Camp Fredg 8 Jany ’63


I have endeavoured for Several days dear Mary to write to you, but have found it impossible. Now I have only a few moments. Fitzhugh has returned from his scout & I hope has been able to visit Charlotte. His camp is 25 miles from me & I only Saw him & Rob in passing. They were both very well. They were very successful in their expedition, were with Stuart, & I presume you have Seen accounts in the papers. I executed the deed of manumission sent me by Mr Caskie & returned it to him. I perceived that Johns, Lawrence & James names among the Arlington people, had been omitted & inserted them. I fear there are others among the White House which I did not discover. As to the attacks of the northern papers I do not mind them, & do not think it well to make the publication you suggest. I think it would be idle in me to do so. If all the names of the people at Arlington & on the Pamunckey are not embraced in the deed I have executed. I should like a supplementary deed to be drawn up containing all those omitted. Custis will have to get the lists from my box of paper if he has not them. I wish to emancipate the whole, whether on the estates or not. Some may still be in the state, though absent from the farms. They are all entitled to their freedom & I wish to give it to them. Those that have been carried away I hope are free & happy. I cannot get their papers to them & they do not require them. I will give them if they ever call for them. It would be useless to ask their restoration to manumit them. The enemy is still in large force opposite to us. There is no indications of his future movements. I send some letters that have arrived for you. Also one from M. & Mrs. Jane Peter to me, thinking they may be interesting. Tell Agnes I am glad she is better. I recd her letter, but had previously written to her, supposing she was at Mr Warwick, & I have heard also from Mildred who was very well & content, having a fine time on eggnog &c &c & getting immensely large. Give much love to Chass. I hope she is well again & very strong. If F[itzhugh] cannot get to see her she had better pay him a visit. I suspect there is some kind neighbor to him, who would take her in for a little while. Give much love to all at Hickory Hill. Col: Wms was well when I heard from him. He is about ten miles from me. I am glad to hear uncle Wms is so well. Remember me to him. I wish I Could know when I could see you & where. But that is impossible to know. I hope before long. God bless & protect you, is my constant prayer. Affecty & very truly yours

R E Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 427, Section 21, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 12