died on the 10th of May, 1863; but Lee did not surrender until the 9th of April, 1865). How well they fought is a matter of history. They fought as they could not have fought, had they not been led by a great Commander. Some, I know, assume to criticise the strategy shown in his campaigns. To such I have only to say that it is a very poor compliment to our leaders and our armies, to question the abilities of one who, with less than half the numbers, kept back for two years the tremendous forces of the North that were pressing in on every side. Whatever others may say of General Lee, the great soldiers who fought against him fully concede his splendid military genius. But it is not the purpose of this letter to speak of his military career.

That belongs to history. “The world knows it by heart.” But there is a chapter in that life which the world does not know so well, which ought to be told, to the greater honor of the illustrious dead. The war was over. The Northern armies had returned victorious, while the veterans of the South, defeated, but not dishonored, took their way back to their desolate homes. The army disbanded and dispersed, what should its leader do? His old ancesteral home, standing on the noble height which looks down on the Potomac and across to the dome of the Capital, was in the hands of those against whom he had been fighting for four years, and had even been turned into a national cemetery, in which slept thousands of the Union dead, whose very ghosts might rise up against his return. But if he was an exile from his own home, there were thousands of others open to him all over the South, and across the sea where his fame had gone before him, and would have made him a welcome guest in princely halls. But such a flight from his country (for so he would have regarded it) was impossible to one of his chivalrous spirit. He had cast in his lot with his people; they had believed in him and had followed him, as they thought, to certain triumph; he would not desert them in the day of their adversity.

Of course, had he been willing to listen to them, he could have received any number of “business” proposals. Rich, moneyed corporations would have been glad to “retain” him at any price as President or Director, so that they could have the benefit of his great name. One, it is said, offered him $50,000 a year. But he was not to be allured by such temptations. The very fact that they were coupled with offers of money was reason enough why he should reject them all, as he did, without a moments hesitation. Nor could he be allured by any military proposals. Maximilian offered to place him at the head of his army if he would go to Mexico, thinking that his genius might save the fortunes of the falling empire. But he would not accept any exile, however splendid. His answer was, “I love the mountains of Virginia still.&38221; His work must be at home, for work he must have. After his active life, he would not sink down into ildeness. With his military career ended, he must find a new career in civil life. Besides, he had a proud spirit of independence, which would not permit him to live on the bounty of the rich at home or the titled abroad. “He would work for a living,” like the poorest of his soldiers. At length came a proposal that seemed most alien to his former pursuits; that the Commander of the Southern Armies should become the President of a college. And yet this change from a military to an academic career was not so violent as it might seem. He had been for three years Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, where he was associated with young men. He had been himself a student there, and had been through all the stages of scholarly discipline. Besides, the position of the college to which he was invited, in Lexington, Virginia, was attractive to him. It was remote from cities, among the mountains, and yet within the limits of that “Old Dominion,” which he looked upon as his mother.

When it was known that he had accepted the position, his coming was looked for with great eagerness by the people of Lexington; but he did not fix the time, as he wished to avoid any public demonstration. But it had been arranged that when he came he should spend a few days in the hospitable dwelling in which I was so fortunate as to be a guest. While thus in expectancy, the Professor was one day taking a walk, when he saw riding up the street, a figure that he instantly recognized as the same he had so often seen at the head of the army; and to make the picture perfect, he was mounted on his old war horse—a magnificent iron gray, called “Traveler”—that had so often borne his master through the smoke of battle. He wore no military uniform, nor sign of rank, but a light summer dress, while a broad Panama hat shaded a face that no one could mistake. Advancing toward him, the professor told of the arrangements for his entertainment till he could be established in a house for himself, and led the way to his home. Naturally my friend’s family were at first somewhat awed by the presence of their illustrious guest. But this was soon dissipated by his simple and unaffected manner. What “broke the ice” most completely was his manner with the children. He was always very fond of little people, and as soon as they appeared, “Uncle Robert” as he was affectionately called in the army, had them in his arms and on his knees, till they soon felt perfectly at home with him. They “captured” him at once, and he “captured&38221; them, and in this captured their parents also. From that moment all constraint disappeared, though nothing could ever take from the profound respect and veneration with which they looked up to “General Lee.”

This was in September, 1865, and on the 2d of October, after solemn prayer by the venerable Dr. White, he took the oath of office, as required by the laws of the college, and thus became its President. Naturally his name drew great numbers of students, not only from Virginia, but from all parts of the South, who were eager to “serve” under such a leader, and the number of undergraduates rose from one hundred and fifty to over four hundred. . . . In one respect his influence was immeasurable. Every man in the South looked up to General Lee as the highest type of manhood, and his very presence was an inspiration. This is the influence which young men feel more than any other-that inspired by intense admiration—an influence that would have been very potent if the object of their admiration had been merely a great soldier, dazzling them by his genius, but destitute of high principals. Had that been the case, his influence would have been demoralizing as now it was elevating, since his superiority in other respects was united with a character that was so gentle and so good. That he might reach the young, he sought their acquaintance, not standing apart in icy dignity. Professor White tells me that, if they were walking together in the college grounds, and a student was seen approaching, he would ask who he was, and when he came up, instead of passing him with a stately bow, would stop and call him by name, and ask him about his family and his studies, and speak a few words of encouragement, which the young man would not forget to his dying day. To be under the authority and influence of such a man was an education in manliness. There was not a student who did not feel it, and to whom it was not the highest ambition to be guided by such a leader, to be infused with his spirit, and to follow his example. . . .

He knew that whatever fell from his lips would be repeated, and not always as he had said it, but with a change of words, or in a different tone of voice, that might give it another meaning. Indeed, with all his caution, he was often quoted in saying what he did not say. As an illustration, Professor White told me that a story had gone the rounds of the papers to the effect that in a conversation, General Lee had brought his clenched hands down on the table, to give emphasis to his utterance, as he said, “If I had had Stonewall Jackson with me, I should have won the battle of Gettysburg and established the Southern Confederacy.” Now said the professor, without ever asking him, I know that such an occurrence never took place, for in the first place General Lee “never brought his hand down on the table”—he was not that sort of a man—it is impossible to conceive of him as using any violence of gesture or of language. And as to Stonewall Jackson, while he did feel keenly the absence of that great corps commander, he was not the man to indulge in sweeping and positive statements; he never spoke with such absolute assurance of anything, but always with a degree of reserve, as once, when we were riding together, he said in his usual guarded and cautious manner; “If I had had Stonewall Jackson with me—so far as man can see—I should have won the battle of Gettysburg.” So careful was he to put in this qualification: for he always recognized an overruling Power that may disappoint the wisest calculations, and defeat the most careful combinations of courage and skill.


My last letter left us in the college Chapel at Lexington, gazing upon the recumbent statue of General Lee. While standing here, in the very presence of the dead, I am moved to say a few words in regard to the life that ended in his tomb, and the character of the man whose name is carved upon this stone. As I read history, and compare the men who have figured in the events that make history—in wars and revolutions—it seems to me that General Lee was not only a great soldier, but a great man, one of the greatest that our country has produced. After his death, the college which had hitherto borne the name of Washington, by whom it was endowed, was rechristened “Washington and Lee University”—a combination which suggests a comparison of the two men whose names are here brought together. Can we trace any likeness between them? At first it seems that no characters, as well as no careers, could be more alien to each other than those of the two great leaders, one of whom the Founder of the Government which the other did his utmost to destroy. But nature brings forth her children in strange couples, with resemblances in some cases as marked, and as yet unexpected, as are contrasts in others. Washington and Lee, though born in different centuries, were children of the same mother, Old Virginia and had her best blood in their veins. Descended from the stock of the English Cavaliers, both were born “gentleman,” and never could be any thing else. Both were trained in the school of war, and as leader of armies it would not be a violent assumption to rank Lee as the equal of Washington. But it is not in the two soldiers, but in the two men, that the future historian will find point of resemblance.

Washington was not a brilliant man; nor a “man of genius,” such as now and then appears to dazzle mankind; but he had what was far better than genius—a combination of all the qualities that win human trust; in which intelligence is so balanced by judgment and exhalted by character as to constitute a natural superiority; indicating one who is born to command, and to whom all men turn, when their hearts are “failing them for fear,” as a leader. He was great not only in action, but in repose; great in his very calm—in the fortitude with which he bore himself through all changes of fortune, through dangers and disasters, neither elated by victory nor depressed by defeat—mental habitudes which many will recognize as re-appearing in the one who seems to have formed himself upon that great model. Washington was distinguished for his magnanimity. Was not Lee also? Men in public station are apt to be sensitive to whatever concerns their standing before the world; and so, while taking to themselves the credit of success, they are strongly tempted to throw upon others the blame of failure. Soldiers especially are jealous of their reputation; and if a commander loses a battle his first impluse is to cast the odium of defeat upon some unfortunate officer. Somebody blundered; this or that subordinate did not do his duty. Military annals are filled with these recriminations. If Napoleon met with a check in his mighty plans he had no scruple in laying it to the misconduct of some lieutenant; unless, as in Russia, he could throw it upon the elements, the wintry snows and the frozen rivers—anything to relieve himself from the imputation of the want of foresight or provision for unexpected dangers. At Waterloo it was not he that failed in his strategy, but Marshal Ney, that failed in the execution. In this respect General Lee was exactly his opposite. If he suffered a disaster he never sought. to evade responsibility by placing it upon others. Even in the greatest reverse of his life, the defeat at Gettysburg, when he saw the famous charge of Pickett melt away under the terrible fire that swept the field, till the ranks were literally torn in pieces by shot and shell, he did not vent his despair in rage and reproaches, but rushing to the front, took the blame upon himself, saying, “It is all my fault.” Perhaps no incident of his life showed more the nobility of his nature.

When the war was over General Lee had left to him at Lexington, about the same number of years that Napoleon had at St. Helena; and if he had had the same desire to pose for posterity in the part of an illustrious exile, his mountain home would have furnished as picturesque a background as the rocky island in the South Atlantic, from which he could have dictated “Conversations” that should furnish the materials of history. He need not have written or published a single line, if he had only been willing to let others do it for him. By their pens he had opportunity to tell of the great part he had acted in the war in a way to make the whole chain of events contribute to his fame. But he seemed to care little for fame, and, indeed, was unmoved when others claimed the credit of his victories. If it be, as Pascal says, “the truest mark of a great mind to be born without envy,” few men in history have shown more of this greatness than he. And when, as was sometimes the case, old companions-in-arms reflected upon him to excuse their own mistakes, he had only to lift the veil from the secrets of history to confound them. But under all temptations he was dumb. Nothing that he did or said was more truly grand than the silence with which he bore the misrepresentations of friend or foe. This required a self-command such as Washington had not to exercise at the end of his military career: for he retired from the scene crowned with victory, with a whole nation at his feet ready to do him honor, while Lee had to bear the reproach of the final disaster—a reproach in which friends sometimes joined with foes. Yet to both he answered only with the same majestic calm, the outward sign of his magnificent self-control. Such magnanimity belongs to the very highest order of moral qualities, and shows a character rare in any country or any age.

