PGBC Senior Prom - Stepping Out In Elegance - August 10th

Hot Springs [1861] Sep’t 12th


I cannot express to you my dear girls my disappointment at not meeting you[,] as one great inducement to my coming here was that hope. It is so late in the season now it would scarcely be worth while for you to undertake the journey as it is rather a fatiguing one, unless you had a suitable escort. I feared you had been detained by the death of my little darling but thought even in that case you might have written to me. It is good news to hear that he is better when I leave this place which will be in about 2 weeks from next Wednesday I will unless I hear something to change my plans to go to Richmond & go to the White House with Charlotte if she is ready to go or stay in Richmond awhile. In the mean time you must write me of your movements & plans, you can tell this to Charlotte that she may know she has some one to depend upon what may be your sister’s plans & wishes it is impossible for me to say. I heard her once express a wish to go to Cedar Grove but she can return to Kinlock if he chooses. I do not know exactly the location of cousin Polly Cabell’s residence but your uncle Carter can tell you & if you could accomplish it I wish very much that you & Agnes would make her a visit as she wrote in the kindest manner some time ago & invited us all with you Aunt Maria to spend the summer with her. She is an old friend of your Grandma Anna & if you could accomplish it I wish you would go. You must also give much love to all at Windsor & kiss the children for me. There are but few persons here, about 25 a very nice family from Richmond named Caskie who are our neighbors in the cottage row we staid in last time we were here & your old pastor Mr Latane who enquired very kindly for you. It has cleared up & the weather is delightful, the fare very good & I am busy all the time knitting for the soldiers & mending up Rob’s wardrobe, who came up with us, being a little tired of Charlottesville & having made up his mind in accordance with your papa’s wishes to return to the university another year. It is a sore trial to him as he was extremely anxious to join Mr Pendleton’s battery at Manassas. He desires his respects & says he scarcely knows now that he has any sisters. He has his hair cut close to his head which by no means improves his beauty. He amuses himself by hunting in the mountains. I do not believe that the Army near Arlington can remain in that position very long & that something desicive [sic] must be accomplished, but I suppose in any event it will be some time ere we can reoccupy our dear old home, & after your cousin Julia, repeated & kind invitations you must certainly go there, but you had better remain at your uncle Carter’s ‘till it is time to meet me in Richmond of which I will keep you duly informed. Do not make any more purchases there[.] I can get beautiful cotton at the plains near Kinlock for 20 cts per yd & very good at 18 & I intend to go without any thing till I can get them at a reasonable rate. I wrote to you the very day I reached Kinlock from Clarke telling you the moment Mary arrived I would appoint a day to meet you. You know she is the most uncertain person in the world & as she is really very much out of health, I was anxious for her to come here. I do not think this place would have particularly benefitted Agnes, but it would have been a great pleasure to me to have you all here together. Agnes must use a plenty of cold water about her head & neck & rub well with a coarse towel which will preserve her from taking cold. The mail is waiting so I must stop. Don’t go to Cedar Grove till I come. I want to see you all so much.

Yr fond mother

M C Lee             




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 382, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond    

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 February 26