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West Point 9 Sept 1853

 

My precious Markie

This is the first moment I have had to welcome you back to your home & friends. I rejoice in your safe return & congratulate you on your pleasant & successful visit to your distant & dear friends. I was very sorry that we were not here to receive you on your arrival at New York, not Could wait your return to Tudor. The period of my absence from the Point had expired & the day was at hand where my presence was necessary. But I did not the less think of you or feel the pleasure of your return to us. I am glad you found them all well & I know how they enjoyed your return to them. There is one whose kind greeting you will miss, & whose welcome I am sure would have been grateful to you. Her loss is deeply felt by other hearts & can never be replaced. I thank God that while we grieve she is happy & pray that we all may be again united. Your letter to Mary on first hearing of her death arrived which she was at A[rlington] I ansd. it immediately & directed to the care of Mr Fisher London. It is probable it never reached you & I only mention it lest your kind sympathy had not been appreciated. You are aware that your Uncle C is now with us. You will be pleased to learn I know that his health is quite restored, & that he seems cheered & interested by the new scenes around him. I fear however that he will soon tire of the monotony of our life & wish to return to his home. I cannot bear the idea of his living there alone & yet Can do nothing to remedy it. We are all well Annie & Agnes have been improved I think by change of air & M. Seems to feel less here than at A her irreparable loss. Mary has two of her young friends with her. Helen Peters & Mary Symington. She has also two of her schoolmates on the Point, who pass much of their time with her. The Beards are well. I have not seen your friend since the 1st Sept & do not know whether she has returned to Phila or not. All unite with me in much love to yourself, Grdmother, Aunt Britt, Lum, Kate, little Markie & the young hero. You must excuse the brevity & barrenness of my note. It has been written amid an hundred interruptions & the hour of closing the mail has arrived. Mrs Reynolds is with her friends in Virga playing young lady. Joe is here with the children. You will have seen the notice of the death of Miss Kate Gardener & her brother Henry & I know will sympathize with their parents. All have their sorrows.

May yours be light & your happiness great

Truly your cousin

R E Lee

 

 

 

Source: Letters of Robert E. Lee to Martha Custis Williams, 1844-1870, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 August 28