This impression of the man does not grow less with closer observation. With the larger number of “great men” the greatness is magnified by distance and separation. As we come nearer they dwindle in statue, till, when we are in their very presence and look them squarely in the face, they are found to be but men like ourselves, and sometimes very ordinary men—with some special ability, perhaps which gives them success in the world, but who for all that are full of selfishness, which is the very essence of meanness, and puffed up with paltry conceit and vanity that stamps them as little rather than great. Far different was the impression made by General Lee upon those who saw him in the freedom of private intercourse. It might be expected that the soldiers who fought under him should speak with pride and admiration of their old commander; but how did he appear to his neighbors? Here in Lexington, everybody knew him, at least by sight. They saw his manner of life from day to day, in his going out and his coming in, and on all the impression was the same; the nearer he came to them the greater he seemed. Everyone has some anecdote to tell of him, and it is always of something that was noble and lovable. Those who knew him best loved him most and revered him most. This was not a greatness that was assumed, that was put on like a military cloak; it was in the man, and could not be put on or off; it was the greatness which comes from the very absence of pretension. And those who came closest to him, give us a still further insight into his nature by telling us that what struck them most was the extent of his sympathy. Soldiers are commonly supposed to be cold and hard—a temper of mind to which they are innured by their very profession. Those whose business is the shedding of blood are thought to delight in human suffering. It is hard to believe that a soldier can have a very tender heart. Yet few men were so sensitive to others’ pain as General Lee. All came near him perceived that with his manly strength there was united an almost womanly sweetness. It was this gentleness which made him great, and which has enshrined him in the heart of his people forever.

This sympathy for the suffering showed itself, not in any public act so much as in a private and delicate office which imposed upon him a very heavy burden—one that he might have declined, but the taking of which showed the man. He had an unlimited correspondence. Letters poured in upon him by the hundred and the thousand. They came from all parts of the South, not only from his old companion-in-arms, but from those he had never seen or heard of. Every mother that had lost a son in the war felt that she had a right to pour her sorrow into the ear of one who was not insensible to her grief. Families left in utter poverty appealed to him for aid. Most men would have shrunk from a labor so great as that of answering these letters. Not so General Lee. He read them, not only patiently, as a man performs a disagreeable duty, but with a tender interest, and so far as was possible, he returned the kindest answers. If he had little money to give, he could at least give sympathy, and to his old soldiers and their wives and children, it was more than money to know that they had a place in that great heart.

While thus ministering to his stricken people, there is one public benefit which he rendered that ought never to be forgotten. Though the war was over, he still stood in public relations in which he could render an immeasurable service to the whole country. There are no crisis in a nation’s life more perilous than those following civil war. The peace that comes after it, is peace only in name, if the passions of the war still live. After our great struggle, the South was full of inflamable materials. The fires were but smoldering in ashes and might break out at any minute, and rage with destructive fury. If the spirit of some had had full swing, the passions of the Civil War would have been not only perpetuated, but increased, and have gone down as an inheritance of bitterness, from generation to generation. This stormy sea of passion, but one man could control. He had no official position, civil or military. But he was the representative of the “Lost Cause.” He had led the Southern armies to battle, and he had the unbounded confidence of millions; and it was his attitude and his words that did more than any thing else to still the angry tempests that the war had left behind. It was the sight of the great chieftain, so calm, so ready to bear the burden with his people, that soothed their anger and their pride; and made the old soldiers of the Confederacy feel that they could accept what had been accepted by their leader; and that, as he had set the example, it was no unworthy sacrifice to become loyal supporters of the restored American Union. It is therefore not too much to say that it is owing in great measure to General Lee, that the Civil War has not left a lasting division between the North and the South, and that they form to day one United Country.

These are the greatful memories to be recalled now that he who was so mighty in war, and so gentle in peace, has passed beyond the reach of praise or blame. Do you tell me that he was an “enemy,” and that by as much as we love our country we ought to hate its enemies? But there are no enemies among the dead. When the grave closes over those with whom we have been at strife, we can drop our hatreds, and judge of them without passion, and even kindly, as we wish those who come after us to judge of us. In a few years all the contemporaries of General Lee will be dead and gone; the great soldiers that fought with him and that fought against him, will alike have passed to the grave; and then perhaps there will be a nearer approach of feeling between friend and foe.

“Ah, yes,” say some who admit his greatness as a soldier and leader, “if it were not for his ambition, that stopped not at the ruin of his country.” Such is the fatal accusation:

        Ceasar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievious fault,
And grieviously hath Ceasar answered it.

But was that ambition in him which was patriotism in us? How is it that we who were upborne for four years by a passion for our country, that stopped at no sacrifices, cannot understand that other men, of the same race and blood, could be inspired with the same passion for what they looked upon as their country, and fight for it with the same heroic devotion that we fought for ours? They as well as we, were fighting for an idea: we for union, and they for independence—a cause which was as sacred to them as ours to us. Is it that what was patriotism on one side was ambition on the other? No; it was not disappointed ambition that cut short that life, but a wound that struck far deeper. One who watched by him in those long night hours, tells me that he died of a broken heart. This is the most touching aspect of the warrior’s death; that he did not fall on the field of battle, either in the hour of defeat or victory, but in silent grief for sufferings which he could not relieve. There is something infinitely pathetic in the way that he entered in the condition of the whole people, and gave his last strength to comfort those who were fallen and cast down. It was this constant strain of hand and brain and heart that finally snapped the strings of life so that the last view of him as he passes out of sight, is one of unspeakable sadness. The dignity is preserved, but it is the dignity of woe. It is the same tall and stately form, yet not wearing the robes of a conqueror, but bowed with sorrows not his own. In the mournful majesty, silent with a grief beyond words, this great figure passes into history.

There we leave him to the judgment of another generation, that “standing afar off” may see some things more clearly than we. When the historian of future ages comes to write the History of the Great Republic, he will give the first place to that War of the Revolution, by which our country gained its independence, and took its place among the nations of the earth; and the second to the late Civil War, which, begun for separation, ended in a closer and consolidated union. That was the last act in the great drama of our nation’s life, in which history cannot forget the part was borne by him whose silent form lies within this sepulchre. As I took a last look at the sarcophagus, I observed that it bore no epitaph; no words of praise were carved upon the stone; only a name, with two dates:

Robert Edward Lee,
Born January 19,1807;
Died October 12, 1870.

That is all; but it is enough: all the rest may be left to the calm, eternal judgment of history.

So very many of General Lee’s letters have been published that it is a difficult task to select a few for renewed publication, or to choose a few as being the best. However, those to the members of his own immediate family certainly give the closest insight into the true character of the man. Writing to his two eldest sons, from,

Ship Massachusetts, off Lobos, 27, Feb., 1847.

My dear boys:—I have received your letters with the greatest pleasure, and, as I always like to talk, to you both together, I will not separate you in my letters, but write one to you both. I was so much gratified to hear of your progress at school, and that you will continue to advance, and that I shall have the happiness of finding you much improved in all your studies on my return. I shall not feel my long separation from you, if I find that my absence has been of no injury to you, and that you both have grown in goodness and knowledge, as well as stature. But, ah! How much I will suffer on my return, if the reverse has occured! You enter all my thoughts, into all my prayers; and on you, in part, will depend whether I shall be happy or miserable, as you know how much I love you. You must do all in your power to save me from pain.

You will learn by my letter to your grandmother, that I have left Tampico. I saw many things to remind me of you, though that was not necessary to make me wish you were with me. The river was so calm and beautiful, and the boys were playing about the boats and swimming their ponies. Then there were troops of donkeys carrying water through the streets. They had a kind of saddle, something like a cart saddle, though larger, that carried two ten gallon kegs on each side, which was a load for a donkey. They had no bridles on, but would come along in strings to the river, and as soon as their kegs were filled, start off again. They were fatter and sleeker than any donkeys I have ever seen before, and seemed to be better cared for. I saw a great many ponies, too. They were larger than those in the upper country, but did not seem so enduring. I got one to ride around the fortifications. He had a Mexican bit and saddle, and paced delightfully, but every time my sword struck him in the flanks, would jump and try to run off. Several of them had been broken to harness, by Americans; and I saw some teams, in wagons, driven-four-in-hand, well matched and trotting well.

We had a grand parade on General Scott’s arrival. The troops were all drawn up on the river bank, and fired a salute as he passed them. He landed at the market, where lines of sentinels were placed to keep off the crowd. In front of the landing the artillery was drawn up, which received him in the centre of the column, and escorted him through the streets to his lodgings. They had provided a handsome gray horse, richly caparisoned, for him, but he preferred to walk, with his staff around him, and a dragoon led his horse behind us. The windows along the streets we passed were crowded with people, and the boys and girls were in great glee, the Governor’s island band playing all the time. There were six thousand soldiers in Tampico. Mr. Barry was the adjutant of the escort. I think you would have enjoyed with me the oranges and sweet potatoes. Major Smith became so fond of the chocolate, that I could hardly get him away from the house. We only remained there one day. I have a nice stateroom on board this ship; Joe Johnson and myself occupy it, but my poor Jos is so sick all the time, I can do nothing with him. I left Jem to come on with the horses, as I was afraid they would not be properly cared for. Vessels were expressly fitted up for the horses, and parties of dragoons detailed to take care of them. I had hoped they would reach here by this time, as I wanted to see how they were fixed. I took every precaution for their comfort, provided them with bran, oats, etc., and had slings made to pass under them and attached to the covering above, so that, if in the heavy sea, they should slip, or be thrown off their feet, they could not fall. I had to sell my good old horse Jim, as I could not find room for him, or, rather, I did not want to crowd the others. I know I shall want him when I land. Creole was the admiration of every one at Brazos, and they hardly believed she had carried me so far, and looked so well. Jem says there is nothing like her in all the country, and I believe he likes her better than Tom or Jerry. The sorrel mare did not appear to be so well after I got to Brazos. I had to put one of the men on her, whose horse had given out, and the saddle hurt her back. She had gotten well, however, before I left, and I told Jem to ride her every day. I hope they may both reach shore again in safety, but I fear they will have a hard time. They will first have to be put aboard a steamboat and carried to the ship that lies about two miles out at sea, then hoisted in, and how we shall get them ashore again, I do not know. Probably throw them overboard and let them swi[m] there. I do not think we shall remain here more than one day longer. General Worth’s and General Twigg’s divisions .have arrived, which include the regulars, and I suppose the volunteers will be coming on every day. We shall probably go on the 1st down the coast, select a place for debarkation, and make all the arrangements preparatory to the arrival of the troops. I shall have plenty to do there, and am anxious for the time to come and hope all may be successful.

Tell Rob he must think of me very often, be a good boy, and always love Papa. Take care of Speck and the colts. Mr. Sedwick and officers send their love to you. The ship rolls so that I can scarcely write. You must write to me very often. I am always very glad to hear from you. Be sure I am thinking of you, and that you have the prayers of your affectionate father.

To his eldest son, then a cadet at West Point, he wrote this grand letter. No apology for its re-publication is needed.

Arlington House, 5th, April, 1852.

My dear son.—I am just in the act of leaving home for New Mexico. My fine old regiment has been ordered to that distant region, and I must hasten on to see that they are properly cared for. I have but little to add in reply to your letters of March 26, 27, 28. Your letters breathe a true spirit of frankness; they have given myself and your mother great pleasure. You must study to be frank with the world. Frankness is the child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do on every occasion, and take it for granted you mean to do right. If a friend asks a favor you should grant it if it is reasonable; if not, tell him plainly why you cannot. You will wrong him and wrong yourself by equivocation of any kind. Never do a wrong thing to make a friend or keep one. The man who requires you to do so is dearly purchased at a sacrifice. Deal kindly, but firmly, with all your classmates; you will find it the policy which wears the best. Above all, do not appear to others what you are not. If you have any fault to find with any one tell him, not others, of what you complain. There is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man’s face and another behind his back. We should live, act, and say nothing to the injury of anyone. It is not only best as a matter of principle, but it is the path to peace and honor.

