"Your affectionate father, R. E. Lee."
To his daughter Mildred he writes again, giving her the minutest details as to the routes home. This is very characteristic of him. We were always fully instructed, all the roads of life were carefully marked out for us by him:
"Lexington, Virginia, March 23, 1870.
"My Dear Daughter: I wrote to you the other day, telling you of my intention of going South and of my general plan as far as formed. This morning your letter of the 21st arrived.... I hope you will get back comfortably and safely, and if you can fall in with no escort, you had better go as far as Alexandria, the first stage of your journey. Aunt Maria, Cassius Lee, the Smiths, etc., would receive you. If you wish to come by Goshen, you must take the train from Alexandria on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, so as to arrive here about twelve o'clock at night. By taking the train from Alexandria on the alternate days, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you will reach Staunton that evening by four P. M., remain all night, and come over by daylight the following day in the stage. By taking the train from Alexandria to Lynchburg, Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, you will reach there the same afternoon, about four P. M., then go IMMEDIATELY to the packet-boat, and you will arrive here next morning. This last is the EASIEST route, and the best if you find no escort. Tell all the conductors and captains that you are my runaway daughter, and they will take care of you. I leave to-morrow evening on the packet-boat. I told you that Agnes would accompany me. Tell my cousins Washington, Jane, and Mary that I wish I were going to see them. I should then anticipate some pleasure. But the doctors say I must turn my face the other way. I know they do not know everything, and yet I have often had to do what I was told, without benefit to myself, and I shall have to do it again. Good-bye, my dear daughter. All unite in love.
"Your affectionate father, R. E. Lee.
Letters to Mrs. Lee from Richmond and Savannah--From Brandon--Agnes Lee's account of her father's greetings from old friends and old soldiers--Wilmington and Norfolk do him honour--Visits to Fitzhugh and Robert in their homes
It is to be regretted that so little was written by my father while on this trip. In the letters extant he scarcely refers to his reception by the people at different points visited. His daughter Agnes tells more, and we can imagine how tenderly and joyfully he was greeted by his old soldiers, their wives, children and friends. He was very unwilling to be made a hero anywhere, and most reluctant to show himself to the crowds assembled at every station along his route, pressing to catch sight of him.
"Why should they care to see me?" he would say, when urged to appear on the platform of the train; "I am only a poor old Confederate!"