[Hot Springs Bath County] Saturday night [September] 15th [1861]


My dear child


I could not write to you by the first mail that went out after my arrival here because I had only time to send a letter to your papa I have been very glad that I did not bring you along for several reasons, tho you would have found a very sweet companion here in a Miss Caskie from Richmond a very lovely girl about your age but who seems to devote herself to her parents who are both invalids especially her Father. We did not find the girls as Gordon’sville & we stopped in Charlottesville to see Rob & found when we got there that we could not come on here until Tuesday so we waited there at the same Hotel with Mr Daingerfield & family1 & their lovely little boy Lewis was laying extremely ill of typhoid fever, so ill that his recovery was very doubtful there is a great deal of sickness in all that country & as young persons are more likely to take it than old ones it is well you stayed with our kind friends at Kinloch Agnes letter will explain why they did not meet me, I would send you Annie’s too but there would not be room. Rob came on here with us & has just got a letter from your papa this morning giving him leave to enter the army if he is still bent upon doing so, He seems very much pleased with the permission tho I do not know if he was made up his mind. We feel very lovely here & often wish ourselves back at Kinloch, we only get a mail 3 times a week & got one this Sunday morning now we do not hear again till Wednesday a longtime for anxious minds. I take the Hot Spout every morning before breakfast & your sister takes it at 11 oclock & I am very busy knitting & mending Rob’s clothes. I hope you are improving your time reading, practising & working & above all your heart & soul & that you do not allow God’s grace to be lost & fear you have not cherished it as you ought to have done & allow the spirit of Evil too much place there this I have been so much grieved to see & pray that jesus may give you of his own gentle spirit, that spirit which suffereth long & is kind which thinketh no evil, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, you must kiss the girls for me & give much love to your cousin Sarah & Edward. Tell Charlie he must give Billy constant employment & use the horses in hauling light loads if he wants them. If any letters come for me take off the envelopes & enclose them to me unless they are of no consequence. Direct them to me Hot Springs Bath County Va especially any from Custis your papa Annie says she has got you a dress but I do not know when I shall get it to you & this warm weather you have a chance of wearing all your summer clothes. I hope you wear the pink Lawn I fixed for you & you must remember me affectionately to all our friends & write me all the news. We hear but little here I have not heard from your papa since I came. Has Bev written home? I long to hear from you write as soon as you get this. It is very warm here now & the most beautiful moonlit nights. Rob has been climbing up the mountains, but I do not walk very far. There is a beautiful little grey kitten in the cabins it is very playful. I have nothing new to tell you, that God may bless you & guard you from all evil & make you his true & faithful servant is the constant prayer of your ever devoted mother

M C Lee


My dear little Sister

I hear that you complain greatly because you do not hear from your brother Rob. Now if [she] knew how much your loving brother had to weigh on his mind you would not tax him thus. But I have never heard from you, However let bygones be bygones. We are now at the far fumed Hot. Me & Sister in search of health myself in search of Pleasure. But I think I missed my mark this time. There is a very nice young lady here a Miss Caskie from Richmond with whom I hope to be better acquainted & consequently a better time. Ma has left me no room so I am unable to give you any more news. I expect Pa has fought by this time

R E Lee Jr 



1. The Daingerfields were a prominent Alexandria merchant family.




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 314, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 December 28