In regard to duty, let me, in conclusion of this hasty letter, inform you that nearly a hundred years ago there was a day of remarkable gloom and darkness, still known as the dark day—a day when the light of the sun was slowly extinguished, as if by an eclipse. The Legislature of Connecticut was in session, and, as its members saw the unexcepted and unaccountable darkness coming on, they shared the general awe and terror. It was supposed by many that the last day, the day of judgment had come. Some one, in the consternation of the hour, moved an adjournment. Then there arose an old Puritan legislator, Davenport of Stamford, and said; that if the last day had come he desired to be found at his place, doing his duty, and, therefore moved that candles be brought in, so that the House could proceed with its duty. There was quietness in that man’s mind—the quietness of heavenly wisdom and inflexible willingness to obey present duty. Duty, then, is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things, like that old Puritan. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less. Never let me or your mother wear one gray hair for any lack of duty on your part.

Mrs. Lee once stated that “attention to ‘small’ matters was pre-eminently characteristic of General Lee; and she thought his example, in this respect, might be most profitably studied by the young people of the present day.” This trait he exhibited through life; no detail of anything he had in charge seems to have been considered too trifling to merit his care that it should be thoroughly well done. This is well illustrated in the following to his wife. Though a thousand miles from home, he sought to be there in counsel, and to aid her in all the petty details of her household affairs; he would save her all the worry and all the care he could:

Jefferson Barracks, 20, August, 1855.

I announced on the envelope of my letter of the 17th, dearest M., that yours of the 11th, accompanied by Fitzhugh’s affectionate communication of the same date, had just reached me. I have no doubt that my reply to his former letter was carried out by your messenger, who mailed the last. I have, however, hastened to answer his last letter, for it deserved a prompt reply, and hope it may reach him in time before his departure. Our mails are slow. It only goes every day from here to St. Louis, and I find it takes a fortnight for a letter to go and come. I enclosed in my letter of the 17th, to him my check No. 112, dated 1st., Sept., to his order for $200, on Bank of Commerce, in New York; and to you, my check of 22, August, to your order on Farmer’s Bk., of Va., at Alex., for $100, and my check of 1, Sept., to the order of Hugh W. Sheffy on same bank for $195. I repeat that you may look out for the letter and on its non-reception, stop payment of the checks at the respective banks. With this I send my check No. 113, of 25th, of Aug., ’55, on Bank of Commerce, in New York, to the order of Collins & Co., Baltimore, for $200, which as you have his bill, I have thought you had better remit to him. You may tell him that I have deducted $20.00 from his original offer, as the value of the two registers not used, and the cost of workmanship thereby saved; the payment of plaster’s bill, hauling, etc., and which if not satisfactory, I will arrange another time. The bricks and mortar, I was to furnish. The board of his men and hauling was not much, and was more a convenience to him than an expense. Perhaps $15, would have been enough, and if he say so, I wish you would send him $5. I would rather overpay than underpay mechanics. You will have to use the $100 I sent you to pay off all your bills, get the girls to school, and Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee), to C., for I am afraid he is penniless, and I will send you another in time for my dear little Rob, who shall not suffer if I have to sell the shirt from my back. I am glad he is well again. I trust he may keep so, but I fear you will all have bilious attacks. I think it is better to write for the furniture you want from W.P. (West Point), while Mr. Smith is there; after he goes I do not know who will attend to it. I suppose, however Mr. Newland and Mr. O’Maher will be left. The picture had better come by express. It will not be ready to varnish before next spring. I am glad you are going to have the book cases repaired. What will you do with the old harpsichord and organ? The former will not be appropriate for the room and the latter ought to give place to the hall table at W. P. Renwick could make you another pair of chairs similar to the present, and the lounge, table and four chairs would be sufficient. If you have them made, recollect to have them oiled before being varnished, or the color will be too light. I wish indeed I could be there to help you, but it is impossible. You must have every thing nice and comfortable for your father and friends, and I will enjoy it through you. I mentioned in my last letter the necessity of paying taxes on the Washington lot before the end of August, to get the benefit of the discount. The amt. under the present assessment is between $4 and $5 and is payable at the collector’s office at the City Hall. It must be paid every July or August, I forget which. You have not mentioned lately anything about Mary’s foot. I hope, therefore, it is still improving. Neither did you give me the result of the consultation about the horse’s eye. Sometimes an operation in those cases has to be resorted to, but it ought to be done by a skillful operator. I hope in this case it will not be necessary. Give much love to your father and children. Tell Becky she had better come. Goodnight, my Dear M., and believe me always yours.

P.S. I was very glad to see that Hill Carter, Jr., of Shirley had taken one of the honors at Wm. and Mary. Who is the A. M. Randolph, of Faquier, whose oration on “Human Progress,” is so highly spoken of? I am very sorry to see announced this morning the death of Abbot Lawrence. He is a national loss. But his deeds live after him.

While the approaching storm of civil war was as yet hardly visible, even as a tiny cloud in the political sky, General Lee wrote to his wife of the evils of slavery and his views as to the proper methods for their emancipations:

Fort Brown, Texas, 27th, December, 1856.

The steamer has arrived from New Orleans, bringing full files of papers and general intelligence from the “States.” I have enjoyed the former very much, and, in absence of particular intelligence, have perused with much interest the series of the Alexandria Gazette from the 20th, of November to the 8th, of December, inclusive. Besides the usual good reading matter, I was interested in the relation of local affairs, and inferred, from the ordinary and quiet course of events, that all the neighborhood was going on well. I trust it may be so, and that you and particularly all at Arlington and our friends elsewhere are well. The steamer brought the President’s message to congress and the reports of the various heads of the departments, so that we are now assured that the government is in operation, and the Union in existence. Not that I had any fear to the contrary, but it is satisfactory always to have facts to go on; they restrained supposition and conjecture, confirmed the faith and bring contentment. I was much pleased with the President’s message, and the report of the Secretary of War. The views of the President on the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. In this enlightened age there are few, I believe, but will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think, it, however, a greater evil to the white than to the black race, and while my feelings are strongly interested in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are stronger for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially, and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and, I hope, will prepare and lead them to better things. How long their subjection may be necessary is known and ordered by a wise and merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from a mild and melting influence than the storms and contests of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrine and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small part of the human race, and even among Christian nations, what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of final abolition of slavery is onward, and we give it to the aid of our prayers and all justifiable means in our power, we must leave the progress as well as the result in his Hands, who sees the end and who chooses to work by slow things and with whom a thousand years are as but a single day; although the abolitionist must know this, and must see that he has neither the right nor the power of operating except by moral means and suasion; and if he means well to the slave he must not create angry feelings in the master. That although he may not approve the mode by which it pleases Providence to accomplish its purpose, the result will ever be the same; that the reasons he gives for interference in what he has no concern holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbors when we disapprove their conduct. It is not strange that the descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers, who crossed the Atlantic to preserve the freedom of their opinion have always proved themselves intolerant of the spiritual liberty of others? I hope you had a joyous Christmas at Arlington, and that it may be long and often repeated. I thought of you all and wished to be with you. Mine was gratefully but silently passed. I endeavored to find some little presents for the children in the garrison to add to their amusement, and succeeded better than I anticipated. The stores are very barren of any such things here, but by taking the week beforehand in my daily walks, I picked up little by little something for all. Tell Mildred I got a beautiful Dutch doll for little Emma Jones—one of those crying babies that can open and shut their eyes, turn their heads, etc. For the two other little girls, Puss Shirley and Mary Sewell, I found handsome French teapots to match cups given to them by Mrs. Waite; then by means of knives and books I satisfied the boys. After dispensing my presents, I went to church. The discourse was on the birth of our Saviour. It was not as simply or touchingly told as it is in the Bible. By previous invitation I dined with Major Thomas at 2 P.M. on roast turkey and plum pudding. He and his wife were alone. I had provided a pretty singing bird for the little girl, and passed the afternoon in my room. God bless you all.

To his second son, then on duty in the West, he wrote, under date of January 1st, 1859:

A happy New Year! And many returns of the same to you, my precious Roon! Ours has been gladdened by the reception of your letter of the 4th of December from Presidio Barracks. It is the first line that has reached us since your second letter from Fort Bridger. I am sorry you have received nothing from us. I have written often and by various routes, and the other members of the family have done the same.Those that are toiling over the plains, I suppose, will never reach you. When I first learned that the Sixth was ordered to the Pacific, I sent some letters to Benicia. When your letter arrived from Fort Bridger, saying your regiment had departed from Salt Lake and that you were at Camp Floyd, I inclosed some letters to Major Porter’s care. After seeing that the regiment was stopped at Carson’s Valley and had sent back for animals, I conjectured that you would be pushed on with your recruits, and would labor through to the Pacific, and I resumed my direction to Benicia. Surely, some of these letters should reach you. . . . But, now that you have caught Custis, I hope you are indemnified for all your privations. I am delighted at you two being together, and nothing has occurred so gratifying to me for the past year. Hold on to him as long as you can. Kiss him for me, and sleep with him every night. He must do the same with you and charge it all to my account. God grant that it could be my fortune to be with you both! I am glad that you stood the march so well, and are so robust and bearded. I always thought and said there was stuff in you for a good soldier, and I trust you will prove it. I cannot express the gratification I felt, in meeting Colonel May in New York, at the incomiums he passed under your soldiership, zeal, and devotion to duty. But I was more pleased at the report of your conduct. That went nearer to my heart, and was of infinitely more comfort to me. Hold on to your purity and virtue. They will proudly sustain you in all trials and difficulties, and cheer you in every calamity. I was sorry to see, from your letter to your mother, that you smoke occasionally. It is dangerous to meddle with. You have in store so much better use for your mouth. Reserve it, Roone, for its legitimate pleasure. Do not poison and corrupt it with stale vapors or tarnish your beard with their stench.

Some of the letters, written during the trying times of the war, will show how the stem soldier threw off grave responsibilities of his position, to indulge in a little friendly badinage, or to pour forth his sympathy with the afflicted:

Coosawhatchie, S.C., 25th, December, 1861.

My dear daughter: Having distributed such poor Christmas gifts as I had to those around me, I have been looking for something for you. Trifles are even hard to get these war times, and you must not therefore expect more. I have sent you what I thought most useful in your separation from me, and hope it will be of some service. Though stigmatized as “vile dross,” it has never been a drug with me. That you may never want for it, restrict your wants to your necessities. Yet how little will it purchase! But see how God provides for our pleasures in every way. To compensate for such “trash,” I send you some sweet violets, that I gathered for you this morning, while covered with dense white frost, whose chrystals glittered in the bright sun like diamonds, and formed a brooch of rare beauty and sweetness, which could not be fabricated by the expenditure of a world of money. May God guard and preserve you for me, my dear daughter! Among the calamities of war, the hardest to bear perhaps, is the separation of families and friends. Yet all must be endured to accomplish our independence, and maintain our self government. In my absence from you, I have thought of you very often, and regretted I could do nothing for your comfort. Your old home, if not destroyed by our enemies, has been so desecrated, that I cannot bear to think of it. I should have preferred it to have been wiped from the earth, its beautiful hill sunk, and its sacred trees buried, rather than to have been degraded by the presence of those who revel in the ill they do for their own selfish purposes. You see what a poor sinner I am, and how unworthy to possess what has been given me; for that reason it has been taken away. I pray for a better spirit, and that the hearts of our enemies may be changed. In your homeless condition, I hope you make yourself contented and useful. Occupy yourself in aiding those more helpless than yourself. . . . Think always of your father.

