Anne Carter Lee

Stiles/Akin

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#1
t's hard to realize the trials and tribulations our Confederate ancestors endured, but the personal lives of our soldiers's families are often overshadowed by the excitement of war. While there was great danger to the soldiers on the battlefield, there was also great danger on the home front. Death and disease stalked the homes of the soldiers, while they were far serving at the front.

Three out of four of General James Longstreet's children died within 8 days of each other in Richmond, Virginia, from scarlet fever, in January of 1862. The fever claimed Mary Anne, 11 months old, 4 year old James and 12 year old "Gus" Augustus. The blow was almost too much for General Longstreet; he hurriedly returned to Richmond. It was some days before he could leave his wife 13-year-old son Garland, who were devastated by the tragedy.

Just over one month after the battle of Sharpsburg, General Robert E. Lee was notified of the death of his beloved daughter, Anne Carter Lee, who died of typhoid fever on Oct. 20th, 1862, at Richmond, Virginia.

Anne Carter Lee

Anne Carter Lee, the second daughter of Robert E. Lee and Mary Randolph Custis Lee, was born June 18, 1839 at Arlington House. Called Annie by friends and family, her rich black hair was much like her father's when he was young. As a child, Annie lost her sight in one eye after a childhood accident with a pair of scissors and suffered from a disfigured eye. She loved her family, but she was close to only Agnes and her father.

Robert E. Lee had a special bond with Annie, whom he nicknamed Little Raspberry because she had a reddish birthmark on her face as an infant. She was a gifted young woman but very shy because of her disfigured eye. Annie and Agnes were known as The Girls by the family; they were so close they were often thought of as twins.
Annie had recently taken over some household duties because her mother was suffering terribly with rheumatoid arthritis. General Lee had worried that the job would be too physically demanding for Annie. She was never physically strong, and he constantly worried about her health

Although her husband kept urging her to leave, Mary Randolph Custis Lee delayed evacuating Arlington House until May 15, 1861, possibly because travel was difficult for her. After the birth of her second child, Mary Custis Lee, Mrs. Lee had sustained a pelvic infection that soon after developed into rheumatoid arthritis. Her condition worsened as she grew older. By 1861, she was using a wheelchair.

Mrs. Lee looked longingly at her beloved home as they pulled away, hoping she would soon be able to come back. However, as time passed, it became abundantly clear that she would not be able to return anytime soon, if ever. Agnes, Mrs. Lee and the other Lee daughters were vagabonds during the first year of the war, moving from one family plantation to another. They eventually settled at a rented townhouse in Richmond.

Several months after Agnes and Annie arrived at White Sulphur Springs, Annie contracted typhoid fever. Agnes never left her side, not even when others warned that she could become ill with the disease as well. Agnes risked her life to be by Annie's side, providing whatever care and comfort she could.

Annie Lee died of typhoid fever October 20, 1862, at the age of 23, while Agnes held her. A young relative said that Annie's death "was a shock to Agnes from which she never recovered."

When Annie died, it was not possible to take her body back to Virginia for burial without crossing enemy lines. The owner of White Sulphur Springs generously offered to have her Annie buried in his family cemetery and the Lees gratefully accepted. A disabled Confederate veteran sculpted an obelisk for her grave.
Robert E. Lee was in the field in Virginia recovering from the Battle of Sharpsburg when he received a letter notifying him of Annie's death. The unexpected news left him devastated. Via Civil War Women’s blog…

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luinrina

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A parent should never have to bury their own child.

Robert E. Lee was in the field in Virginia recovering from the Battle of Sharpsburg when he received a letter notifying him of Annie's death. The unexpected news left him devastated.
From Freeman's biography on Lee in vol. II, p. 421:

