Lexington Va 20 July 1866


My dear Mary

I was glad to receive your note this morg, & wish it Could have reported a marked improvement in your health. But that I trust will come in time. It has been impossible for me to return to you this week, & indeed I do not see how I can absent myself at all. I shall endeavour to go to the Baths Monday & hope during the week you may be able to determine whether it would be more advantageous for you to remain there or go farther, as I shall have to return here as soon as I can. I can accomplish nothing while absent. Custis has determined to accompany Mr Harris to the W. Sulphur Monday, & the girls seem indifferent about leaving home. They ask properly what is to become of it? Mr. Peirre [sic] Chouteau,1 Son of Julia Gratiot & Charles Chouteau, will hand you this. He will remain over Sunday at the Baths, & can tell you all about St. Louis. I send such letters as have come for you. I have no news. The heat seems to extend every where, but it will be Cool enough after a time. We are as usual, except that aunt Caroline seems more overcome, & Harriet indulges in the lighter attire. I fear Mrs. Myers had an awful time.

The Elliotts do not Seem in haste to leave town. They are waiting for a cool day to go to the natal bridge, & do not seem to have decided whether to go to the Baths or Alum springs. We had an arrival last evg from the latter place, Genl Colquitt2 & daughters. They return tomorrow. The girls will write of domestic matters. I recd a letter from Rob to day at Romancoke. He is still taking chologogue [sic]3 but well. Nothing of interest has occurred.

Affy yours

R E Lee    




1. Pierre Chouteau (1849-1910) was the son of Julia Augusta Gratiot Chouteau (1824-1895) and Charles Pierre Chouteau (1819-1901), a St. Louis family.

2. Alfred H. Colquitt (1824-1894), who commanded Georgia troops during the Civil War. Later, he became governor of Georgia.

3. Cholagogue was a medicine used to help purge bile from the system.



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c, Section 31, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 March 29