Sunday Jan 14th: 1866
Dear Capt Edmund
If there is any one in your neighborhood who wants to get married & is not particular, if she will build me a house & live in it she can have me & tell Willie I=ll borrow his........done the day after he becomes supremely happy. You can judge from these very rash remarks of the state of mind I am in likewise that of my house & housekeeping & sundries.
Please let me know by return mail if I have to make you an apology for not meeting you at the AExchange@ according to agreement; but Mrs Caskie (Page 2) had gone out with the key of my baggage & did not return until 8 P. M. ergo my delay but when I returned they told me you had left bag & baggage. I came within an inch of having a chill but a kind friend took me in to the bar (convenient you know) & we both took the Abath@ hot strong & some sugar & lemon in it which turned my liver from its vile intentions.
I concluded you must have been taking the Abath@ several times & had concluded to ride up to Oakland that night.
I left town that evening & reached the White House (New Kent Wasn. C.C.) On the 2nd nite & commenced having chills that day & had them with out intermission except for meals & grog (Page 3) time until the 5th when I left that ranch & came to this one: And here I am as lonely as if I was the Alast man.@
I have gotten team and CVC & have been fixing up, but if the weather is favorable I should commence plowing this week.
Tell Mrs. Preston that the Photographic Man succeeded after a hard struggle in getting me on paste board, but it looks so much like I had a chill, that I can=t send her one, but will as soon as I grow prettier which I hope to do as soon as fishing season commences-
Present my kindest regards to your mother & the other ladies & gentlemen & do pray write me how you got out of town so quick & direct one (?) Mr James R. Caskie Richmond Va (Page 4)& believe me sincerely your
Robt E Lee, Jr
formerly Lt CSA (& so called at large)
and now an Esquire dwelling in the wildest woods of the loneliest corner of King William Co. said co. being the loneliest of the lonely.
Address on envelope:
Capt: Edmund R. Cocke