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Camp 6 Feby ’64


I recd dear Mary your letter of the 30th some days ago, & last night your note accompg a bag of gloves & socks & a box of Coffee. Mrs, Devereaux sent the Coffee to you & not me & I shall have to send it back. It is so long since we have had the foreign bean that we no longer desire it. We have a domestic article which we procure by the bushel, that answers very well. You must keep the good things for yourself. We have a plenty. We have had to reduce our allowance of meat one half, & some days we have none. But I believe our servants Complain more of it than anyone else, & Perry on the strength of it has been taken sick. The gloves & socks are very acceptable & I shall give them out this morg. I am glad you have not been discouraged by the notice of the papers. Your plan is to make more gloves & Knit more socks. The socks of Mrs. Shepherd are very nice, but I think it is better to give them to the soldiers than to dispose of them as you suggested. The soldiers are much in need. I have got up some shoes lately, & the socks will be a great addition. Tell Life my reliance is on her. I think I hear her needles rattle as they fly through the meshes. I will return your bag after the socks, &c are distributed. I am sorry to hear that you have been suffering. I fear you took cold in your rides. I hope & pray your present Dr. may be able under the blessing of a Merciful God to relieve you. I have no expectation of going to Richmond. I have as much as I Can do here & more too, I am very glad that sweet Annie Leigh is there. I think she ought to come up & see her old Cousin. Tell her to remember me to her Mama & Papa & all at Shirley. I sent my thanks to Mrs. Charles Talcott through Mrs. Randolph. I wish I could get Mrs. Nannie Peyton’s donation of socks. They would come in very well now. I am very sorry to hear of the destruction of Brandon1 & the suffering of the old people at the W. H. [White House] I can do nothing for either. I send you all the northern stamps. I have & return some that were in the envelope transmitting Mrs Devereux’s letter. Why did you send them to me? I am glad Mrs. G. W. has returned to her husband. I hope she is as pretty as ever. You must remember me to all friends. With much love to the girls, I am very affecty & sincerely yours

R E Lee



PS I send Mildred some songs





Source: Transcribed from photocopy of original letter, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51 c 501, Section 25, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 28   


1. Federal gunboats along the James River did damage to Brandon plantation in early 1864, but did not destroy it. The main house at the site was not destroyed and is still in operation. Nevertheless, slave quarters and outlying houses were wrecked by shelling from the river.