Lexington, Va: 10 July 1868


My dearest Nephew


     I rec[eive]d this morning your letter of the 25th Ulto: & am much disappointed to find that I shall not see you or my beautiful niece this Summer. We have been anticipating great pleasure from your visit, & hoped that when you visited our mountains, it would be at a season when they would appear to most advantage & would add to your Comfort.  Our winters are rigorous & roads rough, & I am afraid that my niece will find our Country as harsh as ourselves. But at whatever Season you come we can assure you of a cordial welcome, & the sooner it occurs the more agreeable it will be to us. You must not think that you have interfered with our plans for the summer. I had proposed taking your aunt to the Hot Springs in the hope that she might find some mitigation of her pains if she could receive no relief, & now we shall sett off on the 14th Ins:. They are situated in the adjoining county & we shall reach there the same evening. Agnes & Mildred will accompany us. Mary is still in Maryland, & will delay her return till we get back.  She proposes visiting Mrs. Fitzhugh & other relatives in Eastern Virginia & will hardly return before October. Agnes was quite sick on the E.[astern] S.[hore] of Maryland & I hope her visit to the Warm & Hot Springs will be beneficial to her. Your Aunt bids me tell you that the medicine you sent her reached her safely & that she is taking it regularly, but so far without any apparent good. All send their thanks to you for the pretty things you have sent, which will be duly acknowledged on arrival, but as we shall all be away, some time may elapse before that can occur. I am very much obliged to you for thinking of me. I require but little now & you must not trouble yourself to get any thing more. The english overcoat you mention, would no doubt be better than any I could procure here, but my old one will probably last as long as I shall want one, so that there would be no advantage in getting another. I recd Col Hamlys[1] book, “The Operations of War”, but I did not now whence it came or to whom I was indebted for it.  Please make my acknowledgements to the proper person. The subject is one in which I have had some experience & hope never again to have need of recurring to, & therefore have never read the book. I do not think my opinion of its merits would be worth having & did not give it. Custis is going to see his brothers Fitzhugh & Robert, having been satisfied with his visit to the watering places last summer. I think F[itzhugh]’s wife will join us when I will take Mildred & herself to the White Sulphur. I confess I take no pleasure in these fashionable resorts, & would much prefer mounting “Traveller” & taking a solitary ride through the mountains, to visiting any of them. But the hope of benefiting your poor Aunt would induce me to go anywhere. I am much obliged to you for the photographs of my niece. I like them better than the others, & they make me more anxious to see her. Give her much love from me, & tell her she can never “displease me” except by not reciprocating my love for her. All send their best wishes & warmest loves & I remain,

Most Aff[ectionate]y your Uncle,

R E Lee


Edward Lee Childe


Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.361, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 28



[1] Sir Edward Bruce Hamley (1824-1893), The Operations of War, was published in 1866