"White House, New Kent County, August 1, 1869.
"...I had promised myself the pleasure of seeing you on my way to Lexington, of spending with you one short day to cheer and refresh me; but I shall travel up in a capacity that I have not undertaken for many years--as escort to a young mother and her infant, and it will require the concentration of all my faculties to perform my duties even with tolerable comfort to my charge.... I go up with my daughter, I may say this time, too, my youngest daughter [his daughter-in-law, Mrs. W. H. F. Lee], to place her with her mama at the Rockbridge Baths, the waters of which I hope will invigorate both mother and child, who have been wearied and weakened by the long attack of whooping-cough from which the latter has suffered. I came down from Richmond to spend Sunday and was fortunate enough to find here my three sons, but I am sorry to say but one daughter.... Most truly yours,
Monday night was spent in Richmond. It was soon known that General Lee was at the Exchange Hotel, and great numbers came to call upon him, so that he was compelled to hold an informal reception in the large parlours. The next day, with his "new daughter" and her baby, he started for the Baths, where they arrived safely the same night. Then he proceeded to carry out his original plan for the summer, and went with his two daughters to the White Sulphur Springs. From there he writes to his wife:
"White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, "August 10, 1869.
"My Dear Mary: I received this morning your addenda to Annie Wickham's letter inclosing Custis's. I also received by same mail a letter from Mr. Richardson, reiterating his request to insert my portrait in my father's Memoirs, saying that it was by the desire 'of many mutual friends' on the ground of its 'giving additional interest to the work, and increasing its sale.' That may or may not be so; at any rate, I differ from them. Besides, there is no good portrait accessible to him, and the engraving in the 'Lee Family' I think would be an injury to any book. His recent proposition of inserting my portrait where the family history is given takes from it a part of my obligation, and if it were believed that such an addition would add to the interest of the book, I should assent. I have so told him, and that I would write to you for your suggestions, and to ask whether you could send him a portrait worth inserting. What do you think?
"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."