My dear Mrs. Branch,

I am very happy to be able to join in the celebration of the day

                      Truly yours

                               R E Lee,

                          19 June ’65

Note on envelope: “Sent to me on my 34th birthday with a button of his by Genl Lee”[1]

Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, M2009.335

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 May 23

[1] Martha Louise Patteson (wife of James Read Branch) was the daughter of Dr. William Anderson Patteson, (and the granddaughter of James A. Patteson and of Martha Patteson, the daughter of Colonel David Patteson of Chesterfield.). Mrs. Branch had given Lee a nice set of shirts in 1864 when he was in Petersburg. Col. James R. Branch commanded a battery from Petersburg. The buttons Lee gave her are in the curatorial collection at Stratford Hall.