Of Arlington and Stratford, the two homes around which so many hallowed memories were grouped, he wrote his wife the same day:

I cannot let this day of grateful rejoicing pass without some communion with you. I am thankful for the many among the past that I have passed with you, and the remembrance of them fills me with pleasure. As to our old home, if not destroyed it will be difficult to ever be recognized. Even if the enemy had wished to preserve it, it would almost have been impossible. With the number of troops encamped around it, the change of officers, the want of fuel, shelter, etc., and all the dire necessities of war, it is vain to think of its being in a habitable condition. I fear, too, the books, furniture, and relics of Mount Vernon will be gone. It is better to make up our minds to a general loss. They cannot take away the remembrance of the spot, and the memories of those that to us rendered it sacred. That will remain to us as long as life will last and that we can preserve. In the absence of a home, I wish I could purchase Stratford. It is the only other place I could go to now acceptable to us, that would inspire me with pleasure and local love. You and the girls could remain there in quiet. It is a poor place, but we could make enough cornbread and bacon for our support, and the girls could weave us our clothes. You must not build your hopes on peace, on account of the United States going to war with England. Our rulers are not entirely mad, and if they find England is in earnest, and that war or a restitution of the captives (Messrs. Mason and Slidell) must be the consequence, they will adopt the latter. We must make up our minds to fight our battles and win our independence alone. No one will help us.

To his daughter-in-law, the wife of his son, W. H. F. Lee, the three following letters were written:

Coosawhatchie, S.C., December 29, 1861.

You have no occasion to inform me, you precious Chass, that you have not written to me for a long time. That I already know, and you know that the letters I am obliged to write do not prevent my reading letters from you.

If it requires fits of indignation to cause you to ventilate your paper, I will give occasion for a series of spasms, but in the present case I am innocent, as my proposition was for you to accompany your mamma to Fayetteville, and not to run off with her son to Fredericksburg. I am afraid the enemy will catch you; and, besides, there are too many young men there. I only want you to visit the old men, your grandpapa and papa. But what has got into your head to cause you to cut off your hair? If you will weave some delicate fabrics for the soldiers or the family out of it, I will be content with the sacrifice; or, if it is an expression of a penitential mood that has come over you young women, I shall not complain. Poor little A—! Somebody told me that a widower had been making sweet eyes at her through his spectacles. Perhaps she is preparing for caps. But you can tell her not to distress herself. Her papa is not going to give her up in that way. I am, however, so glad that you are all together that I am willing that you should indulge in some extravagances if they do not result in serious hurt, as they will afford a variety to the grave occupation of knitting, sewing, spinning, and weaving. You will have to get out the old wheels and looms again, else I do not know where we poor Confederates will get clothes. I have plenty of old ones for the present, but how are they to be renewed? And that is the condition of many others. I do not think there are manufactories sufficient in the Confederacy to supply the demand; and, as all the men are engrossed by the war, the women will have to engage in the business. Fayetteville or Stratford would be a fine position for a domestic manufactory. When you go to see your grandpa, consult him about it. I am glad to hear that he is well, and hope that he will not let these disjointed times put him out of his usual way or give him inconvenience. I would not advise him to commence building at Broadneck, until he bees whether the enemy can be driven from the land, as they have a great fondness for destroying residences when they can do it without danger to themselves. . . . Do not let them get the precious baby, as he is so sweet, that they would be sure to eat him. . . . Kiss Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee), for me and the baby. That is the sweetest Christmas gift I can send them. I send you some sweet violets; I hope they will retain their fragrance till you receive them. I have just gathered them for you. The sun has set, and my eyes plead for relief, for they have had no rest this holy day. But my heart with all its strength stretches toward you, and those with you, and hushes in silence its yearnings. God bless you, my daughter, you dear husband, and son! Give much love to your mamma, and may every blessing attend you all, prays your devoted father.

Dabb’s, June 22, 1862.

I must take a part of this holy day, my dearest Chass, to thank you for your letter of the 14th. I am very glad that my communication after the battle reached you so opportunely, and relieved your anxiety about your Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee). He has, since that, made a hazardous scout, and been protected by that Divine Providence, which, I trust and pray, may always smile on, as I know it will ever watch over, you and yours. I sent you some account of this expedition in a former letter, as well as the order of General Stuart on the subject. It was badly printed, but may serve to show that he conducted himself well. The general deals in the flowery style, as you will perceive if you ever see his report in detail; but he is a good soldier, and speaks highly of the conduct of the two Lees, who, as far as I can learn, deserve his encomiums. Your mamma is very zealous in her attentions to your sick brother. He is reported better. I think he was a few evenings since, when I saw him, and a note from her this morning states that he slowly improves. I hope he will soon be well again. He is much reduced and looks very feeble. I suppose he will be obliged to go to the “North Carolina White Sulphur,” to keep you young women company. How will you like that? And now I must answer your inquiries about myself. My habiliments are not as comfortable as yours, not so suited to this hot weather; but they are the best I have. My coat is of gray, of the regulation style and pattern, and my pants of dark blue, as is also prescribed, partly hid by my long boots. I have the same handsome hat which surmounts my gray head (the latter is not prescribed in the regulations), and shields my ugly face, which is masked by a white beard as stiff and wiry as the teeth of a card. In fact, an uglier person you have never seen, and so unattractive is it to our enemies that they shoot at it when ever visible to them. But, though age with its snow has whitened my head and its frost have stiffened my limbs, my heart, you well know, is not frozen to you, and summer returns when I see you. Having now answered your questions, I have little more to say. Our enemy is quitely working within his lines, and collecting additional forces to drive us from our capital. I hope we shall be able yet to disappoint him, and drive him back into his own country. I saw Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee), the other day. He was looking very well in a new suit of gray.

This hasty note to his son, full of playful humor, is very interesting.

My dear Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee), . . . I wrote you a few lines the other day and also to my daughter, Charlotte. Tell her she must talk quick to you. Her time is getting short, and the soldier’s complain of the officers’ wives visiting them when theirs cannot. I am petitioned to send them off. Your poor mother is, 1 fear, no better. I received yesterday a very pleasing letter from Rev. Dr.—, complimentary of precious ——; I have mailed it to your mother. Kiss Chass for me, and tell her that daughters are not prohibited from visiting their papas. It is only objected to wives visiting their husbands. But she and Mrs. R— are not included in the prohibition. Your Uncle Carter says that they had him, with a gun and sword buckled to him, guarding a ford on James River during Stoneman’s last expedition. You and Fitz must not let them capture your uncle. I wish I could have seen your review; I hope Chass did.

After his son had been wounded, he wrote these two notes—one to the son, the other to the daughteriin-law:

My dear Son: I send you a dispatch received from C— last night. I hope you are comfortable this morning. I wish I could see you, but I cannot. Take care of yourself, and make haste and get well, and return. Though I scarcely ever saw you, it was a great comfort to know that you were near and with me. I could think of you and hope to see you. May we meet yet in peace and happiness! Kiss Chass for me. Tell her she must not tease you while you are sick, and she must write and let me know how you are. God bless you both, my children.

Culpeper, June 11, 1863.

I am so grieved my dear daughter, to send Fitzhugh, (W. H. F. Lee), to you wounded. But I am so grateful that his wound is of a character to give us full hope of a speedy recovery. With his youth and strength to aid him, and your tender care to nurse him, I trust he will soon be well again. I know that you will unite with me in thanks to Almighty God, who has so often shielded him in the hour of danger, for this recent deliverance, and lift up your whole heart in praise to Him for sparing a life so dear to us, while enabling him to do his duty in the station in which He had placed him. Ask him to join us in supplication, that He may always cover him with the shadow of his Almighty arms and teach him that his only refuge is in Him, the greatness of whose mercy reacheth unto the heavens, and His truth unto the clouds. As some good is always mixed with the evil in the world, you will now have him with you for a time, and I shall look to you to cure him very soon and send him back to me; for, though I saw him seldom, I knew he was near, and always hoped to see him. I went today to thank Mrs. Hill for her attention to him and kindness to you. She desired me to give her regards to you both. I must now thank you for the letter you wrote to me while at Fredericksburg. I kept it by me till preparing for the battlefield, when, fearing it might reach the eyes of General Hooker, I destroyed it. We can carry with us only our recollections. I must leave Fitzhugh to tell you about the battle, the army, and the country. . . .

On hearing of the death of his infant granddaughter, he snatches a moment from his grave military duties, allows his horse to wait at the tent door, while he pens a few lines of tender sympathy:

Camp Fredericksburg, 10th, December, 1862.

I heard yesterday, my dear daughter, with the deepest sorrow, of the death of your infant. I was so grateful at her birth. I felt that she would be such a comfort to you, such a pleasure to my dear Fitzhugh, and would fill so full the void still aching in your hearts. But now you have two sweet angels in heaven. What joy there is in the thought! What relief to your grief! What suffering and sorrow they have escaped! I can say nothing to soften the anguish you must feel, and I know you are assured of my deep and affectionate sympathy. May God give you strength to bear the affliction He has imposed, and produce future joy out of your present misery, is my earnest prayer.

I saw Fitzhugh yesterday. He is well, and wants to see you. When you are strong enough, cannot you come to Hickory Hill, or your grandpa’s, on a little visit? My horse is waiting at my tent door, but I could not refrain from sending these few lines, to recall to you the thought and love of your devoted father.

While his son was recovering from a wound, he was captured by a raiding party and taken to Fort Monroe. His wife died during his confinement. This letter was written to his son on his release and return to Richmond.

Camp Orange County, April 24, 1864.

I received last night, my dear son, your letter of the 22d. It has given me great comfort. God knows how I loved your dear, dear wife, how sweet her memory is to me, and how I mourn her loss. My grief could not be greater if you had been taken from me. You are both. equally dear to me. My heart is too full to speak on this subject, nor can I write. But my grief is for ourselves, not for her. She is brighter and happier than ever—safe from all evil, and awaiting us in our heavenly abode. May God in his Mercy enable us to join her in eternal praise to our Lord and saviour. Let us humbly bow ourselves before Him, and offer perpetual prayer for pardon and forgiveness. But we cannot indulge in grief, however mournfully pleasing. Our country demands all our strength, all our energies. To resist the powerful combination now forming against us will require every man at his place. If victorious, we have everything to hope for in the future. If defeated, nothing will be left us to live for. I have not heard what action has been taken by the department in reference to my recommendations concerning the organization of the calvary [cavalry]. But we have no time to wait, and you had better join your brigade. This week will in all probability bring us active work, and we must strike fast and strong. My whole trust is in God, and I am ready for whatever he ordain. May He guide, guard, and strengthen us, is my constant prayer.

This letter was written only a few years after his marriage; it is addressed to one of his relatives in Alexandria, an old playfellow and schoolmate:

St. Louis, 20th, August, 1838.

