Camp Fredg

6 Feby ’63

I recd yesterday my precious daughter your letter of the 3rd. I grieved very much when last in Richmond at not seeing you. You did right however in not coming down from H.[ickory] H.[ill] on saturday under the circumstances. I was obliged to leave Sunday morg myself. My movements are so uncertain & time so occupied that I cannot be relied on for anything. The only place I am to be found is in camp, & I am so cross now that I am not worth seeing anywhere. Here you will have to take me with the three stools, the snow, the rain & the mud. The storm of the last 24 hours has added to our stock of all, & we are now in a floating condition. But the sun & wind will carry all off in time, & then we shall appreciate our relief. Our horses & mules suffer the most. They have to bear the cold & rain, tug through the mud, & suffer all the time with hunger. The roads are wretched, almost impassable. I heard of Mary lately. One of our scouts brought me a card of Margaret Stuarts with a pair of gauntlets directed to “Cousin Robert.” All were well. Fitzhugh, Charlotte & Robt are a long way from me. I hear nothing from them. I hope they are all well. Give much love to your poor mother. I fear she will suffer this weather. Tell Miss Sallie to kiss you on your poor little face for me & keep away the pain. Remember me to Mrs. Warwick, Mr. Warwick & Douglass. I have no news. Genl Hooker is obliged to do something. I do not know what it will be. He is playing the Chinese game. Trying what frightening will do. He runs out his guns, starts his wagons & troops up & down the river, & creates an excitement generally. Our men look on in wonder, give a cheer, & all again subsides “in status quo antebellum.” I wish you were here with me to day. You would have sit by this little stove, look out at the rain & keep yourself dry. But here comes in all their wet the Adjt Genls with the papers. I must stop & go to work. See how kind God is, we have plenty to do, in good weather & bad. Kiss Custis for me. I hope Miss Sallie takes him some flowers sometimes. She can carry him nothing so sweet as her smiles.

your devoted father

R E Lee  




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 432, Section 21, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 May 3