24 June ‘65


My dearest Markie

I have recd your little note with the handerkerchiefs & pens. I am exceedingly obliged to you, though am tempted to scold. I told you I wanted nothing except to see you. By not believing me, you have forced me to give my four old friends, that have continued with me in heat & cold, care & danger, to wounded rebels, & replace them by new ones. It gives me acute pain to part with old friends, though as in this case, I may be the gainer. The marking is beautiful. Your Cousin Smith says the one which was bathed in salt, is fixed for life. So splendidly have you succeeded, that Mildred proposes your appellation be changed from Markie to Marker. You see how bright is the wit of the establishment. The pens are excellent, & of my favourite pattern. I read with interest the papers sent, but cannot agree with the writers of the articles to which attention was called. I feel much humbled by the commendation attempted to be bestowed. Praise I deserve, & the censure of others is so much lighter than what I inflict upon myself, that it fails in its object.

With much love I am as ever

your Cousin

R E Lee




Source: Scan of original letter, Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, 1844-1870, Huntington Library, San Marino, California              

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 September 26