Richmond July 13th 1863


My Dear Agnes

Your gentle hint in one of your little 1 by 2 (inches) notes which have been showering down upon me lately, shall not pass unregarded & I will “write to my sister sometimes”. But I can tell you no startling news, nothing interesting, for we hear nothing except that which is in the papers which I am going to send you. There is nothing from Gen Lee’s Army, nothing from the Caskies, nothing from the Warwicks, nothing from poor Fitzhugh nothing from Gen Joe Johnston, I believe there are the sources from which all news, interesting to the banished portion of the “Lee family”, comes: I forgot there is something from the Conways in the shape of some medicin for my sister Charlotte, but I hope she will throw it all away when it comes & try & get well with out it. I have been sick myself for the last four or five days, which has compelled me to give myself up to Dr Carter,1 who has been giving me pills ever since he took me in hand & at last they seem to be taking effect.

I started to come up to Hickory Hill Saturday evening, at least I went so far as to oversee the buggy & horses & prevailed on Capt Leigh2 to accompany me; but I felt so badly when the time came that I was unable to make the attempts, & I think I did very wisely in deciding as I did, for it was currently reported yesterday & believed that the Yankee’s were landing at Brandon, on the James, & there is not telling what thrilling scenes & hairbreadth escapes might not have been enacted over again at Hickory Hill if your brother had been there when during a visit from our Northern friends; That was the reason Ma’s Medicins did not reach her Sunday, for thinking that I was coming up. I thought I would let Major Johns3 go up to see his wife, for once with his mind untrameled by commissions & his hands free to take care of himself alone; however he will have done double duty to perform this evening. Tell Sister Mary that Caskie received her note & blank while seated at a game of whist & merely remarked that she ought to have left two blanks instead of one, but that she would attend to it. Is Mildred alive or not [?] I have not heard from her directly or indirectly since I fell back from Hickory Hill. Love to all & everybody & believe me your brother R E Lee               



1. Dr. Lewis Warrington Carter (1819-1888), the son of Hill Carter (1796-1875) and Mary Braxton (Randolph) Carter (1800-1864). He was born in Charles City County, Virginia, and lived with his family at Shirley plantation. He died in Virginia and is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

2. Virginia native Captain Chapman Johnson Leigh (1826-1911) was a staff officer in the Confederate army and worked as a paymaster in Richmond. He was married to Anne Carter of Shirley plantation. He died in New York City.

3. Major John Johns (1832-1894) was the son of Bishop John Johns (1796-1876) of Virginia and Juliana Elizabeth (Worthington) Johns (1798-1836). He was born in Baltimore and married Mary Eleanor Mercer (McGuire) Johns in September of 1861 in Tappahannock, Virginia. He lived in Richmond after the war but died in Washington, D.C.


Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 464, Section 23, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 February 22