CS Lee, Eleanor Agnes

Eleanor Agnes Lee
Agnes Lee 1.jpg

Born: February 27, 1841

Birthplace: Arlington House, Arlington, Virginia

Father: General Robert Edward Lee 1807 – 1870

Mother: Mary Anna Randolph Custis 1808 – 1873


Attended Virginia Female Institute​
For a time she helped to instruct the Arlington slaves by conducting a Sunday evening school for them and by instructing individual children before and after breakfast​
She was said to be in love with Colonel William Orton Williams​
She was nurse and companion of her father​

Died: October 15, 1873
Agnes Lee 2.jpg

Place of Death: Lexington, Virginia

Age at time of Death: 32 years old

Cause of Death: Typhoid Fever

Burial Place: Lee Chapel Museum, Lexington, Virginia
Last edited by a moderator:


2nd Lieutenant
Aug 6, 2016
Eleanor Agnes Lee I find the most interesting as from everything I have read she perhaps came the closest to ever getting married of all the Lee girls. Her father gave her the nickname “Wiggie”. When Agnes was old enough to leave the nursery room, she shared a bedroom with her older sister Annie and the Lee’s took to calling them “The Girls” as the became almost like twins sharing everything. It would remain pretty much the situation until Annie’s death.

There was speculation that Agnes was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, (the disease her mother had) - as from an early age she suffered from swollen, painful fingers and feet.

In the book “The Lee Girls”, Mary P. Coulling describes in great detail Agne’s final days. She died within 3 days of the 3rd anniversary of her father’s death. She had been sick and suffering and was heard to murmur - - -

“I never cared to live long, I am weary of life’ . . . she requested that Markie be given her Bible, ‘You know Orton gave it to me’.” ** (perhaps the one man she may have married there are threads on here about that relationship).

Agnes asked to speak to her brother Custis - - -

“When he came and took her hand, she whispered, ‘You must not forget me when I am gone’. He stroked her hand saying, ‘Aggie none of us will do that’.”**

Her breathing slowed and became gasps and then she breathed no more.

The hardest to take the news - Agnes’s mother - - -

“my poor child, that I should have outlived her. Oh that I could have seen her again.” **

This would bring on the rapid decline of the health of Mrs. Robert E. Lee. By the time Rooney and Rob were able to journey from eastern Virginia to the home of Mrs. Lee she was unconscious.

Within 3 weeks the Lee children said good-bye to another sister and their beloved mother.

**Pages 179-180


2nd Lieutenant
Silver Patron
Jul 30, 2018
After reading her journal, I got the impression that as a child Agnes was quite lively. Henry Wickham, a relative of the Lees, remembered that after Orton's death Agnes grew quiet and pensive (Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book, p. 38).

The daguerrotype (first picture) in the OP: I always thought that was Mildred, not Agnes?