Camp near Hicks Ford

Jan 3d/65


Your letter dear Milly, came upon me this morning just as I was rising from my blankets. I can’t dignify my resting place at night by the name of bed, & you must excuse me but I actually read it before dressing myself, & it was not until I had finished both yours & ma’s that I bethought myself of what a dreadful step I had taken reading a communication from a young Lady “en dishabille.” On the back of your letter was inscribed “Politeness of Mr Garnett” but as that Gentleman had arrived last night & at the time was snugly rolled in his blankets & snoring “What a nice young man he is,” I did not see why you should call my attention to the Politeness of Mr G. However the letter has been read & I am truly grateful that “your leisure time” admitted of your writing. I hardly should suppose that a country presenting the doleful appearance that this does could probably produce hold & rear the schoolmates of my sister & it surprised me to find that there were so many of those dear creatures in this neighborhood. I shall try & get to see them all especially the miss Young who will feed me so well those are the Girls for my money, that is the way to win a young soldiers heart. So if you have any designs on any unsuspecting youth & want to touch his heart, do so by bringing out the “victuals” Excuse the word, The Genl is going to give his Xmas dinner tomorrow to all his officers & I shall be happy for one day at least with the consciousness of having secured enough within me to sustain me. I have not been to see a single soul since I came to the Southside of the James River so you must not think hard of your brother if he neglects your good counsel about visiting. I here [sic] that Norvell Caskie is engaged to Dangerfield Lewis, how about that? I am afraid that ever[y]one is getting ahead of us, you must try & do something for yourself & me to[o] for I have a very poor chance. Remember me to Miss N when you see her & tell her I am very glad that she has left the Navy at any rate though we are going to lose her.

We are all very well here & pretty cheerful. Tell ma that I got the shirts & am very much obliged for them. Give my best love to all my friends & relations to Buff & the Baby

your loving brother

Rob E Lee




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 562, Section 29, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 December 26             

Meaning to be dressed in a careless manner.