"There is to be a grand concert her to-night for the benefit of our church in Lexington. It is gotten up by Miss Mary Jones and other kind people here, and the proposition is so favourably received that I hope a handsome sum will be realised.
"The girls are well. I do not know how long they will continue so. They seem to be foot-free. A great many visitors were turned off last night--no room for them! A grand ball in honour of Mr. Peabody is to come off to-morrow, after which it is supposed there will be more breathing-space. I have seen Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ridgely of 'Hampton' since I wrote, also numerous other acquaintances. I should prefer more quiet. How is my daughter Tabb? Mother and son are improving, I trust. I hope you and Markie are also doing well. No change in myself as yet. The girls would send love if I could find them. Affectionately yours,
"Mrs. R. E. Lee. R. E. Lee."
"White Sulphur Springs, August 14, 1869.
"My Dear Mary: I received last night your letter of the 13th--very prompt delivery--and ma very glad to learn of the well-doing of all with you. I am particularly pleased to hear that our daughter and grandson are improving, and should you find them not benefiting I wish you would urge them to try some other springs, for I have it greatly to heart that they should receive all possible advantage from their summer trip. I hope Markie will be benefited by the Red Sweet. The water is considered a great tonic, but I fear none will be warm enough for her but the HOT. If I cannot get over to see her, I will notify her of our departure from here, which will be in about two weeks. I have received a letter from Fitz. Lee, saying that Mary would leave 'Richlands' last Tuesday, 10th inst., for 'Ravensworth,' which I presume she did, as his letter was postmarked that day at Acquia Creek, and was probably mailed by him, or one of the boys, on putting her aboard the mail-boat. You will be glad to learn that the proceeds of the concert for our church at Lexington netted $605, which has been subsequently increased to $805 by Messrs. Corcoran and Peabody with a donation of $100 from each. For all of this I am extremely grateful.
"As regards the portrait for Mr. Richardson, you must do as you please. I shall not write to him any more on the subject. Unless the portrait is good and pleasing, I think it will be an injury to the book. I have had a visit since commencing this letter from a Mr. William BATH, of New Orleans, who showed me a wreath, made in part, she says, of my, your and Mildred's hair, sent her by you more than two years ago. She says she sent you a similar one at the time, but of this I could tell her nothing, for I recollect nothing about it. She says her necessities now compel her to put her wreath up to raffle, and she desired to know whether I had any objection to her scheme, and whether I would head the list. All this, as you may imagine, is extremely agreeable to me, but I had to decline her offer of taking a chance in her raffle.
"Miss Mary Jones has gone to the Sweet. Tell Miss Belle I wish she were coming here. I shall be glad to see Mrs. Caskie. Mildred has her picture. The girls are always busy at something, but never ready. The Stuarts have arrived. Mrs. Julia is improving perceptibly. Love to all.
The "Markie" referred to in each of the above letters was Martha Custis Williams, a great-niece of my grandfather, Mr. Custis, who had for many years lived at Arlington with her uncle. The "little children" were her motherless nieces, whom she had brought that summer to the mountains for their health. General Lee had been engaged for some time in bringing out a third edition of his father's "Memoirs of the War of '76 in the Southern States." It was now in the hands of his publisher, Mr. Richardson, of New York. To this edition he had added a sketch of the famous "Light Horse Harry," written by himself. It was to his publisher's proposition of placing his portrait in the "Introduction" to the new work that he at first objected, and then agreed, as stated in the two letters just given. The season of '69 is still noted in the annals of the White Sulphur as having had in its unusually large company so many noted and distinguished men. Mr. George Peabody and Mr. W. W. Corcoran, the two great philanthropists, were among them and helped to enlarge the receipts of the concert for the benefit of the little Episcopal church in Lexington, of which General Lee was a member and a vestryman.