Mary Anna Randolph Custis and famed Confederate General Robert E. Lee married in 1831 at her family home, Arlington House, in Virginia.  Mary Anna was the only surviving child of George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington’s step-grandson, and adopted son, and founder of Arlington House. Her mother was Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis.
Robert E. Lee was the son of Henry “Light Horse Harry”  Lee and his mother was Anne Hill Carter Lee. Mary Anna and Robert had seven children together, 3 sons and 4 daughters. Shortly after the birth of their first son, the Custises invited the Lee’s to come and live in Arlington House, so the children grew up in the Custis home.

When the war came, Robert and their sons were called to service in Virginia. Mary Anna and her daughters had to evacuate Arlington House in May of 1861, never to live there again.

Mary, the second child and oldest daughter outlived all her siblings. None of the Lee girls ever married. Anne, the second daughter,  died young. Her father was very attached to her and her death at age 23 was a great grief to him.

Agnes was the third of the daughters. As a child she kept a journal which was later published, titled “Growing Up in the 1850’s: The Journal of Agnes Lee“, edited by Mary Custis Lee deButts.  Considered her mother’s favorite, Agnes died at the age of 32 from typhoid fever, almost exactly 3 years after her father’s death, and her death was followed by that of her mother, 21 days later.

The youngest daughter and youngest child was Mildred. She too was very close to her father, and also to her brother Rob, her childhood companion. She traveled widely but seemed very lonely after her father’s death. She died at age 60 in New Orleans.

All four girls along with their parents are interred in the Lee Chapel and Museum in Lexington, on the campus of Washington and Lee University. They lived through the deprivations of the war but knew the love of their parents and siblings, as well as that of  the people of the South who idolized their father, Robert E. Lee.