My dear Cassius and Cousin, I believe I once spoke to you on the subject of getting for me the crest coat of arms, etc., of the Lee family, and which sure enough you never did. My object in making the request is for the purpose of having a seal cut with the impression of said coat, which I think is due from a man of my large family to his posterity, and which, I have thought, perhaps foolishly enough, might as well be right as wrong. If therefore you can assist me in this laudable enterprise, I shall be much obliged, and by enveloping it securely, directed to me at this place, and sending it, either by mail or some safe hand, to Gen’l Gratiot, Eng. office, Washington City, without any word or further direction, it will come safely to hand. I once saw in the hands of cousin Edmund, for the only time in my life, our family tree, and as I begin in my old age to feel a little curiosity relative to my forefathers, their origin, whereabouts, etc., any information you can give me will increase the obligation. So sit down some of these hot evenings and write it off for me, or at any rate the substance, and tell my cousin Phillipa not to let you forget it. I wish you would at the same time undeceive her on a certain point, in which as I understand, she is laboring under a grievious error. Tell her it is the fartherest from my wish to detract from any of the little Lees, but as to her little boy being equal to Mr. Rooney, it is a thing not to be even supposed, much less believed, although in a credulous country where people stick at nothing from a coon story to a sea serpent! You must remember us particularly to her, to Uncle Edmund, Cousins Sally, Hannah and all the Lloyds.

I believe I can tell you nothing doing here that would interest you, except that we are all well; although my Dame has been complaining for a day or two. The elections are all over. The Vanites have carried the day in the State, although the Whigs in this district carried their entire ticket, and you will have the pleasure of hearing the great expunger again thunder from his place in the Senate against banks, bribery and corruption, and what not.

While on the river I cannot help being on the look out for that stream of gold that was to ascend the Mississippi, tied up in silk net purses! It would be a pretty sight, but the tide has not yet made up here. Let me know whether you can enlighten me on the point in question. And believe me, yours very truly.

To C. F. Lee, Esqr., Alexandria, D.C.

In the recent memoir of General Lee, written by his nephew, General Fitzhugh Lee, a series of extracts are given from the General’s letters to his wife. Throughout these letters, he constantly expresses anxiety for the sufferings of his soldiers from want of proper food and clothing. No one can read these extracts without perceiving one of the causes for the almost perfect adoration which his men had for “Marse Bob,” as they were wont to style their commander.

Such expressions as these occur in letter after letter: “. . . We had quite a snow day before yesterday, and last night was very cold. It is thawing this morning, though the water was freezing as I washed. I fear it will bring much discomfort to our men who are barefooted and poorly clad. I can take but little pleasure in my comforts for thinking of them. . . .”

“. . . The quartermaster received the things you sent. The mitts will be very serviceable. Make as many as you can obtain good material for. I have everything I want. . . .” On returning from a visit to Richmond, he brought a bag of socks with him for his men, and wrote his wife: “I arrived safely yesterday. There are sixty-seven pairs of socks in the bag I brought up instead of sixty four, as you supposed, and I found here three dozen pairs of beautiful white yarn socks, sent over by our kind cousin Julia and sweet little Carrie, making one hundred and three pairs; all of which I sent to the Stonewall brigade. One dozen of the Stuart socks had double heels. Can you not teach Mildred (his youngest daughter) that stitch? They sent me also some hams, which I had rather they had eaten. I pray that you may be preserved and relieved from all your troubles, and that we may all again be united here on earth and forever in heaven.”

At another date: “Your note with the socks arrived last evening. I have sent them to the Stonewall brigade; the number all right-thirty pairs. Including this last parcel of thirty pairs, I have sent to that brigade two hundred and sixty three pairs. Still, there are about one hundred and forty whose homes are within the enemy’s lines and who are without socks. I shall continue to furnish them till they are supplied. Tell the young women to work hard for the brave Stonewallers.” . . . A few weeks later: “Your note with the bag of socks reached me last evening. The number was correct—thirty one pairs. I have sent them to the Stonewall brigade, which is not yet supplied. Sixty one pairs from the ladies in Fauquier have reached Charlottesville and I hope will be distributed soon. Now that Miss Bettie Brander has come to the aid of my daughters, the supply will soon be increased.”

From camp under date of 24th of January, 1864, he again wrote to his wife:

I have had to disperse the cavalry as much as possible to obtain forage for their horses, and it is that which causes trouble. Provisions for men too, are very scarce, and with very light diet and light clothing I fear they suffer; but still they are cheerful and uncomplaining. I received a report from one division the other day in which it was stated that over four hundred men were barefooted and over a thousand without blankets. . . .

So, too, some time later he wrote[:]

I received your letter some days ago, and last night your note accompanying a bag of gloves and socks and a bag of coffee. Mrs. Devereux sent the coffee to you, not me, and I shall have to send it back. It is so long since we have had the foreign bean that we no longer desire it. We have a domestic article, which we procure by the bushel, that answers very well. You must keep the good things for yourself. We have had to reduce our allowance of meat one half, and some days we have none. The gloves and socks are very acceptable, and I shall give them out this morning. The socks of Mrs. Shepherd are very nice, but I think it is better to give them to the soldiers than to dispose of them as you suggest. The soldiers are much in need. We have received some shoes lately, and the socks will be a great addition. Tell Life (his youngest daughter) I think I hear her needles rattle as they fly through the meshes.

In the winter of 1864 the following incident went the rounds of the Southern press:

One very cold morning a young soldier on the cars to Petersburg was making fruitless efforts to put on his overcoat, with his arm in a sling. His teeth, as well as his sound arm, were brought into use to effect the object; but in the midst of his efforts an officer arose from his seat, advanced to him, and very carefully and tenderly assisted him, drawing the coat gently over his wounded arm, and buttoning it comfortably; then, with a few kind and pleasant words, returned to his seat.

Now the officer in question was not clad in gorgeous uniform, with a brilliant wreath upon the collar and a multitude of gilt lines upon the sleeves, resembling the famous labrynth of Crete, but he was clad in a “simple suit of gray,” distinguished from the garb of a civilian only by the three stars which every Confederate General is, by the regulations, entitled to wear. And yet he was no other than our chief general, Robert E. Lee, who is not braver than he is good and modest.

General Fitzhugh Lee also gives this:

The cavalry, for the better subsistence of men and horses, had been moved back to Charlottesville for the winter, and, not having much to do, some of the officers proposed to dance. General Lee wrote to his son Robert, then belonging to that arm of the service, from Camp, Orange Court House, 17th January, 1864: “I enclose a letter for you which has been sent to my care. I hope you are well and all around you. Tell Fitz I grieve over the hardships and sufferings of the men in their late expedition. I would have preferred his waiting for more favorable weather. He accomplished much under the circumstances, but would have done much more in favorable weather. I am afraid he was anxious to get back to the ball. This is a bad time for such things. We have two grave subjects on hand to engage in such trivial amusements. I would rather his officers should entertain themselves in fattening their horses, healing their men, and recruiting their regiments. There are too many Lees on the committee. I like them all to be present at battles, but can excuse them at balls. But the saying is, ‘Children will be children,’ I think he had better move his camp farther from Charlottesville, and perhaps he will get more work and less play. He and I are too old for such assemblies. I want him to write me how his men are, his horses, and what I can do to fill up his ranks.” (General Lee 324-5).

The Hon. B. H. Hill, in a speech, said:

Lee sometimes indulged in satire, to which his greatness gave point and power. He was especially severe on newspaper criticisms of military movements—subjects about which the writers knew nothing.

“We made a great mistake, Mr. Hill, in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake,” he said to me, after General Bragg had ceased to command the Army of Tennessee, an event Lee deplored.

“What mistake is that General?”

“Why Sir, in the beginning we appointed all our worst generals to command the armies and our best generals to edit the newspapers. As you know, I have planned some campaigns and quite a number of battles, I have given the work all the care and thought I could, and sometimes, when my plans were completed, as far as I could see, they seemed perfect. But when I have fought them through, I have discovered defects, and occasionally wondered I did not see some of them in advance. When it was all over I found by reading a newspaper that these best editor generals saw all the defects plainly from the start. Unfortunately, they did not communicate their knowledge to me until it was too late.” Then after a pause, he added, with a beautiful grave expression I can never forget: “I have no ambition but to serve the Confederacy, and do all I can to win our independence. I am willing to serve in any capacity to which the authorities may assign me. I have done the best I could in the field, and have not succeeded as I could wish. I am willing to yield my place to these best generals, and I will do my best for the cause editing a newspaper.”

In the same strain he once remarked to one of his generals: “Even as poor a soldier as I am can generally discover mistakes after it is all over. But if I could only induce these wise gentlemen who see them so clearly before hand to communicate with me in advance, instead of waiting until the evil has come upon us, to let me know what they knew all the time, it would be far better for my reputation and (what is of more consequence) far better for the cause.”

Upon one occasion, General Lee received a letter from some spirit-wrappers, asking his opinion on a certain great military movement. He wrote in reply, a most courteous letter, in which he said that the question was one about which military critics would differ; that his own judgment about such matters was but poor at best, and that inasmuch as they had the power to consult (through their mediums) Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Wellington, and all of the other great captains who have ever lived, he could not think of obtruding his opinion into such company.

Of the final scene in the great struggle, Horace Greeley has written:

“The parting of Lee with his devoted followers was a sad one. Of the proud army, which, dating its victories from Bull Run, had driven McClellan from before Richmond, and withstood his best efforts at Antietam, and shattered Burnside’s hosts at Fredericksburg, and worsted Hooker at Chancellorsville, and fought Meade so stoutly, though unsuccessfully, before Gettysburg, and baffled Grant’s bountiful resources and desperate efforts in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania, on the North Anna, at Cold Harbor, and before Petersburg and Richmond—mere wreck remained. It is said that 27,000 men were included in Lee’s capitulation; but of these not more than 10,000 had been able to carry their arms thus far in their hopeless and almost foodless flight.“ . . . The men “crowded around their departing chief, who with streaming eyes, grasped and pressed their outstretched hands, at length finding words to say: ‘Men, we have fought through the war together. I have done the best I could for you; my heart is too full to say more.’” His last official act was to request that all his private soldiers, who owned the horses they used, might be allowed to carry them home, “for the spring plowing”; so, to the last, was the commander thoughtful of the welfare of his men.

General Orders
No. 9.

Appomattox C.H., Apl. 10, 1865.

After years of hard service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the “Army of Northern Virginia” has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them, but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended a continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

By the terms of agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and there remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from a consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.

With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your countrymen and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.

R. E. LEE.

The war being over, what should General Lee do? He had no home, no fortune, no occupation. Numerous offers of high positions in various corporations, and such like business ventures, were made to him; but none were to his taste nor suited to his training. Finally, the trustees of Washington College offered him the presidency of that institution; the salary was small, the place insignificant, but a home in the mountains of Virginia suited his taste, and a desire to still be of use to his State in training her young men, decided him. He entered upon his duties there in October, 1865, and steadily performed them for five years. Then his discharge came.

Of his last illness and death, Colonel William Preston Johnston has written a most graphic account Colonel Johnston was a professor at the college, had been intimately associated with General Lee during the four years of their mutual service, and was a watcher at his death-bed.

The death of General Lee was not due to any sudden cause, but was the result of agencies dating as far back as 1863. In the trying campaign of that year, he contracted a severe sore throat, that resulted in rheumatic inflamation of the sac inclosing the heart. There is no doubt that after this sickness his health was always more or less impaired; and, although he complained little, yet rapid exercise on foot or on horseback produced pain and difficulty of breathing. In October, 1869, he was again attacked by inflamation of the heart-sac, accompanied by muscular rheumatism of the back, right side and arms. The action of the heart was weakened by this attack; the flush upon his face was deepened, the rheumatism increased, and he was troubled with weariness and depression.

