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Camp Fredg 2 Decr ’62


My dear Mary

I have recd your letter commenced at Ingle side & finished on the 26th at Richmond. I am glad you have had an opportunity of revisiting New Kent, though the sight of the White House must have brought sad thoughts. It will all come right in the end though we may not live to see it. It requires great calamity to will us from our selfishness. That is Lt Spangler1 who remembers me so familiarly. He was orderly segt: of Genl Evans Compy 2nd Cavy & was a good soldier. Our Cousin Parke2 you know has warm affections & strong feelings. She has also the power of expressing them. I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness & that our only trust is in God. I will send your letter to F: He has a high opinion of Mr Jeter which I hope he deserves, for he does not seem willing to part with him, or perhaps can get no one else in his place. I have but little to say, & will eke out my letter & give to it some interest by enclosing a note recd from dear Cousin Anne W,3 which you must keep for me. I also send one from Miss Grace Totten4 that was. You see she carries things with a high hand still, & is not much southern in her feelings I should think. She gives poor reasons for rejoicing at our victories. I am very well & my hands slowly improving.  I am enjoying my new drawers. They are very nice & comfortable & well made. I have recd a letter from May, who is now, cut off from us. Give much love to Chass & the baby. Also to Agnes. With kind remembrances to Mr & Mrs C[askie]. Miss N[orvell]. I remain

Always Affy yours

R E Lee




1. A native of Kentucky, John W. Spangler (ca. 1826-1867) served in Texas with the 2nd United States cavalry in the 1850s. He fought with the Union army during the Civil War.

2. Lee may be referring to Mary’s cousin Frances Parke Lewis Butler (1799-1875), the daughter of Lawrence Lewis (1767-1839) and Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (1779-1852), both natives of Virginia. She was born at Mount Vernon and was married to Tennessee-native Edward George Washington Butler (1800-1888).

3. Anne Butler Carter Wickham (1797-1868) of Shirley plantation. She was married to William Fanning Wickham (1793-1880). Her son was politician and Confederate general Williams Carter Wickham (1820-1888), who fought in the Army of Northern Virginia before being elected to the Confederate Congress in the fall of 1864.

4. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Elizabeth Grace Totten Stevens (1822-1902) was the daughter of General Joseph Totten (1788-1864), with whom Robert E. Lee worked as an engineer in the antebellum period. In 1858, she married Lt. Henry Kennedy Stevens (1824-1863) of New Haven, Connecticut, who served with the Confederate navy during the Civil War. His brother was General Clement Stevens. In 1873, she married Charles Hinman Graves (1839-1928), a native of Massachusetts. She died and is buried in Duluth, Minnesota.



Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 411, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 6