Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee


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After leaving Washington, he stopped in Alexandria for several days,as the guest of Mrs. A. M. Fitzhugh. It was at her country place,"Ravensworth," about ten miles from town, that his mother had died,and there, in the old ivy-covered graveyard, she was buried. Mrs.Fitzhugh was the wife of my mother's uncle, Mr. William Henry Fitzhugh,who, having no children, had made my mother his heir. The intimacybetween "Arlington" and "Ravensworth" was very close. Since Mr.Fitzhugh's death, which occurred some thirty years prior to thistime, my father and mother and their children had been thrown a greatdeal with his widow, and "Aunt Maria," as we called her, became almosta member of the family. She had the greatest love and admiration for"Robert," sought his advice in the management of her estate, and trustedhim implicitly. His brother, Admiral Sidney Smith lee, came up from"Richland," his home on the Potomac near Acquia Creek, to meet him,and he found at Mrs. Fitzhugh's "Aunt Nannie" [Mrs. S. Lee] andher son Fitz. Lee. This was the first time they had met each othersince their parting in Richmond just after the war.

On his arrival in Alexandria my father had walked up from the wharfto "Aunt Maria's." He was recognised by a number of citizens, whoshowed him the greatest deference and respect. So many of his friendscalled upon him at Mrs. Fitzhugh's that it was arranged to have areception for him at the Mansion House. For three hours a constantstream of visitors poured into the parlours. The reception was thegreatest ovation that any individual had received from the people ofAlexandria since the days of Washington. The next day, in BishopJohns' carriage, he drove out to Seminary Hill to the home of Mr.Cassius F. Lee, his first cousin, where he spent the night. In theafternoon he went to see the bishop and his family--General Cooperand the Reverend Dr. Packard. The next morning, with Uncle Smith, heattended Ascension-Day services at Christ church, and was afterwardentertained at a dinner-party given by Mr. John B. Daingerfield.Before he left Alexandria he called on Mr. John Janney, who waspresident of the Virginia Convention in 1861, when, as Colonel Lee,he appeared before it and accepted the command of the Virginia forces,organised and to be organised.