Richmond        9 June 1861


Except through a letter to Nannie I have not heard of you dearest Mary for a long time. My letters it seems do not reach you[,] & yours perhaps to me share the same fate. I last wrote by Mr. F. S. Smith. He was returning to Manassas, near which he has his family, & he thought he could easily forward my letter by Cousin John. It contained a little money $100 & perhaps he has been over cautious for its safety & did not like to risk it by uncertain hands. I fear it has not reached you, as daughter in her letter to nannie said you would leave for Kinlock the day after she wrote, apparently Monday, & its contents may be convenient to you. How I can get funds to you now I do not know. I can transmit you a check, but how will you get it cashed?

I have just returned from a visit to the batteries & troops on James & York rivers &c, where I was some days. I called a few hours at the White House. Saw Charlotte & Annie. Fitzhugh was away but got out of the cars as I got in. Our little boy looked very sweet & seemed glad to kiss me a good bye. He seemed to be suffering from his teeth. Charlotte said she was going to prepare to leave home for the summer, but had not determined where to go. I could only see some of the servants about the house & stables. They were all well. The house was very nice & comfortable, & the corn looked well. Agnes is still here staying with Mrs. Dr. Conway. She talks of going down to the W. H. tuesday 11th. I can rarely see her, & I believe I have seen Nannie but once since her arrival. Fitz-Lee is better. I heard of his walking down the street yesterday. Custis is also better than he was. He is a great comfort to me & if we have to separate I do not know what I shall do. You may be aware that the Confederate Government is established here. Yesterday I turned over to it the command of the mil & naval forces of the state, in accordance with the proclamation of the Govt & the agreement between the state & C. States. I do not know what my position will be. I should like to retire to private life if I could be with you & the children, but if I can be of any service to the state or her cause, I must continue. Mr Davis & all his cabinet are here. Custis says he will write to you today & I will leave to him the relation of local matters. On returning to my room last night I found Tuberville & Arthur Stuart.1 The latter had arrived with a Louisiana Regt: & both were to leave for Chantilly this morg at 6 AM. It was then nearly 11 P.M. I wished to have written by then a few lines but could not. Good bye. Give much love to kind friends. May God guard & bless you, them & our suffering country, & enable me to perform my duty. I think of you constantly. Write me what you will do, direct here. always yours RE Lee           


I send a letter from Mrs Cook, sent me from Louisville



1. Major Sholto Tuberville Stuart (1821-1884), a native of Fairfax County, Virginia. He was the son of Charles Calvert (1794-1846) and Cornelia Lee Tuberville Stuart (1796-1883), who had many children. Tuberville’s brother Captain Arthur Lee Stuart was born 1831 May 13 at Chantilly in Fairfax County, Virginia. Arthur died on 1882 August 5 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tuberville died in King George County, Virginia, and is buried in the Stuart and Grymes Family Cemetery there. Arthur is buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia. 


Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 297, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2021 September 17