Camp Rapidan 13 Nov ’63


My precious little Agnes,

I have been wishing to reply to your letter of the 4th for some days, but like yourself cannot always find time to write. I have not failed however to enjoy it & have read it more than once. I am very much obliged to you for the flannel, but do not wish to absorb your little importations. I hope your mother will be able to manufacture the garments out of the sett of last year. You must help her & then you will learn to manufacture for the soldiers. As to the jackets, they may be of silk if good thick english ones Can be obtained. Otherwise they will not be warm enough. The price is nothing nowadays. Everything has become so enormous, that I stickle at nothing & go in without Consideration of cost. But then I buy nothing but what is necessary. I wish indeed I Could see you & would gladly visit Richmond for that purpose for I want to See you all very much. But when I shall be able to do so, have no idea. I must therefore be patient. I hope however you are all well & happy. I see the papers are calling upon persons that have no business in the city to leave it. I hope that does not include you all. But I was afraid you would be in the way. If they send you off you must Come to your Papa & I will give you a fair opportunity to cure my rheumatic pains. I am better now & have been riding a great deal lately. Still I have some twinges & general stiffness to remind me of the grip they have upon me. I do not know when you will be able to see the Army, though wish you Could have done so earlier. The days of reviews are passed for the present. The enemy seems to be emboldened by his successes on the Rappk River, has recd & is still recg reinforcements, & threatens dreadful things. I hope we shall be able to stand up under them. You must pray to the Great God who rideth on the heavens, to give us strength & courage to do the work he has set before us, & to him be all the praise! I am glad you think Charlottee is better. I hope she will get well now. I recd a letter from her to night, in which she says she feels better, but Cannot walk yet. It is very grievous to me to have you all sick & I unable to do anything for you. How are your poor little pains now? All gone I hope. I am so sorry to hear of Mary Childe’s afflictions. You must give her much love & sincere sympathy for me when you write. I fear I may never be able to write to her again. Major Gilmore who was a prisoner in Baltimore some time since, told me he saw her when there. She has never been well he says since the birth of her last child. Give a great deal of love to your poor mama, daughter & Charlotte. Daughter seems to have forgotten to write to her Papa. How is little Sallie? She had better learn to spin, to weave, & to make up all kinds of clothes, or I shall not let her marry Shirley. Remember me to all friends & believe me

your affectionate


R E Lee





Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 488, Section 24, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 May 23