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University of Va

April 12th 1861


Dear Agnes

Your letter has been in my hands for some time, & if I acted with stead fastness, I would keep it much longer, but my affection for my sisters all ways makes me very lenient to wards them. Have you any rain down your way? I think Pa told me you had, but if you hav’nt you need not fear for we have enough up here to last nearly all the state for a year. It commenced a steady continual shower, last Friday evening a week ago, & has been raining ever since except yesterday when it held up and the sun came out, but it lasted but a short time, & commenced again to day about noon and has been pouring ever since. To morrow we were to have a grand turn out of the “Southern Guard” but alas our [sic] how many brave hearts have been dampened by this rain! To morrow we were going down to town in full uniform with a band of music, & there join in with the “companies” of Charlottesville to celebrate the birthday of Jefferson by going through the battalion drill & by firing, a rare treat to us young soldiers. But we’ll all stay at home I expect, there are a great many young men, besides those be longing to the military who are suffering greatly with the “put-outs”, for to morrow the “Jefferson Literary Society” has its intermediate celebration, & to it they expect to curry their lady friends. But its no go, the rain ai’nt going to stop for any one & I expect he who caused the rain knows [a] great deal better than we do what is good for us,  & what is not. Mr Alexander came up to see us & we had a long chat with him he expects to go to Washington next Tuesday & I suppose he will see you all. We were all startled a little while ago, by one of our friends coming in with a dispatch from Richmond, that the Southern troops had commenced firing at Sumpter [sic]; I expect however that it is false like the most of them.

But from what we here [sic] now, I expect we will see pretty soon the accounts of real war. The Funeral of Geo Tucker former Prof of this place in two schools, mathematics & Moral Philosophy. He was eighty years old when he died, 10 years over our fourscore [sic] years & ten.

I must now bid you good night with my kind remembrances to Miss Helen, & best love to all, & believe me your afft brother

Rbt E. Lee Jr





Source: Transcribed from digital scan of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 279, Section 15, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 May 5