Arlington 15 March ’61


My precious Life

You have doubtless heard of my arrival. I want to see you very much & miss your presence dreadfully. I do not think I can wait till the expiration of your term, but will have to run up for a day to see you if I, Can find time. As usual I am very much occupied & have little time to devote to myself.

I hope you are very well & are progressing favourably in your studies. You must write to me & tell me all about yourself. Mrs. Barnes has been paying us a visit but I presume has returned home. She went in to Alexandria some days since to see Mrs. Turner & was to go from there to Winchester. I have only been once to Alexa but was glad to find all our friends well.

Miss Helen Peters is with us now. Your brother is still at Fort Washington & I have seen but little of him. I saw Fitzhugh on his way from Baltimore to the White House & his shadow is Considerably enlarged.

Charlotte too came on for my grandson, from whom she found she Could not be separated, so I saw her for a day. Your nephew is a sweet little boy & reminds me very much of his father when at his age. Of Course then I am very fond of him. Your Cousin Edward childe paid us a long visit & regretted not Seeing. He has gone to Baltimore on business, but will return again Soon. He grieves much over the death of his dear father.1

The Pup is well but melancholy. He is very belligerent & carries on perpetual Combats with the wild cats. His face is much scared [sic] & he begins to look like a veteran. I am his only Companion.

You mother & Sisters are well & all write in much love to you.

May God guard & protect you is my Constant prayer.

Your father

R E Lee

P.S. Kind regards to all the Powells





1. Lee is referring to Edward Vernon Childe (1804-1861), his brother-in-law, who died in January in Paris.



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51c 277, Section 15, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 May 4