Arlington October 2nd 1858


My dear Fitzhugh

It is very satisfactory to think that at last we may write you a letter with a definite idea of its reaching you. Your last letter was most gladly received, we had not heard from you for a long time.

It is too bad you never hear from us. Letters have been frequently written but owing to the great uncertainty of your whereabouts the direction is necessarily indefinite, so I suppose our epistles are following you along from post to post and may in time come to you. Mamma asks me to tell you that she wrote you a long letter a few weeks ago directed to the “Army of Utah” &c which she is afraid will never reach you so she will write again shortly. She wants to know how you like your life now and sends you a great deal of love.

Annie and Mamma returned from the Hot Springs (after a stay of five weeks) on the 18th of September. Mamma was I think a good deal benefited and looked fat and well. But here you know she always exerts & exposes herself a great deal which I am afraid will do away some of the good effects of the summer recreation. Uncle Williams was at the Hot some days with them. Charlotte & Cousin Mary arrived the night before they left. They were much pleased with “Miss Wick,” thought her very pretty. But Mamma’s & Annie’s letters give you their impressions. She has promised us (or rather Uncle Williams for her) a visit this month but then you know the reality is doubtful. Still as she has seen us all now I hope she will be persuaded. Mary Stuart is coming to pay us a visit in a week or two. We also expect the Childes and Uncle Carter’s family. I have seen a good deal of the Stuarts this summer.

Rosalie, Julia, & Ella Calvert have been on to Newport staying with their Uncle George Calvert. I suppose you have heard of Mr. Radzminski’s death at Memphis while on his return home. Poor Ella is of course much distressed has put on mourning for him. Annette paid us a little visit this fall looking as pretty as ever. We are now altogether at home except our two wandering far distant brothers. I wish they could complete our family circle.

But we will soon separate. Rob is going on the 6th to the same school and Sister leaves us the 5th to attend Laura Stuart’s wedding as brides-maid and thinks of accompanying the bridal party to Niagra.

I have passed a very pleasent summer four Rob, Mil[dred], & myself staid at Ravensworth. Uncle Smith, Aunt Nannie & the Kerrs were there.

Papa is very busy with the work men, mending and building all of the time. the stable is beginning to approach completion and will be very handsome I think. He is repairing the sheds to both wings & rebuilding the “planks” of brick.

I am sure I don’t know how we, or the place can spare him but he says he must go. Just think when you are in Benicia1 you will have an opportunity of seeing Custis, at least. I suppose you will go to San Francisco also. Mamma has gone in to Alexandria this afternoon to bring Mr. Lossing2 out. We are all well, and the weather is delightful. Annie sends you her best love says she also wrote to you in Mamma’s letter. Now dear Roon I expect an answer to my letter sometime when you are at leisure.

All of your friends enquire particularly after you and often send remembrances and love. I can tell you nothing that will be news to you when this reaches you. All I can say is that I often think of you and wish to see you. But my paper has finished so must I. Good-bye

ever your affectionate

sister Agnes


If Lewis is still with you give him my love




1. City in the San Francisco Bay area. It briefly served as the state capital in the 1850s.

2. Benson John Lossing (1813-1891), a New York journalist and historian.



Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c, Section 12, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 October 30