Saint Louis

July 6th [1862]


My Dear General


It is a very, very long time since I have either written or heard from you, but I love to judge you by myself, and to hope that neither time nor absence have made you feel less kindly for your “Jule” of other days; as for me, my heart swells whenever I hear your name connected as it now is, with a cause so dear to me, and not a day passes in which I do not fervently pray that you may be spared to your country and your family. Ah dear Uncle Bob, these are sad days, and we in Missouri have seen tribulation; I have no sort of policy in my nature, I will talk, and so, am for ever in trouble. Do you know your old friend the “Squire”, Calhoun was here. I saw his teeth glisten one night at a concert, but we never met to speak, he heard that I had gone over to the enemy, and so, cut me! I have surmised it, and was really glad to look at him, only because he brought up a more vivid remembrance of you, and brought back to my mind all the fun and nonsense of by gone days. If Rippie knew I had an opportunity of writing you, I am sure she would send you many kind messages; she is in New York, and has lately married one of her daughters to an officer of the french navy; mother is now in New York. she thinks me incorrigible, a terrible rebel &c &c, and sometimes scolds me very gravely on the subject. I send this letter by Col. Reynolds of Miss who has been here a prisoner since the fall of Ft Donelson.1 he will tell you all about St Louis, and how we sympathize in the cause for which you are fighting. If the young Turners are in Richmond, please let them know I saw their Father yesterday. he and all the family are well. I suppose Mrs. Lee is not with you, but if she is, give her my warmest love. and Lydia Johnson? do you see her? If so tell her I see her sisters nearly every day, and found Mary more charming each day that I know her. Good bye and God bless you my dear old Uncle. I’d give the world to see you or to get a kind world from you to make me feel quite sure that you still remember and love me, but as that cannot be, I must take it on trust, and only remind you that I am still most warmly

most sincerely yours

Julia Gratiot C




Source: Checked against original letter, Mary Custis Lee Papers, Mss1 L5144 a 875-883, Section 14, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 January 18    


1. Arthur Exum Reynolds (1817-1881). A native of Tennessee, the heavyset Reynolds moved to Alabama in 1838 and later settled in Mississippi. Before the war, he was a lawyer and Whig. As a member of the Mississippi secession convention, he voted against disunion. Nevertheless, he served as a colonel in the 26th Mississippi infantry and was captured at Fort Donelson. He was released in August of 1862, fought at Vicksburg, served in the conscript bureau, and then joined the Army of Northern Virginia. He was wounded at the battle of Weldon Railroad on 1864 August 18 and sent to Mississippi to recover. He died in Mississippi in 1881. 

2. Julia Augusta Gratiot Chouteau (1824-1895) was the daughter of General Charles Chouteau Gratiot (1786-1855) and Ann Belin Gratiot (1797-1886). She was the wife of Charles Pierre Chouteau (1819-1901). She was born at Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia. She died in St. Louis. Lee worked with General Gratiot in St. Louis when he was a young engineer.