Ringgold Bks: Texas
1 November 1856
Your letter of the 9th Aug: My dear brother Childe has just reached me. It has given me unspeakable gratification to hear from you. I measure your feelings by my own & know how miserable they must be. Her remembrance of me in the last moments of life, in the pain of separation from all that was dear to her in this world & in view of the brightness of the next, is sweet to me beyond expression. God knows how much I cherish her memory, & how dear to me has ever been her love. A thousand regrets continually besiege me, at my long separation from her, & the hope with which I constantly beguiled myself of an ultimate reunion, is now my torture. But I trust in the mercy of our father in Heaven to unite us in that world where we shall know no separation No Misery! I am distressed beyond measure at the thought of not being able to see you during your visit to this Country. I hope you will go to Arlington & make that your home while you remain. Though it will not furnish the Comforts to which you are accustomed. I know you will find the most Cordial welcome, & the truest sympathy in the hearts of the occupants. Write to me how you are & all about yourself & children. Everything relating to you will be gratifying to me. Leave at A[rlington] for me some of her beautiful hair, I wish to twine it into a braid with some of our dear Mothers. I hope you left Florence & her child well & happy, & that you will experience every joy & Comfort in the society of your children. You must give much love to them for me. I feel that you & them are dearer to me now than ever.
I wrote to you my dear brother Childe on first learning our dreadful bereavement. I will write again as soon as I hear of your arrival in this Country. I feel unable at this time to say more. I leave tomorrow for Fort Brown where I shall probably be detained all this month, & expect to be in San Antonio about the middle of December. The separation from my dear wife & children is very grievous to me, & I do not know how long I can stand it. I fear it will eventually drive me from the Service. May God guard & protect you & all belonging to you is the fervent prayer of your affectionate brother
R E Lee
To E V Childe
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 3, M2012.009, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 15