CS Lee, Mildred Childe

Mildred Childe “Precious Life” Lee

Born: February 10, 1845

Birthplace: Arlington House, Arlington, Virginia

Father: General Robert Edward Lee 1807 – 1870

Mother: Mary Anna Randolph Custis 1808 – 1873

Died: March 27, 1905

Place of Death: New Orleans, Louisiana

Age at time of Death: 60 years old

Burial Place: Lee Chapel Museum, Lexington, Virginia


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Sergeant Major
Aug 6, 2016
The strong bond between the middle 2 Lee girls did not bring a strong bond between the eldest and youngest (although each lived a longer life than their sisters). Mary, always the more independent sister spent most of her adult time traveling, and as Mildred got older she did some traveling. They did attend a statue reveling of their father in New Orleans in 1884.

Mildred spent most almost 30 years living with her older brother, Custis while he served as the college president of Washington-Lee University taking over his father’s old job when REL died. She was his “hostess”. When Custis left the college job on July 29, 1897, Mildred went with him.

It was after this time that she spent some time in Europe and when she ran into her older sister. Mildred would confide to a friend - - -

“You know she is not sympathetic with weakness or nervousness and is always absorbed in self first & foremost. I try to steel myself against her sharp words but now, wear & wretched as I am, it is double hard to bear.” *

In 1905 she travelled to visit friends in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It was there on the evening of Sunday, March 26, she was visited by some old soldier friends. She announced that she might be willing to find a home and settle down in the town.

The next morning as Mary Coulling writes in the Lee Girls * - - -

“she failed to appear for breakfast, her hostess knocked at her closed door. There was no response. Entering her bedroom, Mrs. Johnston was horrified to find Mildren sprawled on the floor unconscious with what appeared to be a massive stroke.” *

She was never revived and died at 9:00 that morning. At her funeral the same hymn was sung as was at her father’s “How Firm a Foundation.” Oldest sister Mary was in Nice at the time and did not return for the funeral.

But I’ll leave with a happy story on Mildred. Agnes writes in her journal on December 29, 1853 a tale of Christmas morning at Arlington - - -

“I was up very late and proportionable sleepy in the morning, but Mildred sprang into our bed at four so there was no more sleep for that Christmas morning.”

Just like children have been and will continue doing every Christmas morning.