Richmond 27 July ’61
I have recd dear Mary your letter from E. View1 and am glad your visit has been so agreable. It is very pleasing to receive the kindness of friends & to enjoy the associations & pleasing remembrances of those away.
That indeed was a glorious victory & has lightened the pressure upon our front amazingly. Do not grieve for the brave dead. Sorrow for those they left behind friends, relatives & families. The former are at rest. The latter must Suffer. The battle will be repeated there in greater force. I hope God will again Smile on us & strengthen our hearts & Arms. I wished to partake in the former though I am mortified at my absence but the President thought it more important I should be here. I Could not have done as well as has been done but I Could have helped, & taken part in the struggle for my home & neighborhood. Lo the work is done & care not by whom it is done.
I leave tomorrow for the N.W. Army. I wished to go before as I wrote you & was all prepared but the indications were so evident of the Coming battle & in the uncertainty of the result the Pres forbade my departure.
Now it is necessary & he Consents I Cannot say for how long, but will write you.
Custis has arrived & is well. The girls were to have Come up to Shirly this week. I have not heard of their doing So.
I enclose a letter from Markie. Write to her if you Can & thank her for her letter to me. I have not time. My whole time is occupied & all my thoughts & strength are given to the Cause to which my life be it long or short will be devoted. Tell her not to mind the reports she Sees in the papers. They are made to injure & occasion distrust. Thos that Know me will not believe them. Those that do not believe them. Those that do not will not Care for them. I laugh at them.
Give love to all & for yourself accept the Constant prayers & love of truly yours
R E Lee
P.S. I hope you will receive my former letter Containing checks on Farmers BR: of Virga. Richd. to your order for $200 @ REL
Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 307, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 July 18
1. “Eastern View,” home of the Randolph family in Fauquier County.