Hot Springs Saturday 21 [September]


I hope tomorrow’s mail may bring me a letter from you my dear child you gave me such a little tiny one & did not tell me of any one at Kinloch tho I suppose you did not allow yourself room on account of the many letters you enclosed & for which I was much obliged to you I got a letter today from your papa dated the 17th in which he speaks of Bev’s arrival & writes with deep feeling of Col Washington’s1 death I am going to transcribe what he says for Lou & you can read it put it in an envelope & send it to her as I do not like to part with the letter. Poor children to lose both their parents2 at a time when they were so important to them nothing can ever replace their loss & every hasty word & action to those who are gone will be remembered with sorrow & remorse all will be grieved too at Kinloch Let your cousin Ned & Sarah see my letter to Lou before you send it Sunday. I was much disappointed that the mail today brought me no letters. your sister got one she supposes from cousin John & a newspaper we have no mail again before next to Charlotte that I will go with her to the white House when I leave here & should I decide to send you to Miss Pegrams’ school I will send for you to come down to the white House & get you ready there, but it is useless to make plans even 10 days before hand Man proposes but God disposes & we knew not what a week may bring forth if Winchester was healthy I should prefer you going back to Mrs Powells. Has she sent your bonnets down? Agnes might fix one of them up for you to wear this fall. If you were disposed to improve yourself as you ought you might practise so much at home. your sister has not made up her mind yet what to do, tho’ I think she will probably return to Kinlock in which case she will write for some one to meet her at the plains & at Manassa[s] one pressing plan is to come here on the 3d. October & we are obliged to remain all night at Staunton so if she goes on, she will be at Manassa[s] in the cars from Gordonsville on the 4th October, but she will probably write herself when she decides she got a paper & a letter today she thinks from cousin John but there was no name to it I wish I had you all together once more in my dear old home but I do not know when that can be. You must kiss Jamie for me & the children & remember us affectionately to all friends I cannot well send you money in this letter ask your cousin Sarah to send you a dollar & I will pay her when I come & ask her if she can get a pair of good shoes for Billy such as she got for Charley at $1.50 or even $2.00 if he is much in need. If not he had as well wear his old ones until I come. If your sister goes up I will send the money by her. I have heard from Charlotte that the Baby is better, but as I am very anxious to see them I had as well go before I return to Kinloch who Knows but we may be able to see Arlington this fall. I hope I may get a letter from you next Wednesday but it will not come in time for me to answer by that Mail so I may as well write now It is very quiet here you would be tired to death of the place & we often wish ourselves back at Kinloch with our Kind friends there but I hope these baths may benefit your sister I feel that they are doing me some good. May god bless you my dear child & make you his true & faithful servant unto your life’s end.

Your affectionate mother

M C Lee

You need not pay for each letter as you send it ask Mr Jenkings to Keep an account of them & then you can pay for all at once as it is so hard to get change. Tell Jamie I have knit so hard since I came here my fingers are quite sore. Tell Charley he must keep Billy at work with him ask cousin John if it would be profitable for me to get a letter to Arlington thro’ those pickets who are so fond of talking to each other




1. John Augustine Washington (1821-1861), a Confederate officer, was killed 1861 September 13 in Randolph County in present day West Virginia. He was the great grandnephew of George Washington, and he was the last Washington to own Mount Vernon. He served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of Robert E. Lee during his western Virginia campaign.

2. Washington’s wife was Eleanor Love Selden Washington, a native of Loudon County, Virginia. She died 1860 October 9 at the age of 36, leaving behind a number of children, the youngest of whom was two years old.




Source: Mss1 L51 c 320, Section 16, Lee Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 26