Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

From the following letters--all that I can find relating to thispart of the journey--it appears that the travellers started forVirginia, stopping at Charleston, Wilmington, and Norfolk. Of theirvisit to Charleston I can find no record. He and Agnes stayed atthe beautiful home of Mr. Bennet, who had two sons at the college,and a lovely daughter, Mary Bennet. I remember Agnes telling meof the beautiful flowers and other attentions lavished upon them.

At Wilmington they spent a day with Mr. and Mrs. Davis. His comingthere was known only to a few persons, as its announcement was bya private telegram from Savannah, but quite a number of ladies andgentlemen secured a small train and went out on the Southern Roadto meet him. When they met the regular passenger-train from Savannah,General Lee was taken from it to the private one and welcomed by hismany friends. He seemed bright and cheerful and conversed with all.He spoke of his health not being good, and on this account beggedthat there would be no public demonstration on his arrival, norduring his stay at Wilmington.

On reaching that place, he accompanied Mr. George Davis [AttorneyGeneral in Mr. Davis's cabinet] to his house and was his guest duringhis sojourn in the city.

Mrs. Davis was a Miss Fairfax, daughter of Dr. O. Fairfax, ofAlexandria, Virginia. They had been and were very old and dear friendsand neighbours. The next morning my father walked out and called onBishop Atkinson, with whom he had been well acquainted when they bothlived in Baltimore, some twelve years before, the one as rector ofSt. Peter's (Episcopal) church, the other as Captain of the UnitedStates Engineers, in charge of the harbour defenses of the city.

There was a dinner given to my father that day at Mr. Davis's home,and a number of gentlemen were present. He was looking very well,but in conversation said that he realised there was some trouble withhis heart, which he was satisfied was incurable.