Camp Culpepper [sic] 2 Aug 1863


I have recd dear Mary your letter of the 26th from the H. Springs & am truly grateful to the kindness of our friends for the care & attention of you, & to the Almighty God for his help & Support. I fervently pray that he may bless the means he has provided you for your relief, & should he not grant you a perfect restoration, that you may at least obtain ease & Comfort. You must not mind the trouble or even suffering of your journey or sojourn, provided you attain the benefit we much desire. You must thank for me all the kind friends that have aided in alleviating the pain of your journey as I am unable to do so. I am glad at least you have with you so pleasant a party. I wish I was alone. Tell Chass never mind the fare. It is very temporary in its effects & the plainer it is the more healthy. I have heard of some Dr having reached Richmond that had seen our dear F at Ft Monroe. He said his wound was improving & that he himself was well & walking about on crutches. The exchange of prisoners that had been going on, has for some Cause been suspended, owing to some crotchet or other, but I hope will soon be resumed & that we shall have him soon back. Tell Chass I think it very doubtful whether they would allow her to visit him. The only way of accomplishing it is to get permission from Mr Secy Stanton in Washn through Mr Ould to take the Flag of truce boat to Old Point. I do not think he would give it in her case, It [sic] having been refused in others, which they would not feel as much objection in obliging, & I believe their permission is always Coupled with the obligation to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. I think in application therefore would be useless. Our only Course is to be patient & pray God for his preservation & speedy restoration. I grieve much at his position, but Know no way of mending it. Any expression on my part would injure matters. I Can therefore do nothing but Sorrow. We are all as well here as usual. The armies are in Such close proximity that frequent collisions are Common along the outposts. Yesterday the enemy laid down two or three pontoon bridges over the Rappk & Crossed his Cavy & a large one of his Infy. It looked at first as if it was the advance of his arms & as I had not intended to deliver battle. I directed the Cavy to retire slowly before them, but to check their too rapid progress. Finding later in the day that their army was not following I ordered out the Infantry & drove them back to the river. Hamptons brigade was the portion of our cavy opposed to them, & it behaved very handsomely. Hampton himself is absent wounded & the brigade was under Col: Baker, who acquitted himself well. He is wounded in the arm. Cols: Black & young also wounded. Our loss in numbers was small. I suppose they intend to push on towards Richmond by this or some other route. I trust they will never reach there. Give much love to all with you I wrote to you a week since from this Camp enclosing a letter to chass. I hope it reached you. Kiss my daughters for me & Annie Leigh. God bless & preserve you all! Truly RELee   




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 469, Section 23, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 March 15