PGBC Senior Prom - Stepping Out In Elegance - August 10th

Richmond        4 April 1862


I enclose two letters dear Mary that have come for you. The one from Charlotte I opened thinking she had written for something. But the only thing I can do for her is to send some stamps for general use. I will send & see if I can get some envelopes as she desires. I hope you all got down safe & are making preparations for a summer home. I hear troops are still arriving at old Point & that great activity prevails there. I do not pretend to know what they will attempt or what they can accomplish. I believe they will make a great effort to take Norfolk & Richmond, for I cannot conceive what other use they can put their vast army to. One of the probable routes to the latter city is up the Pamunkey. Should they select that, their whole army &c will land at the White House. To be enveloped in it would be extremely annoying & embarrassing, as I believe hundreds would delight in persecuting you all for my & F’s sake. I do not think their respectable officers would authorize such proceedings, but believe they would not be able to prevent them. I think it better therefore that you should all get out of the way. No one can say what place will be perfectly safe or even quiet, but I think a locality within the route of the invading army will be least so. All that lower country is subject to invasion & molestation, for there is no telling from what quarter the enemy will proceed. It seems to me that Gloucester or Westmoreland would be less exposed than where you are, or some where in King Wm even towards the Berkeley’s or Pampatike. Charlottes effects would be safer at Hickory hill or North Wales1 than at the White House, though what place may be considered safe, I do not know. I hope you are all well. Mary is better. I took her a ride on my roan yesterday & she is charmed with him. Thinks she never rode a more pleasant goer. He not very easy in his gaits save his walk & canter, but steady & tolerably well trained to his duty. There is nothing new. All are anxious & expectant. God I hope will give us his countenance & blessing then all will go well. I have nothing to send but love. I saw one of Fitzhugh’s captains the other day. He reports him well & a great favourite. I send you a letter from Rob.

May God bless you my dear Mary & preserve you & all with you.

Truly & affy your husband

R E Lee


P.S. I fear I shall not be able to get to see you tomorrow & therefore write. Every thing is so unsettled & there is such constant demands from all quarters & no telling what a day might bring forth, that I do not feel I ought to be out of the way.






1. “North Wales” plantation in Caroline County, Virginia, along the North Anna and Pamunckey Rivers. The present-day location of Meadow Event Park, near King’s Dominion and I-95, was built on land belonging to the original plantation. “North Wales” was originally owned by John Carter. The 18th century house survived the Civil War but burned down in the 20th century.




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Mss1 L51 c 349, Section 17, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 27