In March, 1870, General Lee yielding to the solicitations of friends and medical advisers, made a six week’s visit to Georgia and Florida. He returned greatly benefited by the influence of the genial climate, the society of friends in those States, and the demonstrations of respect and affection of the people of the South; his physical condition, however, was not greatly improved. During this winter and spring he had said to his son, General Custis Lee, that his attack was mortal; and had virtually expressed the same belief to other trusted friends. And now, with what delicacy that pervaded all his actions, he seriously considered the question of resigning the presidency of Washington College, “fearful that he might not be equal to his duties.” After listening, however, to the affectionate remonstrances of the faculty and board of trustees, who well knew the value of his wisdom in the supervision of the college, and the power of his mere presence and example upon the students, he resumed his labors with the resolution to remain at his post and carry forward the great work he had so auspiciously begun.

During the summer he spent some weeks at the Hot Springs of Virginia, using the baths, and came home seemingly better in health and spirits. He entered upon the duties of the opening collegiate year in September with the quiet zeal and noiseless energy that marked all his actions, and an unusual elation was felt by those about him at the increased prospect that long years of usefulness and honor would yet be added to his glorious life.

Wednesday the 28th of September, 1870, found General Lee at the post of duty. In the morning he was fully occupied with the correspondence and other tasks incident to his office of President of Washington College, and he declined offers of assistance from members of the Faculty, of whose services he sometimes availed himself. After dinner, at four o’clock, he attended a vestry meeting of Grace (Episcopal) Church. The afternoon was chilly and wet, and a steady rain had set in, which did not cease until it had resulted in a great flood, the most memorable and destructive in this region for a hundred years. The church was rather cold and damp, and General Lee, during the meeting, sat in a pew with his military cape cast loosely about him. In a conversation that occupied the brief space preceding the call to order, he took part, and told, with marked cheerfulness and kindness of tone, some pleasant anecdote of Bishop Meade, and Chief Justice Marshall. The meeting was protracted until after seven o’clock, by a discussion touching, a rebuilding of the church edifice and the increase of the rector’s salary. General Lee acted as chairman, and, after hearing all that was said, gave his own opinion, as was his wont, briefly and without argument. He closed the meeting with a characteristic act. The amount required for the minister’s salary still lacked a sum much greater than General Lee’s proportion of the subscription, in view of his frequent and generous contributions to the church and other charities; but just before the adjournment, when the treasurer announced the amount of the deficit still remaining, General Lee said, in a lower tone: “I will give that sum.” He seemed tired towards the close of the meeting, and, as was afterward remarked, showed an unusual flush, but at the time no apprehensions were felt.

General Lee returned to his house, and finding his family waiting tea for him, took his place at the table, standing to say grace. The effort was vain, the lips could not utter the prayer of the heart. Finding himself unable to speak, he took his seat quietly and without agitation. His face seemed to some of the anxious group about him to wear a look of sublime resignation, and to evince a full knowledge that the hour had come when all the cares and anxieties of his crowded life were at an end. His physicians, Drs. H. T. Barton and R. L. Madison, arrived, promptly and applied the usual remedies, and placed him upon the couch, from which he was to arise no more. To him henceforth the things of this world were as nothing, and he bowed with resignation to the command of the Master he had followed so long with reverence.

The symptoms of his attack resembled concussion of the brain without the attendant swoon. There were marked debility, a slightly impaired consciousness, and a tendency to doze; but no paralysis of motion or sensation, and no evidence of softening or inflamation of the brain. His physicians treated the case as one of venous congestion, and with apparently favorable results. Yet, despite these propitious auguries drawn from his physical symptoms, in view of the great mental strain he had undergone, the gravest fears were felt that the attack was mortal. He took without objection the medicine and diet prescribed, and was strong enough to turn in bed without aid, and sit up and take nourishment. During the earlier days of his illness, though inclined to doze, he was easily aroused, was quite conscious and observant, evidently understood what was said to him, and answered questions briefly and intelligently; he was, however, averse to much speaking, generally using monosyllables, as had always been his habit when sick. When first attacked, he said to those who were removing his clothes, pointing at the same time to his rheumatic shoulder, “You hurt my arm.” Although he seemed to be gradually improving until October the 10th, he apparently knew from the first that the appointed hour had come when he must enter those dark gates that, closing, reopen no more to earth. In the words of his physician, “he neither expected nor desired to recover.” When General Custis Lee made some allusion to his recovery, he shook his head and pointed upward. On Monday morning before his death, Dr. Madison, finding him looking better, tried to cheer him: “How do you feel today General?” General Lee replied slowly and distinctly: “I feel better.” The doctor then said: “You must make haste and get well; Traveller has been standing so long in the stable that he needs exercise.” The General made no reply, but slowly shook his head and closed his eyes. Several times during his illness he put aside his medicine, saying: “It is of no use”; but yielded patiently to the wishes of his physicians or children, as if the slackened chords of being still responded to the touch of duty or affection.

On October 10th, during the afternoon, his pulse became feeble and rapid, and his breathing hurried, With other evidences of great exhaustion. About midnight he was seized with a shivering of extreme debility, and Dr. Barton felt obliged to announce the danger to the family. On October the 11th, he was evidently sinking; his respiration was hurried, and his pulse feeble and rapid. Though less observant, he still recognized whoever approached him, but refused to take anything unless presented by his physicians. It now became certain that the case was hopeless. His decline was rapid, yet gentle, and soon after nine o’clock, on the morning of October 12, he closed his eyes, and his soul passed peacefully from earth.

General Lee’s physicians attributed his death in great measure to moral causes. The strains of his campaigns, the bitterness of defeat, aggravated by the bad faith and insolence of the victor, sympathy with the subsequent sufferings of the Southern people, and the effort of calmness under these accumulated sorrows, seemed the sufficient and real causes that slowly but steadily undermined General Lee’s health and led to his death. Yet to those who saw the composure under greater and lesser trials of life, and his justice and forbearance with the most unjust and uncharitable, it seemed scarcely credible that his serene soul was shaken by the evil that raged around him.

General Lee’s closing hours were consonant with his noble and disciplined life. Never was more beautifully displayed how a long and severe education of mind and character enables the soul to pass with equal step through the supreme ordeal; never did the habits and qualities of a lifetime, solemnly gathered into a few last sad hours, more grandly maintain themselves amid the gloom and shadow of approaching death. The reticence, the self-contained composure, the obedience to proper authority, the magnamnity, and the Christian meekness that marked all his actions, still preserved their sway, in spite of the inroads of desease, and the creeping legarthy that weighed down his faculties.

As the old hero lay in the darkened room, or with the lamp and the hearth-fire casting shadows upon his calm, noble front, all the massive grandeur of his form, and face, and brow, remained; and death seemed to loose its terrors, and to borrow a grace and dignity in sublime keeping with the life that was ebbing away. The great mind sank to its last repose, almost with the equal poise of health. The few broken utterances that evinced at times a wandering intellect were spoken under the influence of the remedies administered; but as long as consciousness lasted there was evidence that all the high, controlling influences of his whole life still ruled; and even when stupor was laying its cold hand on the intellectual perceptions, the moral nature, with its complete orb of duties and affections, still asserted itself. A Southern poet has celebrated in. song those last significant words, “Strike the tent”; and a thousand voices were raised to give meaning to the uncertain sound, when the dying man said, with emphasis, “Tell Hill he must come up!” These sentences serve to show most touchingly through what fields the imagination was passing; but generally his words, though few, were coherent; but for the most part indeed his silence was unbroken.

This self-contained reticence had an awful grandeur, in solemn accord with a life that needed no defense. Deeds which required no justification must speak for him. His voiceless lips, like the shutgate of some majestic temple, were closed, not for concealment, but because that within was holy. Could the eye of the mourning watcher have pierced the gloom that gathered about the recesses of that great soul, it would have perceived a Presence there full of an effable glory. Leaning trustfully upon the. all-sustaining Arm, the man whose stature, measured by mortal standards, seemed so great, passed from this world of shadows to the realities of the hereafter.

Mary Ann Randolph Custis Lee.

General Lee married Mary Anne Randolph Custis, the only daughter of George Washington Parke Custis and Mary Lee Fitzhugh, his wife. Mary Custis was born at Arlington, the 1st of October, 1808, and died at her home in Lexington, the 5th of November, 1873. She was buried in the College Chapel, with her daughter, Agnes, and her husband.

Of his wedding let another speak:

He was in love from boyhood. Fate brought him to the feet of one who, by birth, education, position, and family tradition, was best suited to be his life companion. They had known each other when she was a child at Arlington and he, a young boy in Alexandria, some eight miles away. It is said she met and admired him when he came back to Alexandria on a furlough from the Military Academy. It was the first time anyone in that vicinity had seen him in his cadet uniform. He was handsomer than ever; straight, erect, symmetrical in form, with a finely shaped head on a pair of broad shoulders. He was then twenty years old, and a fine specimen of a West Point cadet on leave of absence. The impressions produced were of an enduring nature, and the officer, upon graduation, followed up the advantage gained by the attractive cadet.

G. W. P. Custis was the adopted son of Washington, and the grandson of Mrs. Washington. Lee was, therefore, to marry a great grand-daughter of Mrs. Washington, and was a fortunate man, not so much, perhaps, from these ties, but because of the great qualities of head and heart possessed by Mary Custis, his affianced bride. It is difficult to say whether she was more lovely on that memorable June evening, when the Rev. Mr. Keith asked her, [“]Wilt thou take this man to be thy wedded husband?” or after many years had passed, and she was seated in her large arm-chair in Richmond, almost unable to move from chronic rheumatism, but busily engaged in knitting socks for the sockless Confederate soldiers. The public notice of the marriage was short:

Married, 30th, June, 1831, at Arlington House, by the Rev. Mr. Keith, Lieutenant Robert E. Lee, of the United States Corps of Engineers, to Miss Mary A. R. Custis, the only daughter of G. W. P. Custis, Esq.

[Arlington House]

Beautiful old Arlington was in all her glory that night. The stately mansion never held a happier assemblage. ?Its broad portico and wide spread wings held out open arms, as it were, to welcome the coming guests. Its simple Doric columns graced domestic comforts with a classic air. Its halls and chambers were adorned with the patriots and heroes, and with illustrations and relics of the great Revolution and of the “Father of his Country.” Without and within history and tradition seemed to breathe their legends upon a canvass as soft as a dream of peace.

The bridal attendants, on this occasion, consisted of: First, Miss Catherine Mason and Lieutenant Sydney Smith Lee; second, Miss Mary Goldsborough and Lieutenant Thomas Kennedy; third, Miss Marietta Turner and Lieutenant Chambers; fourth, Miss Angela Lewis and Mr. Tilman; fifth, Miss Julia Calvert and Lieutenant Prentiss; sixth, Miss Britannia Peter and Lieutenant Thomas Turner. This wedding occurred before the fashion of “wedding trips” came into vogue; the festivities of the evening were concluded by a handsome supper, and were continued until the evening of the following Monday (the wedding took place on Thursday).

For many years prior to her death, Mrs. Lee suffered extremely from chronic rheumatism which crippled her so much that she could scarcely use her hands, and confined her for years to the chair of an invalid. Yet no one could have been more cheerful or less complaining. In a letter to the late Cassius F. Lee, Sr., under the date of 3d of January, 1872, she wrote of herself:

I have been intending my dear Cassius, ever since your son Edmund came, to write to you and tell you how pleased we were to see him; but a long and severe attack of rheumatism has prevented my writing. I can only write a few lines at a time, and even now I can scarcely use my pen at all. He lives quite near us and looks remarkably well and Custis tells me is doing well, is quite studious. He comes to see us often and always looks bright and cheerful. I do hope he will fulfill all your hopes and expectations. You must give our loves to his mother and all your family. I hope you all have enjoyed this Christmas and New Year. It has been an unusually sad one to me. Besides my painful sickness, during that time Fitzhugh lost his youngest child of whooping-cough, a lovely little girl of one year old, whom I had been looking forward to enjoy so much this winter when I expected to go down. I do not think in all my life I ever endured so tedious and painful an attack of illness and you will see since this illness, I can scarcely use my pen at all. . . .

