Lexington Va: 21 March 1870


My dear Daughter


The Drs & others think I had better go to the South in the hope of relieving the efforts of the cold under which I have been laboring all the winter. I think I should do better here & am very reluctant to leave home in my present condition. But they seem so interested in any recovery & so persuasive in their measures, that I should appear obstinate, if not perverse, if I resisted longer. I have therefore consented to go & will take Agnes to Savannah as she seems anxious to visit that city, or perhaps she will take me. I wish also to visit before I die my dear Annie’s grave. I have always desired to do so since the cessation of active hostilities, but have never been able to do so. I wish to see how calmly she sleeps away from us all with her dear hands folded over her heart as if in mute prayer while her pure spirit is traversing the land of the Blessed. I shall diverge from the main route of travel for this purpose & it will depend somewhat upon my feelings, & some what upon my feelings, & some what upon my procuring an escort for Agnes whether I go farther South.

I am sorry not to be able to see you before I go, but if I return I hope to find you here, well & happy. You must take good care of your mother & do everything she wants. You need not shorten your trip on account of our departure. Custis will be with her every day & Mary is with her still. The servants seem attentive.

Good bye my dear Childe. Remember me to all friends & believe me

Your affectionate father

R E Lee




Source: Photograph of original letter, Helen M. Taylor Collection, Mss1 T2144 a, Section 6, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond     

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 June 13