"My Dear Mary: I reached here yesterday evening and have borne the journey much better than I expected. I think I am stronger than when I left Lexington, but otherwise can discover no difference. I have had a tedious journey upon the whole, and have more than ever regretted that I undertook it. However, I have enjoyed meeting many friends, and the old soldiers have greeted me very cordially. My visit to dear Annie's grave was mournful, yet soothing to my feelings, and I was glad to have the opportunity of thanking the kind friends for their care of her while living and their attention to her since her death. I saw most of the ladies of the committee who undertook the preparation of the monument and the inclosure of the cemetery, and was very kindly received by all the citizens of Warrenton, and, indeed, at all the towns through which we passed. Yesterday, several gentlemen from Savannah met the train in which we came from Augusta-- General Lawton, Mr. Andrew Lowe, Mr. Hodgson, etc., etc. I found they had arranged among themselves about my sojourn, so I yielded at once, and, after depositing Agnes at General Lawton's, I came off to Mr. Lowe's, where I am now domiciled. His house is partially dismantled and he is keeping house alone, so I have a very quiet time. This morning I took a short drive around the city with Agnes and Miss Lawton, and on returning called on Mrs. Elliot, who has her two widowed daughters living with, Mrs. Elliot and Mrs. Habersham. I also went to see Mrs. Gordon, Mrs. Gilmer, and Mrs. Owen, and then returned to the Lowes', where I find he has invited some gentlemen to meet me at dinner--General Joe Johnston, General Lawton, General Gilmer, Colonel Corley, etc. Colonel Corley has stuck to me all the journey, and now talks of going to New Orleans. The weather to-day is rather cool and raw, with an easterly wind, and if it continues I will go on to Florida next week. The woods are filled with flowers, yellow jasmine covering all the trees, etc., and fresh vegetables everywhere. I must leave Agnes to give you all the details. The writing-desk is placed in a dark corner in this handsome house, prepared for younger eyes than mine, and I can hardly see what I write. All friends inquire after you, Custis, Mary, and Mildred. Give my love to all, and believe me,
"Most truly, R. E. Lee.
The Colonel Corley mentioned in the above letters had been on General Lee's staff, as chief quartermaster, from the time he assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia until the surrender. His voluntary service as escort on this trip, so delicately offered and performed, was highly appreciated by his old commander. A letter from his daughter to her mother, written the next day tells many particulars of their journey, but still leaves much to be desired:
"Savannah, Georgia, April 3, 1870.
"...I hardly know where to commence, I have so little time to write. We left Richmond Monday, 2 P. M. We reached Warrenton at ten o'clock and were taken to their house by Mr. and Mrs. White, who met us at the depot. The next morning papa and I drove with Captain White's horses to the cemetery. Mrs. White gave me a quantity of beautiful white hyacinths, which she said were for you, too, and I had brought some grey moss that Kitty Stiles had given me. This I twined on the base of the monument. The flowers looked very pure and beautiful. The place is just as it is in Mr. Hope's picture (which I have). It was a great satisfaction to be there again. We did not go to the springs, a mile off. Returning, we stopped at Mr. Joe Jones's (old Mr. J---'s son). They insisted on our taking dinner. He has eleven children, I think, and there were numberless others there. They loaded me with flowers, the garden full of hyacinths and early spring flowers. Mrs. Jones is a very nice lady, one of those who were foremost in erecting the monument. We then stopped at the farm of the Jones's, who were at the springs when we were there in the autumn of 1862, and Mrs. J--- knew me at once, and asked affectionately after you. Saw Patty and Emma--all the daughters married except Patty and the youngest. Mr. J--- is very infirm--eighty-three years old. That evening a number of persons came to see us, Mrs. Alston and Miss Brownlow, two others of the committee of ladies. Every one was very kind. Indeed, I wish you could travel with papa, to see the affection and feeling shown toward him everywhere. We spent that night in the sleeping-car, very handsome and comfortable, but the novelty, I suppose, made us wakeful. At Raleigh and another place the people crowded to the depot and called 'Lee! Lee!' and cheered vociferously, but we were locked up and 'mum.' Everywhere along the road where meals were provided the landlords invited us in, and when we would not get out, sent coffee and lunches. Even soldiers on the train sent in fruit, and I think we were expected to die of eating. At Charlotte and Salisbury there were other crowds and bands. Colonel Corley joined us at C., having asked to go to Savannah with us. The train stopped fifteen minutes at Columbia. Colonel Alexander Haskell took charge of the crowd, which in spite of the pouring rain, stood there till we left. General E. Porter Alexander was there, and was very hearty in his inquiries after all of us. His little girl was lifted into the car. Namesakes appeared on the way, of all sizes. Old ladies stretched their heads intot he windows at way-stations, and then drew back and said 'He is mightily like his pictures.' We reached Augusta Wednesday night. The mayor and council met us, having heard a few minutes before that papa was on the train. We were whirled off to the hotel, and papa decided to spend Thursday