Dabbs: 3 Aug ’62


I have recd. dear Mary your letter of the 1st & am glad to learn that you are well & are enjoying the society of such dear friends. You must thank them for their kind remembrances of me & say how delighted I should be could I get to see them. I feel very grateful for their prayers & am sure that they are heard in heaven, & tend to the merciful protection so constantly extended to me by the Great God of all. How I wish I was in any way worthy of his blessing! Tell aunt Judy Nelson I beg she will always remember me in her devotions, & that I hope she will enjoy many years of peace & quiet of the country. I have forwd. your letters to Mrs. Caskie. I was called in by the Pres: eight or ten days ago & called to see her. They were as kind as ever but I could only remain a few moments. Custis & Mary had not returned when I last heard from the House, but it was said C[ustis] would be back yesterday. Mrs. Mary Stevenson1 has arrived in Richmond & drove up to the house prepared to stay, supposing you were there. Her sister Anne is dead & she is & extremely anxious to return to Georgetown & has come on that mission. I do not know what I can do for her except give my consent to her marrying Major Hutter2 which may reconcile her to remaining in the Conf[edera]cy. I have heard nothing from the girls. Poor little things. I am afraid they are all astray. Fitzhugh passed up to Hanover friday & I hope you will see him. I am told he is very well. I went down one day to visit the Cavy Pickets, but he was at the other end of the line & I could not get to him. I have heard of Grace [Darling]. She was seen bestrode by some yankee with her colt by her side. I could be better resigned to many things than that. I must try & be resigned to that too. I have also lost my horse Richmond. He died thursday. I had ridden him the day before. He seemed in the morg as well as ever, but I discovered in the evg he was not well, but thought he was merely distressed by the heat & brought him along very slowly. Finding at bed time he had not recuperated & was breathing heavily I had him bled which seemed to relieve him & in the morg he was pronounced better. I however administered a purgative, & at noon he was reported dead. But his labours are over & he is at rest. He carried me very faithfully & I shall never have so beautiful an animal again. His fate is different from Grace’s & to his loss I can easily be resigned. I shall want but few horses more, & have as many as I require.

Give much love to all with you & believe me always yours

R E Lee


I send a letter from Mrs. Stiles, which you must answer for me & say everything that is kind for me.





1. Mary Shaaff [spelled various ways in online sources] Stevenson (b. ca. 1820), was the widow of Hon. Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857), a veteran of the War of 1812 and graduate of the College of William and Mary. He also served in Congress, was Speaker of the House, and a minister to the United Kingdom. Mary was a native of Georgetown in Washington, D.C., though she was born Maryland. She married Stevenson on 1849 June 28 in New York City. She was his third wife. In the 1860 census, she is listed as living in Georgetown with her sister Ann.

2. Likely Colonel James Risque Hutter (1841-1923), a native of Lynchburg, Virginia. He served in Pickett’s division in Longstreet’s corps. He was the son of George Christian Hutter (1793-1879) and Harriet James Risque Hutter (1806-1898). Colonel Hutter did not get married until after the war, to Charlotte Stannard Hutter Hutter (1857-1930), in October of 1877.




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 372, Section 19, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 April 11