The weather is so uncomfortable, that I have relinquished all idea of going to the White House. Agnes and Mildred went there from Bob’s wedding; Mildred has been suffering much from a sprained ankle, which still continues. Mary and Custis alone are with me here. We read the genealogical book but could not add anything to it. It was much fuller than anything we have, which is mostly obtained from that letter of Mr. Thomas (William) Lee. We have all been much disappointed at the delay in bringing out the “Memorial” volume and fear it will not be any advantage to its circulation. Mary says that she has no doubt that my aunt, Mrs. Fitzhugh, could tell you all about the connection of Fitzhughs and Lees; tell her, if you should see her, that I am waiting to get my hand steadier before writing to her. What about Arlington? Can anything be done this winter? I feel so weak and miserable that the things of earth seem passing away and loosing their value and interest . I suppose, though, if God should restore me to my wonted health, the interest would return. I do not think I could write another line. Tell me of my friends, of your daughters and all. Especial love to Dr. Packard. Yours affectionately.

General Robert E. Lee had the following named children:

I—George Washington Custis 7. See [below].

II—Mary Custis 7, born at. Arlington, 1834. Unmarried. Now traveling in Europe.

III—William Henry Fitzhugh 7. See [below].

IV—Anne Carter 7, born at Arlington, the 18th of June, 1839; died at the White Sulphur Springs, Warren County, North Carolina, the 20th of October, 1862. A beautiful monument has been erected over her grave by the citizens of Warren County; it was unveiled with appropriate ceremony, the 18th of August, 1866. General Lee was obliged to deny himself the mournful satisfaction of being present at the dedication. He wrote to the ladies having it in charge: “. . . I do not know how to express to you my thanks for your great kindness to her while living, and for your affectionate remembrance of her since dead. I have always cherished the intention of visiting the tomb of her, who never gave me aught but pleasure, but to afford me the satisfaction which I crave, it must be done with more privacy than I can hope for on the occasion you propose.”

V—Eleanor Agnes 7, born at “Arlington,” about 1842; died at Lexington, 15th October, 1873, and buried with her father and mother.

VI𔃊Robert Edward 7. See [below].

VII—Mildred Childe, died unmarried at New Orleans, La., March 28, 1905. Buried at Lexington, Va., with her father, mother and sister Eleanor Agnes.

Richard Bland Lee.

Richard Bland 6, second child of Richard Bland 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born at “Sully,” Fairfax County, July 20, 1797, died at Alexandria, August 2, 1875, he married, November 23, 1826, Julia, daughter of William Prosser, of “White Marsh,” in Gloucester County. He entered the Military Academy at West Point, May 7th, 1814, and graduated, July 17th, 1817, ninth in a class of thirty graduates; he was appointed third lieutenant, November 24th, 1817; first lieutenant third artillery, on the reorganization of the army, June 1st, 1821, brevet captain, for ten years faithful service in one grade, October 31st, 1829. During these years, he had been stationed on garrison duty at various forts, and at the school of artillery practice. He was invited by General Cass, then Secretary of War, to take charge, as military conductor, of the caravan of Santa Fe traders, to ascertain the condition of the tribes of Indians occupying the Rocky Mountains, and to arrange some method of communication between them and the government. Having conducted the caravan to Santa Fe, through roving bands of hostile Indians, and finding at that place no means of communication with the tribes, nor of obtaining reliable information as to their condition, at his own expense, he raised and equipped a party for the first attempt at a winter exploration of the mountains; an undertaking then considered by the most experienced hunters as very impracticable. On November 15th, 1832, he penetrated the northern portion of New Mexico, and explored the extensive regions of the head waters of the Rio del Norte to the South Park, and as far west as the base of Salt Mountain; Crossed the Green River near its entrance to the great canon. Thence, through the valley of the Green River, across the spur of mountains to the confluence of the Little Snake and Little Bear Rivers, both of which he explored to their headwaters. Near the head of Little Snake River, he crossed the grand divide of the eastern and western waters, striking Sweet Water River near the South Pass to great Salt Lake, and near the base of Wind River Mountain. Thence across the Platte and Medicine Bow Rivers, watering the valleys of the Black Hills, and the eastern slope of the mountains, and crossing several forks of the Platte and Arkansaw Rivers, he reached Sante Fe, via Toas, on June 15th, 1833. He had, in the period of seven months, explored an area over 1,200 miles in extent, visited six tribes of Indians, with whom he entered into friendly relations, and arranged plans of communicating between them and the government.

On the outbreak of the “Florida War” against the Seminole Indians, Richard Bland Lee entered the field as first lieutenant, and served successively with Generals Clinch and Scott, and Governor Call. During these campaigns, he saw more active service, was under more fire, and lost more men, killed and wounded, than any officer who served with those armies. General Clinch, on retiring from command, wrote him a complimentary letter of thanks. He was selected by General Scott to command the storming party, who were to force the passage of the Withlacooche; his party were, on this occasion, the only portion of the troops under fire: for his gallant conduct in this attack, he received the commendations of the General in the presence of the army. Under Governor Call, he was assigned to the command of Fort Micanopy, the most important barrier between the Indians and the settlers; while in command there, he had three successful encounters with the Indians led by Oceola in person. Was brevetted Major “for gallantry and good conduct,” June 9th, 1836; was twice wounded and in consequence compelled to leave Florida. Governor Call wrote him a letter of thanks for his efficient services while serving in Florida.

Upon reaching Washington, by appointment of the President and in the presence of the Secretary of War, the General-in-chief, and several officers invited for the occasion, he received the compliments of President Jackson, who declared that his fights in front of Fort Micanopy were the most creditable events of the war. At the beginning of the Mexican War, Major Lee offered his services to the commissary general to take the field; but General Gibson declined the offer, preferring that he should remain on duty at St. Louis, where he could be more useful. For several years, he served as chief commissary for the Pacific division; part of the time on special service in California and Oregan. He explored the region from the head of Puget Sound to the mouth of Columbia River: also the country from San Francisco between the Coast Range and the ocean, to the boundary of Mexico, near the head of the Gulf of California. Having arranged a system of supply in accordance with General Persifer Smith’s views, he was directed to visit the Sandwich Islands, to purchase supplies, and thence to the South American States on the Pacific. Upon returning to Washington, after completing these duties, he was complimented by General Gibson for the satisfactory manner in which he had accomplished his work.

When Virginia seceded, Major Lee resigned from the army, May 9th, 1861 and was appointed a lieutenant-colonel in the commissariat of the Confederate service; took an active part in the battle of Shiloh, under General Beauregard, where he had his horse shot under him.

He married Julia Anne Marion (Prosser) and had twelve children, three of whom died young. The other nine are:

I—Mary Elizabeth 7, born August 19, 1827, at “White Marsh,” who married Dr. Robert Fleming and had six children.

II—Juli Eustis 7, no data.

III—Evelina Prosser 7, born September 24, 1832; at St. Louis, Mo., married Edwin Cecil Morgan, at Washington, D.C., July 14th, 1853, and had six children.

IV—Richard Bland 7, born at Fortress Monroe, Va., August 9, 1835, and is now living at Buckland Hall, Prince William County, Va. March 16, 1865, he married Mary Alice Butt, and by her had six children:

(1) Richard Bland 8, born in Howard County, Md., April 15, 1867; married, January 3, 1911, Gertrude M. (Harvey) Arnold, widow of Capt. C. H. Arnold, Jr., U.S.A. They are now living in New York City.

(2) Francis Morris 8, born in Alexandria, Va., January 18, 1869; married, October 25, 1899, Catherine Valentine Tabb, of Gloucester County, Va., and by her had three children, Francis Morris 9, Catherine Valentine 9, and Richard Henry Allen 9. They are now living at Green Spring Valley, Baltimore County, Md.

(3) Robert McCoskey 8, born at Buckland Hall, Va., February 14, 1871, died unmarried in Montana, March 17,1894.

(4) Mary Elizabeth 8, born at Buckland Hall, Va., August 12,1873. She is unmarried and living in New York City.

(5) Philip Henry 8, born at Buckland Hall, Va., March 20, 1877; unmarried and lives in New York City.

(6) George Allen 8, born at Buckland Hall, Va., February 8, 1880, unmarried and lives in New York City.

V—Anna Cornelia 7, born December 19,1865, married, Dr. Robert Stockton Johnston Peebles, and had three children.

VI—Juli Prosser 7, born February 27, 1840, married Meta Wallace Weaver, June 21, 1871. He served in the Confederate Army rising to the rank of Captain. They had five children.

VII—Myra Gaines 7, born November 9,1841, married Charles Napoleon Civalier, of France, and had four children.

VIII—William Augustus 7, born in St. Louis, January 30, 1846. Studied medicine and graduated from the medical college of Richmond, Virginia, in 1870. Died unmarried in Richmond, Va., November 29, 1906, and buried in Hollywood. When only sixteen years of age, he entered the Confederate Navy as Midshipman and was present at the battle of Fort Fisher and took part in the fight off Wilmington, N.C. He was one of the officers detailed to escort President Davis, south at the evacuation of Richmond.

IX—Robert Fleming 7, born in St. Louis, February 13, 1849, and is now living unmarried in Richmond, Va. When fifteen years of age entered the army with the Lexington Cadets and was present at the battle of Lynchburg and later saw service around Richmond.

Zaccheus Collins Lee.

Zaccheus Collins 6, sixth child of Richard Bland 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born December 5th, 1805, died, Baltimore, Md., November 26, 1859, he was educated at the University of Virginia and studied law under William Wirt. Practiced at Baltimore and was U. S. District Atty., from 1848 to 1855. Was Judge of the Superior Court of Baltimore from 1855, to his death. Married, June 15, 1837, Martha Anne, daughter of Thomas C. Jenkins, and had two children.

I—Richard Henry 7, born, Baltimore, Md., April 29, 1839, and died March 20th, 1883. Married Belle Isabel1 Wilson, October, 1868. Served as a private in the Confederate Army. Had four children. Elizabeth Collins 8, unmarried; Richard Henry 8, unmarried; Zaccheus Collins 8, unmarried and Robert Edward 8, born in 1883 and died, 1890.

II—Mary Elizabeth 7, born November 5, 1840. Married first, Wm. B. Perine, December 26, 1861, he died, May, 1863, and August 15, 1867, she married Bernard John Cooper, of the English Navy. Died in Rome, Italy, April 8, 1904. Buried in St. Lerenzo Cemetery in that city.

III—Mary Ida 7, died when six months old.

Edmund Jennings Lee.

Edmunds Jennings 6, first child of Edmund Jennings 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born at Alexandria, May 3d, 1797, and died at “Leeland,” near Shepherdstown, W. Va., August 10,1877. Mr. Lee was a graduate of Princeton and studied law with his father at Alexandria, he became a prominent lawyer, and well known throughout his section of the State, where for many years he enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. He possessed fine abilities, strong native sense, clear, sound judgment, was of a genial, charitable disposition and of exalted moral character. He was diligent in attending to the various duties of life, and, being well equipped for the work of his profession, and proverbially attentive to the interests of his clients, it is not surprising that he held their confidence and esteem. He never entered public life, although frequently solicited to do so. Though like many others of his family and State, he was opposed to secession, he was later an ardent and warm supporter of the Southern cause. Being too far advanced in years to enter the army, he remained quietly and unobtrusively at home. During a temporary absence his own residence and that of his wife’s nearby were burned to the ground.

