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Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

That summer my father determined to take my mother to the Warm Springs,in Bath County, Virginia, hoping that the baths there might be ofservice to her, and purposing, if she was not benefited, to go tothe Hot Springs, five miles distant. He was most anxious that hisnew daughter should join her there and go with him to any place shemight select and come back with them to Lexington. In the followingletter to his son he tells of his plans for the summer:

"Lexington, Virginia, July 1, 1868.

"My Dear Fitzhugh: I received yesterday your letter of the 28thultimo, and regret very much to learn of Tabb's indisposition. Ihope that she will soon be well, and I wish very much she would joinus in the mountains and return here with us. In my letter to herabout the time when she went to her sister's wedding, which I hopeshe got, I told her of my wishes on the subject, and believe gaveher our general plans. I can now say with more distinctness that,unless something now unforeseen should prevent, I will take your motherto the Warm Sprints, from the 10th to the 15th inst., and after tryingthe water there about two weeks, if not favourable, will take herover to the Hot. After seeing her comfortably established, I willthen go anywhere Tabb desires--to the Healing or the White Sulphuror Sweet. I intend to go myself to the White Sulphur for about afortnight, to drink the water, and will take Mildred with me. Agnes,having gone last summer, will not care to go, I presume, and can remainwith her mother. Mildred has been quite sick for the past week, butis now much better, and in a week will be strong enough for the journey,I think. If not, we shall have to delay our departure a little.Agnes was also sick on the Eastern Shore of Maryland about threeweeks, and, I am told, looks badly. She is now at the Universityof Virginia, and will be home in a few days and go with us to theSprings. You must arrange your plans to suit your interests andconvenience, coming to us when you can and staying as long as youcan. You know the interest I take in your prosperity and advancement,which cannot be assured without earnest attention to your businesson your part, and therefore I never urge you to act contrary to yourown judgement in reference to them. As to my daughter, Tabb, tellher if she will trust herself to her papa she shall never want anythinghe can do for her, and I think she will find the prediction in myletter to her verified. She might join us at Goshen and go with us,or come here. Why did she not come up with her father? I went tosee him last evening, but he was out. Your mother, I presume, hastold you of home affairs. She has become nervous of late, and broodsover her troubles so much that I fear it increases her sufferings. Iam therefore the more anxious to give her new scenes and new thoughts.It is the principal good I anticipate. Love to Rob. Custis stilltalks of visiting you, but I have not heard of his having fixed theday of his departure. He is quite well. With my best love to mydaughter T--- and the same to yourself, I am,

"Most affectionately your father,

"R. E. Lee."

The morning he left Lexington he, while waiting for the stage, writesas follows to a great favourite of his, a friend of Mildred's, whohad been on a visit to her that summer:

"Lexington, Virginia, July 14, 1868.

"...The stage is at the door to carry us to Goshen, and if Mrs. Lee'sstrength permits, we hope to reach the Warm Springs to-night. Aftertwo or three week's trial of its waters we shall go to the Hot, where,leaving Agnes to take care of her mother, I shall take Mildred to theWhite Sulphur, and hope to meet you at Covington and carry you along.Will you not come?... Mildred is quite well again and is flyingabout this morning with great activity. Agnes is following withslower steps, Mrs. Lee is giving her last injunctions to Sam andEliza. Letitia [my mother's maid] is looking on with wonder at thepreparations, and trying to get a right conception of the place towhich she is going, which she seems to think is something betweena steel-trap and a spring-gun. Custis is waiting to help his motherinto the stage, and you see how patient I am. To add interest to thescene, Dr. Barton has arrived to bid adieu and to give Mildred anopportunity of looking her best. I believe he is the last rose ofsummer. The others, with their fragrance and thorns, have alldeparted...."


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