Orange Co: 21 Apl ’64

Your note of the 18th dear Mary with the bag of socks reached me last evg. The number was Correct 31 prs: & I sent them to the Stonewall brigade which is not yet supplied. Sixty one prs from the ladies in Fauquier have reached Charlottesville & I hope will be distributed soon. Now that Miss Bettie Brander has Come to the aid of my daughters the Supply will Soon be increased. I am very much obliged to you for the shirt. It fits very well & is very handsome. How it will stand our Camp Washerman is doubtful. But the Collar is not long enough. I Cannot make it button to the shirt around my neck. I suppose it lacks full half an inch. It should be as large as the Collar of the shirt, so as to fit on it. Indeed as it has to go around the shirt Collar, it should be that much larger. Otherwise it is very well. I thought my daughters were making the shirts for me? I am very much obliged to those kind ladies, Mrs. Williams & Miss Magruder, but I dislike to trouble them. I think I had better wear the white shirts in my trunk. I fear they will be injured by laying starched. These I now have are nearly gone & I Can then send for those. If I do not wear them they should be washed out & rough dried. I do not think therefore it is worth while to make more of these check [pattern shirts] than what you have in hand. I am very glad to hear of the happiness of the young Brides. I hope if Mrs. S has in any way changed her mind it is not from any thing I said, as you seem to suppose, I only intended to express my grief at losing one that I had admired so long, who was so much beloved by so many dear friends, & from whom I have recd so much kindness. I intended to offer no advise or even suggestion, for I did not feel able, nor did I wish to influence her in a matter in which her judgment should be supreme. Mr Soulet is a man of worth, distinction, high standing & great accomplishment. If she wishes to marry no objection Can be raised to him. I think the world generally accords to a woman more respect & esteem who marries but once. There are of course exceptions to this as other rules & there are often valid reasons, accepted by all, for departing from it. Every one must judge for themselves in such matters. Like yourself I am always pressed for time in writing & Cannot say half I wish. I am delighted to hear the opinion of your Dr. God grant all may Come right in the end! I send down my fur robe & Comfort. Ask one of the girls to wrap the former in the sheet I sent back in the fall with leaf tobacco to protect it from moths. Kind Mrs. Macfarland took Care of it for me last summer. I dislike to trouble her again. The Comfort can remain in the house, or with the robe. Give a great deal of love to the girls, the boys & kind regards to all friends. May a merciful God guard & protect you all. Truly & Sincerely

R E Lee




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 513, Section 26, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 June 7