Richd 12 July 1861


I recd last night dearest Mary your letter of the 10th by R. B. Annie & Agnes had just been to my room to See me & I Sent Perry with your letter to Annie. She Came from Hickory Hill yesterday & she & A went down to Brandon this mor. They are to stop at Shirley Coming up & then propose going to Dr. Stuarts. God Knows what is to become of the dear Children. They Seem to prefer going about to sitting down quietly. I also saw Cousin John last night who told me about dear Cousin Anna. Annie Says Charlotte1 talks of going in about a fortnight to the Montgomery White Sulphur, where Annie Leigh2 & her Spouse is. Little Rob3 has been Sick, teething &c, but is much better.

I am sorry to hear daughter is So thin & poorly. She had better poor child go to such of the various springs as may be offer a prospect of relief. Unless known she Can go at once, the travel on the R. R. South of Manassas may be interrupted. If you have any notion of going to the Hot, you had better go too, & from there you might get to Cousin Cabells or to some quiet place in Boteourt or Roanoke. I enclose a letter from little Mary. You will See her views. I shall not attempt to write to her. There is no Safe Conveyance, & to entrust letters to private persons, endangers their Safety if found on them, we shall now have to Suspend communications with our friends, & I shall be very glad if I Can Continue it with you. Custis has not returned nor has Fitzhugh & yet Completed the equipment of his Compy. He was here the other day in reference to it.

You Know that Rob: has been made Capt of Compy. A. at the University. He has written for a Sword & Sash which I have not yet been able to get for him. I shall send him an old Sword of mine, that Cannot procure him a Sash.

In reference to the action of the U. S. Govt: you had better make up your mind to expect all the injury they Can do us. They look upon us as their most bitter enemies & will treat us as such to the extent of their power. Witness their operations wherever they have got a foothold. I have not seen the article to which you allude in the Intelligencer.

 The writers for their papers will resort to every deception to promote their ends. Do not be Surprised at it. I am very anxious to get into the field, but am detained by matters beyond my Controul. I have never heard of the appointment to which you allude of Commr in Chief of the S. A. nor have I any expectation or wish for it. Pres: Davis holds that position.

Since the transfer of the Mil: operations in Virga. to the authorities of the C.S. I have only occupied the position of a Genl in that Service, with the duties devolved upon me by the Pres: I have been labouring to prepare & get into the field the Virga. troops & to strengthen by those from other states the threatened Commands of Johnston, Beauregard, Huger, Garnett &c &c where I shall go I do not Know, as that will depend upon Pres: D_____ As usual on getting through with a thing I have broken down a little & had to take to my bed last evg, but am at my office this morg & hope will soon be right again. You had better Keep Billy as long as useful to you. Custis & I Can always hire servants if we want them. Give much love to every body, & know that I am always thinking of you. My young friend Mr Vest has just returned from a search in the city for “Dixie” & says he has visited every place in R [ichmond] without finding it, & suppose it is exhausted,

always yours

R E Lee      


The Booksellers say Dixie is not to be had in Virginia    REL




Source: Photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss 1 L51 c 305, Section 16, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 July 12



1. Charlotte Georgiana Wickham Lee (1841-1863), the wife of William Henry Fitzhugh “Rooney” Lee.

2. Anna Campbell Carter Leigh (1842-1900), who was married to Chapman Johnson Leigh. She married Chapman on 1860 June 5, in Charles City, Virginia. Chapman Leigh was born 1826 September 21 in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of Benjamin Watkins Leigh (1781-1849) and Julia Wickham (1801-1883). Chapman died in 1911 in New York City. During the Civil War, he served as a staff officer in the Confederate army.

3. Robert Edward Lee (1860-1862), who died in Richmond.