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[Biographer's note: His letters to his daughters tell, in a playful way, much of his life, and are full of the quiet humor in which he so often indulged. We were still at Derwent, awaiting the time when the house in Lexington should be ready. It had been decided that I should remain and accompany my mother and sisters to Lexington, and that some of us, or all, should go up the river to Bremo, the beautiful seat of Dr. Charles Cocke, and pay a visit there before proceeding to Lexington. Here is a letter from my father to his daughter Mildred:]
Lexington, October 29, 1865.
My Precious Life: Your nice letter gave me much pleasure and made me the more anxious to see you. I think you girls, after your mother is comfortable at 'Bremo,' will have to come up and arrange the house for her reception. You know I am a poor hand and can do nothing without your advice. Your brother, too, is wild for the want of admonition. Col. Blair is now his 'fidus Achates,' and as he is almost as gray as your papa, and wears the same uniform, all gray, he is sometimes taken for him by the young girls, who consider your brother the most attentive of sons, and giving good promise of making a desirable husband. He will find himself married some of these days before he knows it. You had better be near him. I hope you give attention to Robert. Miss Sallie will thaw some of the ice from his heart. Tell her she must come up here, as I want to see her badly. I do not know what you will do with your chickens, unless you take them to 'Bremo,' and thus bring them here. I suppose Robert would not eat 'Laura Chilton' and 'Don Ella McKay.' Still less would he devour his sister 'Mildred' [these were the names of some of my sister's pet chickens]. I have scarcely gotten acquainted with the young ladies. They look very nice in the walks, but I rarely get near them. Traveller is my only companion; I may also say my pleasure. He and I, whenever practicable, wander out in the mountains and enjoy sweet confidence. The boys are plucking out his tail, and he is presenting the appearance of a plucked chicken. Two of the belles of the neighborhood have recently been married--Miss Mattie Jordan to Dr. Cameron, and Miss Rose Cameron to Dr. Sherod. The former couple go to Louisburg, West Virginia, and start to-morrow on horseback, the bride's trousseau in a baggage wagon; the latter to Winchester. Miss Sherod, one of the bridesmaids, said she knew you there. I did not attend the weddings, but have seen the pairs of doves. Both of the brides are remarkable in this county of equestrianism for their good riding and beauty. With true affection, Your fond father,