A tag written in Miss Mary Lee's hand and attached to the garment reads, "chemise brought my mother by my father from the city of Mexico, Mary Custis Lee.”

Robert E. Lee brought his wife this lace-trimmed chemise from Mexico City when he returned to Arlington after fighting in the Mexican War in 1848. Lee and his family had not seen each other for twenty two months. Lee had gained great fame while fighting in Mexico as a competent and brave leader. He also brought gifts for his children including the white pony, “Santa Anna,” named after the Mexican leader, which he gave to Rob, his youngest son.


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