The last days of his convalescence* were brightened by a visit from Custis, who came from Richmond to see him,37 but within a few weeks he was dealt a personal blow far worse than a physical injury. His second daughter, Annie, had gone to the Warren White Sulphur Spring, North Carolina, and had been stricken ill there. On October 20, she died. Lee had known of her illness and had been most apprehensive, but he was not prepared for her death when he received the announcement of it. After he got the letter, he pulled himself together and went over the official correspondence of the morning in Major Taylor's company, without revealing his loss or showing his emotion. After Major Taylor left, he took out the letter again and as he read its pathetic details of the passing of the girl — she was only twenty-three — he could no longer repress his grief. When Taylor unceremoniously re-entered the tent a few minutes later, Lee was weeping. As soon as he could control himself, he sent word to his sons in the army. "I cannot express the anguish I feel at the death of my sweet Annie," he wrote Mrs. Lee. "To know that I shall never see her again on earth, that her place in our circle, which I always hoped one day to enjoy, is forever vacant, is agonizing in the extreme. But God in this, as in all things, has mingled mercy with the blow, in selecting that one best prepared to leave us. May you be able to join me in saying, "His will be done' . . . "38 To his brother, Charles Carter Lee, he wrote in the same spirit. God "has taken," he said, "the purest and best; but his will be done."39 His grief hung long and heavily upon him. From Fredericksburg, the next month, when every day threatened battle, he wrote to his daughter, Mary: "In the quiet hours of the night, when there is nothing to lighten the full weight of my grief, I feel as if I should be overwhelmed. I have always counted, if God should spare me a few days after this Civil War was ended, that I should have her with me, but year after year my hopes go out, and I must be resigned."40

37 R. E. Lee, Jr., 79.
38 Lee to Mrs. Lee, Oct. 26, 1862, R. E. Lee, Jr., 79‑80; Taylor's Four Years, 76.
39 Oct. 26, 1862; 31 Confederate Veteran, 287.
40 R. E. Lee, Jr., 80.

* The hand injury he received after the Battle of Chantilly when Traveller jumped, Lee reached for the bridle and fell down onto his hands.


Thanks for the post, @Stiles/Akin . I never knew about the eye disfigurement.

I found this picture on Annie's Find a Grave page under photos.
_Anne Carter Lee.jpg
 

Cavalry Charger

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#5
A parent should never have to bury their own child.
The thought of so many.

I found this picture on Annie's Find a Grave page under photos.
She was a beautiful young woman and it's hard to see the disfigurement of her eye here.

But God in this, as in all things, has mingled mercy with the blow, in selecting that one best prepared to leave us. May you be able to join me in saying, "His will be done' . . . "38 To his brother, Charles Carter Lee, he wrote in the same spirit. God "has taken," he said, "the purest and best; but his will be done.
In all things Robert E. Lee expressed great religious faith, even in the most difficult moments. It may have helped in terms of acceptance, but the loss obviously continued to weigh heavily on him.

Thanks so much for bringing me here, Lu.
 

DBF

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#6
Lu - I wonder if that is really a picture of her. According to this website NPS - they claim there is no known photo of her, as she was reluctant to be photographed because of her “eye situation”.

“This portrait, (shown in post #1) showing her without any scar or birthmark, was painted by an unidentified artist - possibly a relative - when she was in her teens. It is the only known picture of her. Annie died of typhoid fever during the second year of the war when she was 23.
https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/arho/exb/Family/medium/ARHO-1925-Anne-Carter-Lee.html

I found this site with the following picture -
https://leefamilydigitalarchive.wordpress.com/page/3/

scan0030.jpg


Underneath the picture it states:

“This may be the only photograph of Annie Lee (on right), pictured her with girls who are likely cousins from the Stuart family. If it is her, she is turned from the camera to hide the injury she sustained to her right eye as a little girl. Source: The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book by Anne Carter Zimmer”

The same site show your picture Lu - but underneath it says:

“Annie Lee? There is reason to doubt that this photo, which has made the rounds on the internet, is her. As a girl, Annie lost one of her eyes in an accident with scissors. This photo bears no such disability.”

Just more information to add to the mystery.
 

Cavalry Charger

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Just wondering if that photo is any one of the Lee girls. Is there some kind of official identification of that photo anywhere?
 
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#8
I didn't know about Longstreet's children. It's very sad and I'm sure devastating to him.

It just goes to show, no amount of money, social standing or, "privilege" could save a child in the 19th century.

That was true in the 20th, until after WWII. Don't ask me how I know.
 



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