17 June '65
My dear Edward
I have often during the last four years desired to write to you. Amid the engrossing events of that period you were never forgotten, & I grieved for the loss of your sister as I Could only do at the death of a dear dear daughter. You are all that is left to me of father mother Sister, & upon you is pleased all the affection that was felt for them. I have therefore been greatly gratified at your remembrance & much cheered by your sympathy & affectionate regard. I hope some day to have the pleasure of seeing you, & though I can scarcely look forward to visiting Europe, yet you may revisit America, where I may have an humble though quiet home to welcome you. We are all very well except your Aunt M. She is a constant sufferer from rheumatism, & as you may have learned, is unable to walk, & indeed has to be aided from her couch to her chair. She is however cheerful & uncomplaining, & always employed in aiding others. I am glad to be able to inform you, that your young friend Richard Corbin, passed through the battles & dangers to which he so generously devoted himself, unhurt. He left here about three weeks since for New York & I understand has sailed for Europe. I hope therefore he is safe with his friends in France. I believe he had some little difficulty in obtaining the necessary passports, but it was satisfactorily arranged by the French Consul M. Paul at this place. That may have caused some delay in his return. And now my dear Edward I will bid you farewell. You have my constant prayers & unceasing love. May God guide guard & protect you, your Aunt & Cousins unite in much love, & I am always your affectionate,
R. E. Lee
Mr. Edward L. Childe
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.334, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall.
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 22