Lexington VA: 15 Feby 1869
My dear Sir
I have delayed replying to your kind letter of the 21st Ulto: until I could acknowledge the receipt of the robe & book of sermons you sent me. The robe is a very good one & I shall prize it highly as the joint production of yourself & wife. It will keep me warm by day & cover me at night & be a lasting reminder of you kindness & affection. Blairs (?) Sermons I recollect, & have listened to them many a Sunday night, read by my mother to her children, when I was too young to read them myself. I am very glad to see the identical volume with her name in it, & will write my brother Carter that you have recovered them and sent them to me. I am very glad to learn that your wife & children are in good health & progressing so well. Your dairy I am told must be both a pleasure & profit to you & being attended to by __?__ to keep you supplied with milk (page 2) & butter. I wish it was in my power pay you a visit, but it would be impossible for my poor wife to travel over your mountainous roads & I must go with her where she can find some relief from her rheumatic pains. There will be no probability therefore for our being able to respond for your children at their baptism even if Bishop Johns could visit your section of country. You must be diligent in the instruction of yiour children, & begin by teaching them the great love of God for them, his kindness to all his people, where he never affects but for their own good, & how __?__ it will be for them to offend him to break his Commandments. It will require all the patience, all the affection, all the precepts & with the example of their father & mother to make the service of their God & Saviour their pleasing duty. Your friends here & elsewhere remember you with great kindness - Mr & Mrs __?__ are well & the latter with her daughter is a regular attendant at church. Dr Stribling & family never fail to mention you when I see them. Your nephew Lewis __?__ is one of the finest young (page 3) men at Washington College and one of the most prominent scholars. I am sorry to tell that Fitzhugh is the only one of my sons who is married. Custis & Robert are still bachelors & I fear likely to remain so for sometime. The latter is farming in King William on the Pamunkey river & is able to make a support. He intends to improve his house this year & I hope then will get himself a good wife. I hope that she may be as industrious as __?__. You must remember me most kindly to __?__ and to your children; in which my wife & children cordially join. They also send their love to you. Mildred says she fears she would be unable to milk any of your cows; that they do not know her.
With my thanks for your kind remembrance of me, & my earnest prayers that the great & merciful God may keep constant watch over you & yours & take you all under the Shadow of his heavenly wings
I am most truly your affectionate kinsman
R E Lee
Mr N. Burwell
Note: An envelope was addressed as follows:
Mr N. Burwell
Greasy Creek P. O.
This is a very poor copy. Smudged.