Hot Springs October 11th [1861]


My dear child


I feel so anxious on your subject that if I had not promised Charlotte to go & stay with her till the girls returned I would go up to Kinlock to get you ready for school there is but little I could do there except to mend up your clothes & your sister & Sallie can help you about that. If you wish to return to Mrs Powells I am perfectly willing you should do so & pleased & but if you have decided upon that mail a letter & send what I have written on Friday morning early so as to lose no time cousin Harriet1 if she is at the Plains2 can perhaps tell you if it is safe in Winchester from the enemy & if the health of the town is restored & in that case if you wish to go, get ready at once Let Sallie wash & fix your clothes on Friday & you must write me a list of what you need, the size of your gloves &c & I will try & get them for you in Richmond & send them up or bring them when I come & I can then go up there to see you if necessary. If you need drawers I can get some cotton & make you some I suppose Agnes’ would fit you. If on the contrary you find it is best not to return to Mrs Powells you had better get ready & meet me at Gordonsville I think I shall stop a few days in Charlottesville & you can write me what day you can come & I will certainly meet you at Gordonsville you can get me John to put you on the cars at Manassas & you will have no trouble till you get to Gordonsville. Pack up all your things in the old box & have it mailed up & I will get you a truck as soon as practicable. In these times we must be satisfied to do the best we can under the circumstances. If you come down to me you had better bring every thing, except what will only do for rags. But if you go to Winchester your very thin dresses may be left behind. Your sister will tell you all the news. Write to me as soon as you decide & direct to the care of Revd. Richard Meade, Charlottesville, Va. I do not come to remain there more than a few days & you must make up your mind very soon. The mails are very direct to Charlottesville & I ought to get your letter at once. I send your sister Charlotte’s letter that you may see what she says about schools but that one seems to me out of the way & you would be near none of your friends unless we should be in Richmond this winter the future is so uncertain God only knows where we shall be. To His Almighty care I entrust you & pray that you may be guided aright. Do not fret & raise objections to what cannot be done but do the best you can. Much love to all your affectionate mother MCLee

 I enclose you 1.25 to pay little debts anything you want such as soap, or what Mr Jennings may have ask him to charge to me as well as letters it is so troublesome to get change good night Rob will write soon of course you will not send his letter to Mrs Powell unless you decide to go there.    






 Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 319, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 January 27



1. Harriet Eugenia Stuart Cazenove (1823-1896), who was married to Louis Cazenove.

2. A small town in Fauquier County in Northern Virginia.