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Near Fredg       11 April ’63


My precious little Agnes

I was very glad to receive your note of the 5th & should have been Still more pleased to have Seen you, had you & Custis Come up as proposed. I Could have given you better accommodation than I could in Camp, Seeing that I have a large room with three beds in it. The Smallest I occupy so that you & Custis Could each have had a large high post double bed, with canopy & valence. You would have slept magnificently, & I should have enjoyed “the balmy” by double proxy. For you Know what Confidence I have in the powers of my children. You would have soon made me well, for you Could have taken all my pills, &c., & Kept the doctors off me. But when you come you must leave your troops behind. I am too weak to stand the knocks & bruises they occasion. My pins are remarkably unsteady at this time, & the vigour & violent movements of young women might Knock them from under me. But you are such a little Gad Agnes, always flitting about, how do you ever expect to see me, or to be stationary anywhere? I do not see how you can tear yourself from Miss Sallie. Still I am glad you can visit your friends. Keep in the open air. Take all the exercise you can, & throw off the neuralgia if possible. If you would ask Mrs. B.[Braxton] to give you a hoe & let you go into the cornfield, she will be doing you a great Service, & you might make a few bushels of corn, & thereby benefit your Country. I am very glad to hear that Mrs. Tucker has been so kind as to give you a balmoral. I hope it will be of great service to you & ward off all harm until peace is restored when I hope I can have you with me again. If you have an opportunity tell Miss Hattie Powell that I duly recd her pretty present, & acknowledged it at the earliest opportunity & directed the letter according to her address. I am much better. I am able to ride out every day, & now that the weather has become good, I hope I shall recover my strength. My pulse is still about 90 the Drs say, too quick for an old man, but I hope the fresh air & exercise will reduce it soon. Mr. & Mrs. Yerby are very kind & their house is a fair type of the Virginia mansion. There are two or three families residing here at present & there are two young ladies in the establishment who attract the beaux. I am very much in my room. Perry brings me my meals So I am prevented from scaring off the young men & only show myself in passing out & in the house. I am longing to get back to my camp but the Drs prohibit it yet awhile. You know how pleased I am at the presence of strangers. What a cheerful mood their company produces. Imagine then the expression of my face & the merry times I have. Give much love to your mother, & remember me to all friends. If you get to Shirley tell Cousin N[annie] I wish I Could get there. I should soon be well

Very truly your father

R E Lee



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 443, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 January 31