January 3d 1872

            I have been intending my dear Cassius ever since your son Edwin came to write to you & tell you how pleased we were to see him but a long & severe attack of rheumatism has prevented my writing. I am a few lines at a time & even now I can scarcely use my pen at all. He lives qiute near us & looks remarkably well & Custis tells me is doing well is quite studious. He comes to see us often & always looks bright & cheerful. I do hope he will fulfil all your hopes & expectations you must give our loves to his mother & all your family I hope you have all enjoyed the Xmas & new year. It has been an unusually sad one to me. Bender 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 & you will see by this illness that I can scarcely use my pen at all, There has been much gaiety here but the weather is so uncomfortable that I have relinquished all idea of going to the White House. Agnes & Mildred went there from Rob’s wedding & Mildred has been suffering much from a strained ankle which still continues. Mary & Custis alone are with me, we read the geneatogical Book but could not add to it It was much further than any thing we have which is mostly obtained from that letter of Mr. Thomas Lee. We have all been much disappointed at the delay in bringing out the “Memorial” vol & fear it will not be any advantage to its circulation Mary says she has no doubt that my aunt Mrs. Fitzhugh could tell you all about the connection of the Fitzhughs & Lees. Tell her if you should see her that I am waiting to get my hand steadier before I write to her. What about Arlington. Can any thing be done this winter I feel so sick & miserable that the things of earth seem parting away & losing their value & interest. I suppose though if god should restore me to my wanted health the interest would return.

            I do not think I could write another line Tell me of my friends of your daughters & all especial love to N Packard

            Yrs affectionately

                                    Mary Custis Lee



Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 6, M2009.400

Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 1