Mr. Lee first married on October 10, 1823, Eliza Shepherd and had two children.

I—Ellen 7, born September 23,1824, married, September 19, 1844, John Sims Powell, of Loudoun Co.

II—Charle Shepherd Lee 7, born at Wheeling, W. Va., September 17, 1826. He resided on his farm in Berkeley County (now West Virginia) until the war between the States. Owing to a gunshot in the knee, received when eighteen years of age, he could not go into active service in the war. After the war, he moved with his family to Clark County, where he is still living, (1911) a remarkably active man, with all his faculties, in his eighty-fifth year. May 16, 1849, he married Margaret H. Page, of Clark County, Va., and had:

(1) Margaret Page 8, born at “Norwood,” near Martinsburg, W. Va., August 24, 1851, married, December 22, 1875, Chas. Canby Garrett, of Wilmington, Del., now living in Baltimore, Md., and had Margaret Lee 9, born at Anchorage, October 13,1876, married Richard H. Chamberlaine; Charlotte Grushaw 9, born at Wilmington, Del., December 2, 1878, and Edmonia Louise 9, born Baltimore, Md., March 15, 1891.

(2) Charles Randolph 8, born at “Norwood,” near Martinsburg, W. Va., July 21, 1853, married Minnie Swiggett, of Wilmington, Del., and had one daughter, Charlotte Dunning 9.

(3) Edmonia Louise 8, born “Highland,” near Martinsburg, W. Va., March 5, 1861, married, April 17,18—, William Haigh, Esq., of Isle of Wright, England, lived in Clark County, Va., died April 13, l8—, no issue.

(4) Ellen Byrd 8, born at “Mansfield,” near Berryville, Va., March 16, 1864. Lives with her father at “Anchorage,” in Clark County.

(5) Phillips Fitzgerald 8, born at “Anchorage,” near Berryville, Va., August 31, 1866, married Laura Gabrielle Duval, of Maryland, and had Phillips Fitzgerald 9, born Norfolk, Va., June 20, 1904.

(6) Nannie Goldsborough 8, born at “Anchorage,” May 25, 1868, married Alexander Cuthcart Coble, of Carlisle, Pa., and has one son, Alexander Cuthcart 9, born at Winchester, Va., December 6, 1891.

(7) Edwin Gray 8, born at “Anchorage,” May 8, 1870, married Elizabeth Parker Nash, of Norfolk, Va., and had Margaret Page 9, born at Norfolk, Va., February 20, 1902; and Herbert Nash 9, born, Norfolk, Va., September 30, 1903, died in Norfolk, April, 1908.

(8) Mann Randolph Page 8, born at “Anchorage,” May 16, 1872, lives unmarried in Norfolk, Va.

(9) Eliza Holmes 8, born at “Anchorage,” February 29,1874, lives with her father in Clark County, Va.

On September 7, 1835, he married Henrietta Bedinger and had five children:

III—Edwin Gray 7. See [below].

IV—Ida 7, born at “Leeland,” Jefferson Co., W. Va., August 14, 1840, married September 19, 1860, Col. Arrnstead Thompson Mason Rust, of Loudoun Co., Va., and had eleven children.

V—Henrietta Edmonia 7, born at “Leeland,” February.28, 1844, married November 7, 1865, Dr. Charles W. Goldsborough and had issue.

VI—Edmund Jennings 7. See [below].

VII—Henry Bedinger 1, born at Leeland, July 14, 1849. On September 20th, 1877, married Lucy Johnson Marshall, of Fauquier County, and had eight children:

(1) Francis Ambler 8, born August 30,1878, died August 21, 1879.

(2) Henry Bedinger 8, born January 22, 1880, married, June 8,1904, Sue Kent Rust, and had Mary Nelson 9, born December 17, 1906.

(3) Claude Marshall 8, born June 17, 1882, married, December 20, 1905, Mary Willoughby Duke Slaughter, and had Martha Eskridge 9, born in China, November 8, 1906; Mary Willoughby 9, born in China, September 16, 1908, and Lucy Ambler 9, born in China, January, 1910.

(4) Rebecca Rust 8, born July 31, 1884.

(5) Edwin Gray 8, born November 7, 1890, married, June 28, 1910, Estell Marshall Behrendt, and had Elizabeth Marshall 9, who lived only three weeks.

(6) James Keith Marshall 8, born May 28, 1893.

(7) Richard Henry 8, born August 4, 1897.

(8) Lucy Marshall 8, born February 21, 1901.

Cassius Francis Lee.

Cassius Francis Lee 6, sixth child of Edmund Jennings 5, (Henry 4, Henry 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born at Alexandria, Va., May 22,1808 and died there January 23d, 1890. He was a lawyer, but never practiced, he served for a time as clerk of the U.S. Courts and later entered the mercantile house of Caznove & Co. He was an ardent worker and consistent member of the Episcopal Church and at his death the Southern Churchman published under date of January 30, 1890:

On Thursday last, this venerable and beloved man passed from earth into the everlasting blessedness of the saints. We had not heard of his sickness, therefore his death was unexpected, though it ought not to have been, he having passed the age allotted to men. We cannot trust ourselves to speak of his long and consistent Christian life, and of that long life devoted to the interests and welfare of the church in this diocese. For many years before the war, as treasurer of the Theological Seminary and treasurer of the Virginia Educational Society, he gave his thoughts, his affections, his time to the Seminary without compensation. After the war, his pecuniary circumstances having changed, a small salary was given him, which he more than earned, giving nearly all his time to the Educational Society and to the care and interest of the Seminary. While his health had failed during the past few years, he was already deeply interested in its welfare, full of zeal for its good, and died treasurer of both. He will be missed, not only by his sons, daughters, and grandchildren, but by the professors and students and by his many friends, and by the church of this diocese. His co-workers on the boards of trustees will miss him; he was always so deeply concerned and so earnestly at work for good. His Christian character, his pious zeal his love for what was true and just and honorable—of these no one can speak in adequate terms. His light shone unconscious to himself, and that light was bright and beautiful and affectionate. . . . He lived the Christian life and died the Christian death, full of the respect of all who knew him. While we sympathize with this diocese, we rejoice that such a man lived in it and died in it. His memory—let it continue precious. . . . He was indentified with Christ Church (Alexandria) as far back as 1833, and for years represented that parish in the annual councils, and was one of the lay deputies to the General Convention, held at Cincinnati; he was a member of the Standing Committee of this diocese for over a third of a century. . . . In his work, whether as a merchant, citizen, or in any work connected with the Church, he was active and indefatigable, as those who were associated with him can testify. His end was somewhat sudden. On the Sunday previous to his death he did not go to church, though he was up and about the house. That afternoon a member of his family read to him Dr. Slaughter’s Memorial of the Rev. G. A. Smith, to which he listened with interest. The day following Bishop Talbot, of Wyoming, was at Christ Church and delivered an address on his missionary work, and afterward called to see Mr. Lee, who was gratified and pleased to see the Bishop. That night he retired to bed as usual, but never rose therefrom, the sudden change taking place on Thursday, and before noon his spirit had passed away. On Saturday he was buried from Christ Church, and at the funeral the hymn sung was that which he loved to repeat, and which was his favorite hymn:

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O. Lamb of God, I come.

Cassius F. Lee married, September 18, 1833, Hannah Phillipa Ludwell Hopkins, and by her had five children:

I—Cornelia 7, born November 27, 1835, and died unmarried, June 24, 1890.

II—William Ludwell 7, born March 28, 1838, and died at Alexandria, unmarried, May 10, 1858.

III—Harriotte Hopkins 7, born April 15, 1840, married, November 28, 1860, Thomas Seldon Taliaferro, of Gloucester County, Va., and had issue.

IV—Sarah 7, born January 6, 1842. Resides in
Leesburg, Va., unmarried and is engaged in literary

V—Cassius Frances 7, born at Alexandria, Va., January 4, 1844 and died there September 14, 1892, married, May 29, 1873, Mary Lloyd and had two daughters.

Mr. Lee married secondly, April 15, 1846, Anne Eliza Gardner, and had seven children:

VI—Phillipa 7, born March 8, 1847, and died December 24, 1853.

VII—Constance Gardner 7, born October 29, 1848, died August 8, ,1877. She married, October 29, 1868, Rev. George William Peterkin and had issue.

VIII—Caznove Gardner 7, born at Alexandria, May 30, 1850, is now living in Washington, D.C. Married, September 20, 1881, Marguerite L. Dupont, and had: Caznove Gardner 8, and Maurice Dupont 8.

IX—Francis Dupont 7, born at Alexandria, Va., January 3, 1852, died in Fairfax County, June 14, 1891, married, April 28, 1880, Anne Henderson Taylor and had three children, two sons who died young, and Constance C. Lee 8.

X—Edmund Jennings 7, born at Alexandria, June 16, 1853, married, December 9, 1879, May Emma Smith and had four children: Constance Gardner 8, who married, 1908, Louis De Pastor of the Spanish Legation and in now stationed in China; Charles Smith 8, Mildred Washington 8, and Florence Friescen 8.

XI—William Gardner 7, born June 27, 1855, and died in three days.

XII—Annie Eliza 7, born October 23, 1861, married, April 28, 1886, Rev. John Thompson Cole and had children.

Richard Henry Lee.

Richard Henry 6, eldest child of Ludwell 5, (Richard Henry 4, Thomas 3, Richard 2, Richard 1), born June 23, 1795, and died at Washington, Pa., January 3, 1865.

He was twice married and had issue by each marriage. Mr. Lee was educated at Dickinson College, Pa., where he graduated with the honors of his class. He then studied law with the late Judge Thomas Duncan, of Carlisle, Pa., and began the practice of his profession in Loudoun County. While residing at Leesburg, he edited the Memo[i]rs of his grandfather, Richard Henry Lee, and of his great uncle, Dr. Arthur Lee, which were issued in 1825 and 1829 respectively. He was also at one time Mayor of Leesburg. Mr. Lee was a scholar, especially accomplished in classical literature and belles-letters; he read Greek and Latin authors with ease, and, having a fine memory, treasured up their beauties for frequent reference. In 1833 he was called to the Chair of Languages in Washington College, Pennsylvania, and in 1837 was transferred to that of Belles-Letters. During his occupancy of these professorships he continued the practice of law. But in 1854 he gave up the law and resigned his professorship to begin the study of theology, with a view to entering the ministry of the Episcopal Church, which he did in 1858, and assumed charge of Trinity Church, Washington, Pa. He was in charge of that church at the time of his death.

By his first wife, Mary Duncan Mahone, he had four children:

I—Mary Ann 7, who married Isaac Winston, and left no issue.

II—Flora 7, died unmarried.

III—Richard Henry 7, died in infancy.

IV—Frances Hayne 7, married Isaac Winston, had no issue. By his second wife Anna Eden Jordan he had five children.

V—Samue A, 7, died in infancy.

VI—Richard Henry 7, born at Leesburg, Va., died at Lewiston, Pa., married Mary Wilson, and left two children.

VII—Phillip Ludwell 7, born 1835, died unmarried, 1889. Was Captain in the U.S. Army.

VIII—John Lewellyn 7, born 1838, died 1870.

IX—Francis Lightfoot 7, born at Washington, Pa., in 1840, died May 24, 1881, and left no issue.

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