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Camp, Orange, 16 Aug ’63


I have recd dear Mary Since my last letter to you, yours of 30 July – 7 Aug. I am glad to learn that you experienced Some little relaxation in your disease & Continue to pray for your Complete restoration. I hope you will do all in your part to attain so desirable a result. I would recommend that you stay at the springs be regulated by your own feelings & the experience of others, & that the interval between your baths be determined in the Same way. Do not run any risks or try any hazardous experiments. I am Sorry to hear that dear Chass has been Sick. The Hot baths you Know are very beneficial in the Case of torpid livers. I think she would have been benefited by a longer Sojourn. Now that she has left you I shall never hear of her, & she is always getting up indignant sensations against her Papa. I have heard nothing of F__ since I last wrote. I am glad to hear that the girls are well & shall expect their letters. Tell Annie Leigh to send her Kisses by her Sweet Self. That would be the Convergence most ageable to me. I inquired about young Selden & found out where he was. I enclose a letter from Genl Pickett. You will see that he is in good hands & that his interests will be cared for. I also enclose you a letter from Mrs Stiles. You will see that there is always some Comfort in all our grief given us by our Merciful God.

I recd from dear Markie a Copy of the Same letter to her you mention. I had intended to have Sent it to you, but it is needless now. I have not been able to write to her yet. It is a grievous thing & hard to bear. His death was Calculated to do no good to the Cause of the U.S. & was ordered from a spirit of malignant vindictiveness common in a Cowardly people. I am glad to hear that Mr. Caskie has been able to get to the Springs & is being benefited. I trust he may be restored & that Mrs. C’s visit to N.C. may be beneficial as well as agreable. I think Misses Norvell & Nannie might have been sent to the army to me. They require no sanctuary treatment. The heat has been excessive. I have suffered as much as I did in Texas. Not that the thermometer has been as high, but I am less able to bear it. We never move, but that we lose horses & men. A Change has occurred now & I hope the worst is over. Our engineers are quiet & seem willing to remain so. They are endeavouring to recruit their ranks & are getting Conscripts. I hear it stated in a letter from a Gentn from Penna who has been at Gettysburg that their loss from the battle in Killed wounded & missing will not fall short of 50,000 men. The enemy has evacuated Winchester & the valley, Save Harpers ferry & martinsburg, which will be a respite at least for a Season to our poor people. Good bye Dear M. Give much love to all & Kisses to my daughters

Very truly & affy          R E Lee





1. He is referring to Orton Williams, who was hanged for spying that summer.

2. These figures are a better estimate for the total casualties for the battle when including Union and Confederate losses. Generally accepted estimates put Lee’s losses in killed, wounded, and captured at Gettysburg at 28,000 and George Meade’s at 23,000.




Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 471, Section 23, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2022 May 20