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Camp Rappk 1 Nov ’63


I recd yesterday dear Mary your letter of the 29th & am very glad to learn that you find your new abode so Comfortable & so well arranged. The only fault I find in it is that it is not large enough for you all & that Charlotte, whom I fear requires much attention, is by herself. Where is Life to go too when she Comes, for I suppose she is a very big personage? But you have never told me where it is situated, or how I am to direct to you. Perhaps that may be the Cause of delay in my letters. I am sorry you find such difficulty in pursuing yarn for Socks &c. I fear my daughters have not taken to the spinning wheel & loom as I have recommd. I shall not be able to recommend them to the brave soldiers for wives. I had a visit from a soldiers wife today who was on a visit to her husband. She was from Abbeville district S.C. Said she had not seen her husband for over two years & as he had written to her for clothes, she thought she would bring them on herself. It was the first time she had traveled by R. R. but got along very well by herself. She brought an entire suit for her husband of her own manufacture. She spun the yarn & made the clothes herself. She clad her three children in the same way & had on a beautiful pair of gloves she had made herself. Her children she had left with sister. She said she had been here a week & must return tomorrow & thought she Could not embark without seeing me her husband accompd. Her to my tent in his nice grey suit. She was very pleasing in her address & modest in her manner & was clad in a nice new alpaca. I am certain she Could not have made that. Ask Misses Agnes & Sally Warwick what they think of that. They need not ask me for permission to get married until they Can do likewise. She in fact was an admirable woman. Said she was willing to give up everything in the world she had to attain our independence & the only Complaint she made of the Conduct of our enemies was their arming our servants against us. The greatest difficulty was to procure shoes. She made them for herself & children of cloth with leather soles. She sat with me about ten minutes & took her leave. Another mark of sense, she made no request for herself or husband. I wrote you about my wants in my former letter. My rheumatism I hope is a little better, but I have had today endured always have much pain. I trust it will pass away. I hope I shall be able to supply you with money. You must therefore get what you want. I will send you $1000.00 whenever you desire it. I have just had a visit from my nephews Fitz John & Henry. They looked very well. The former is now on a little expedition. The latter accompanies him. As soon as I was left alone I Committed them to a fervent prayer to the Care & guidance of our Heavenly father. Give much love to daughter & Agnes. I am glad to hear they are so industrious but think they ought to write to their Papa sometimes. I pray you may be made whole & happy. Truly & devotedly yrs


R E Lee        



Source: Photocopy of letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 485, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. A transcribed version is included in Robert E. Lee, Jr., Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (Garden City, NY: Garden City, 1924), 112-133


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 July 6