there. They had a reception the whole of the morning. Crowds came. Wounded soldiers, servants, and working-men even. The sweetest little children-- namesakes--dressed to their eyes, with bouquets of japonica--or tiny cards in their little fat hands--with their names. Robert Burwell, of Clarke, who married Miss Clayton there; Randall, author of 'My Maryland'; General McLaws, Wright, Gardner, and many others. Saw the Misses Boggs, General B---'s sisters. Miss Rebecca knew Mrs. Kirkpatrick very well, and asked after her. Miss Russell, with whose father and sisters we had been at the White Sulphur, helped us to receive. She is very tall and handsome, and was superb in a white lace shawl, a moire-antique with a train. The Branch brothers rather took possession of me. Melville, who was at the Institute [Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia] and knew the Letchers very well, drove me in and around town--at the rate of a mile a minute. Another brother took me to the 'Skating Rink' at night...a serenade that night. At some point on the way here Generals Lawton and Gilmer, Mr. Andrew Lowe, and others, got on the cars with us. Flowers were given us at various places. I so much enjoyed the evidences of spring all along our route--more and more advanced as we proceeded. The jasmine, though passing away, was still in sufficient abundance, in some places, to perfume the air. The dark marshes were rich in tall magnolia trees, beautiful red buds, and other red blossoms I did not know. The jasmine and the trees hanging with gray moss--perfectly weird-looking--have been the least luxuriant places in the interim. Savannah is green with live-oaks--and filled with trees and shrubbery. I wish you could see a large marble table in the parlour, where I am writing, with a pyramid of jasmine in the centre and four large plates full at the corners, almost covering the square, all sent me Saturday. The Lawtons are as kind as possible, wanted papa to stay here, but Mr. Andrew Lowe had arranged to take him to his house at bed-time. So he lost the benefit of a serenade from two bands, alternating, which we enjoyed--General Lawton telling the crowd General Lee had retired from fatigue. Papa has borne the journey and the crowds far better than I thought he would and seems stronger. (Monday.) It seems impossible to finish this--I inclose some scraps which will tell our story. Crowds of persons have been coming to see me ever since I came. Saw Mrs. General Johnston--Nannie Hutchenson--of course, and Reverend and Mrs. Moore yesterday. They left to-day.... Colonel Corley has taken Corinne [Corinne Lawton] and me on a beautiful drive this morning to 'Bonaventure,' which is to be a cemetery, and to several places in its vicinity. I never saw anything more impressive and beautiful than the avenues of live-oaks, literally covered with long gray moss, arching over the roads. Tell Messrs. Owen and Minis I have seen their families, who are very kind to us. General and Mrs. Gilmer asked especially after Custis.... We think of going to Florida in a few days. Haven't heard from you.
This is the only letter from his daughter Agnes, written at this time, that can be found. My father, in his letters to his family, left "details" and "particulars" for her to describe, and doubtless she did so. Unfortunately, there is but this single letter.
On April 17th, he writes again from Savannah to my mother:
"My Dear Mary: I have received your letter of the Wednesday after our departure and am glad to hear that you are well and getting on so comfortably. The destruction of the bridge is really a loss to the community, and I fear will inconvenience Mildred in her return. However, the spring is now advancing and they ought to be able to get up the new bridge. I hope I am a little better. I seem to be stronger and to walk with less difficulty, but it may be owing to the better streets of Savannah. I presume if any change takes place it will be gradual and slow. Please say to Doctor Barton that I have received his letter and am obliged to him for his kind advice. I shall begin to-day with his new prescriptions and will follow them strictly. To-morrow I expect to go to Florida, and will stop first at Amelia Island. The visitors to that region are coming out, saying the weather is uncomfortably hot. If I find it so, I shall return. Savannah has become very pleasant within the last few days, and I dare say I shall do as well here as elsewhere. The spring, however, is backward. I believe I told you that I was staying with Mr. Andrew Lowe, who is very kind, and where I am very comfortable. I am going to be separated from Agnes, and have received invitations from several of the inhabitants where we could be united. But it is awkward to change. Agnes has been sick, too, since her arrival, which has made me the more anxious to be with her. You know she is like her papa--always wanting something. She is, however, better to-day, as I learn, though I have not seen her yet. I saw her twice yesterday. She was better then and came down to Mrs. Lawton's room, so I hope she will be well enough to go with me to Amelia Island. The Messrs. Mackay got down from Etowa last evening, both looking very well, and have reopened their old house in Broughton Street, which I am glad of. I have see Mrs. Doctor Elliot and family, the Andersons, Gordons, etc., etc., and all my former acquaintances and many new ones. I do not think travelling in this way procures me much quiet and repose. I wish I were back.... Give my love to her [his daughter Mary] and to Custis, and tell the latter I hope that he will be able to keep Sam in the seeds he may require. Praying a merciful God to guard and direct you all, I am,