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Warm springs august 16th [1863]


I am quite in despair of hearing from you again my dear Mild & therefore commence this letter to tell you I have left the Hot without any very visible improvement except a slight relaxation in one knee. altho’ I took the baths most faithfully every day I am going now to try the warm & have taken rooms here, for a month. We have a delightful cottage with a portico all around covered with beautiful vines & roses & looking upon a meadow full of Haycocks & a clear stream running thro it & very near the bath which is one of the finest in the world. I wish you were here with us now we are so comfortably fixed. Mary & Agnes have each a room opening into mine mountains all around. The fare is tolerable corn & tomatoes & plenty of nice vegetables & some kind of dessert every day. I do hope I may get better here for I have suffered greatly of late especially at night.

We have heard from Custis that Roon was doing very well walking about on crutches & there is some prospect of his being exchanged. Indeed I wish he could be on Charlottes account as her health is very delicate. she has been quite sick ever since she came to the mountains & has had a Dr attending her. He pronounced the Hot a bad place for her. so she has gone to the Bath Alum with Annie Leigh & has been sick since she got there. Rob has gone back to the army & is very well he went on horseback & called at H Hill & Julia almost jumped out of her skin with joy.

They write word they miss us all dreadfully there & long for our return only hoping the young ladies would not have as much work to do next time. We left Mr Caskie at the Hot improving daily but much distressed at the Proprietor saying he would close the Hotel next Wednesday. However he intended to see if he could not remain as a sort of private boarder. Norvell is still in Richmond.

19th [August] another mail & no letter from you a little note from Mr Caskie this morning. He has prevailed upon the Proprietor to allow him to remain & furnish him from his own private table. The rest of the boarders have come over here so this place is getting quite full. Agnes & Mary have gone to Bathe & talk of writing to you but I think it doubtful if she does, for altho’ there is no amusement here & but few persons they know they never seem to have time for anything. I hope you are improving yet & have a more systematic arrangement of it. I send you your papa’s last letter. Take care of it. We have had a sudden change of weather & it is now as cool here as october, but bright & delightful. How is it with you? Hope some of your old friends have returned & that you are enjoying yourself with them. I have just completed my new calico linedall throbody & sleeves & made Garibaldi fashion & find it very comfortable in this cool weather. Agness too has just finished her domestic she has made it too in the Garibaldi style only very close around the neck & it looks very well. I hope you have a great comfort in all your dresses.


My dear Mildred

Mamma insists upon my “finishing off” off [sic] this half sheet & even deprives herself of the great pleasure of writing, in order that I may not commence on a fresh one. So you must not imagine that I am anxious to curtail the length of my epistle. In truth, there is but little matter here or anywhere that I have seen since we parted, to make a letter of any size interesting & Raleigh would, I am sure, furnish much more “materiel” than either the “Hot” or the “warm.” Of course Mamma has told you of sufferings at the former & has got on to the latter place, where we are comfortably established in a charming cottage, surrounded by pretty papyrus & embosomed in shrubbery. My great source of enjoyment is the bath in which I luxuriate everyday. Agnes is making considerable progress in broidering but I am too weak, & too easily exhausted to do much in that line without the assistance of a plank. There are a good many people here, principally soldiers & invalids, with a few ladies & children. We like long walks up the mountains every day, & gather quantities of blackberries, huckleberries & green apples, but there is as usual very little fruit in this region, & I have not seen a peach this year. How do you like school this session & who did you determine on for an alcove mate? Could you find me small enough? I hope you are studying very hard & making the most of your last year. Do pay particular attention to your music in spite of your indifferent teacher. I suppose I know none of the boarders so I will not send my love. Agnes is dressing to take a horseback ride with Mr Peter Warwick.1 The half sheet is filled so I must stop. Write to me very soon & believe me ever your affect Sister





1. Likely Peter Chevallie Warwick (1835-1899), the brother of Sally Warwick, who is mentioned in Lee family letters. Peter was born in Richmond and served as a staff officer in the Army of Northern Virginia. He is buried in Shockoe Cemetery in Richmond.   



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers Mss1 L 51 c, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 April 25