Cleydael1 10th Nov.


Why you persist dear Mill in saying I never write I can’t imagine, I wonder if I did not write to you just before Ma went to the Hot (enclosed in one of hers) & no answer have I ever seen. Just see tonight. I am writing the very day after your letter was recieved [sic]. “Little Mildred” is not forgotten I assure you, though I sup=2 you are growing almost out of your sister’s recollection.2 I have wanted very much to see you this summer, & have enquired most particularly of every one who has seen you. I do hope the time will come & that soon when we can all be together again. I am glad you have enjoyed yourself so much this summer, so have I, but it would take too long to tell of it now, except the fact, which may be a sorrow to you that I am not engaged! nor your sister Annie to my knowledge. That is to be married; we are very busily engaged in making clothes & knitting socks for the soldiers, which is the best engagement for young ladies these times. I am glad your summer’s pleasure has not prevented your studying so hard though the consequence (the loss of your hair) is a very serious one. “As the whole world” couldn’t convince you it is your fault. I won’t try, I do not believe however a net will save it! Mine was falling out so fast about two weeks ago I had it all cut short around my head & Now it waves & twists itself up; some say it is very becoming. I do not advise you to do it, for I suppose you would sooner cut your head, but only suggest that if it continued to come out & nothing will stop it this will be a good time, so that it will be long enough to twist up again when you leave school. It is quite fashionable now, I know several young ladies in Richmond who had theirs short this summer, & another who had hers cut less than two years ago & now has a beautifully thick suit quite long enough to tuck up. But some nice hand should cut it, a barber for instance. Mine is delightfully comfortable, so little trouble & I can wash my head every morning.




1. Cleydael was in King George County, Virginia. It was the summer home of the Stuart family. The Stuarts usually lived at “Cedar Grove,” their plantation in King George County, built by Dr. Richard Henry Stuart (1808-1889). Dr. Stuart was born in Westmoreland County. In 1879, he inherited Stratford from his wife, Margaret Robinson McCarty.

2. Her use of “sup=” is transcribed as written.



Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 322, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 23