Hot Springs, Bath Co: Va:

27 Aug 1870


My dear Markie

I have not recd your “long letter” addressed to Lexington but that of the 22nd Inst: reached me this morg. I send by the mail which conveys this a circular of the Hot as you request, addressed to the care of Dr I. G. Porter. If the price of board &c is not given, I will state that it is the same as when you were here. No reduction has been made as at the other springs in Va: People do not come here for pleasure but for relief & have to pay for what they receive. It is “late” for you to come here Markie for I am just going away. You ought to have come three weeks ago. I do not know that it is “too late” for other people, but I should think it would have been better to have been here earlier. We cannot expect the warm weather to continue much longer, & we may expect more rain in September than Aug. The weather generally is very pleasant in September & October & many persons take the Bathes in those months. I should think however that the waters would be more efficacious in dry hot weather. A great many are leaving now daily, though some are arriving, especially those who have been to the White. Mr Archie George (brother of Ella Carters husband) & family arrived from the White yesterday, others come in every day, though the company seems to be fast diminishing. I go this morg to the Healing & on Monday 29th to Staunton, where I shall be detained two or three days, & thence to Lexington to meet Mr & Mrs Potestad & Fitzhugh & wife who are to be there the 6th from the White. Miss Belle Harrison is now there & Mrs Caskie who is at the Rockbridge Baths, will likewise visit your Cousin Mary, when she will have completed her time there. So I hope I shall be indemnified for my solitude here.

I have been benefited I think upon the whole by my visit, feel better, have less pain & if I could, would remain a week longer. I came too late, owing to my repugnance to hot water, but there is some virtue in this, & besides the little benefit I have recd I have witnessed much imparted to others. I wish that you had been with me Markie. I should have done better. I am so glad that you have been well all the summer. Avoid the young Drs Markie. They do not understand your case. Adhere to the firm & tried ones. The good Drs Flint & Porter for example. You are safe with them. Letters from Edwd & Blanche report them safe in the vicinity of Paris. They were at Ems when the war burst out & had to flee. King William was there at the time. I hope they will continue well. No I am not “glad that the Prussians are succeeding.” They are prompted by ambition & a thirst for power. The French are defending their homes & country. May God help the suffering & avert misery from the poor – Good bye

most truly

R E Lee       





Source: Transcribed from digital 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 October 3