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Richmond, April 10th 1863


Excuse my apparent silence dear Hattie1 upon the receipt of our much prized balmorals, but I left for the country just after receiving your letter. I had an engagement with a young lady to go to visit a friend of ours living at Old Church (Hanover) and expected to be absent so short a time. I determined especially as mail only came once during our visit to wait until on my return. I saw with my own eyes our long desired skirts.  They are so pretty and so nice we are perfectly charmed. It was so very kind in Mrs. Tucker2 but I will send my thanks to her I shall go to Mother’s and see if there is nothing I could find that would be a pleasure to her but fear not she has so few pretty ones and how, as you say, I will ever get them to her I don’t know. You must not trouble yourself about the dresses. I am convinced it is my fate never to have to have [sic] a homespun as I have lived in two states for more than a year if I do and when I do it will be a most unexpected surprise that’s all! How lovely it must be in the country this weather with all of Mrs. T’s pretty flowers too. I can’t help acting a little homesick when spring comes. It was such lovely spring weather when I left my home almost two years ago now I know you all rejoice in the good news from Charleston. Papa has been quite sick in bed with a persistent cold but is much better now riding out. Custis has gone to Charleston, he insists he never met you on the street. I do hope your Mother did not suffer from her journey.  Mamma I fear is not persevering better. If she is well enough we expect to go to Shirley this week. But write as would letters will be forwarded. The bundle to Jeanie Lloyd3 was sent the day before she left.

Good bye!

Excuse my stupid letters.

Agnes Lee


Mary is compelled to stay in the Yankee lines because she can’t get away unless she walks eighteen miles at night with her baggage on her own

on some back road.



1. Harriet Lee Powell (1833-1870).

2. Eliza Black Cumming Tucker (1821 – 1875)

3. Jean “Jeanie” Charlotte Washington Lloyd (1834 – 1914)



Source: Powell Family Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary

Transcribed by Alison Herring, 2022 February 18