Fort Brown, Texas, 7 Jany ’57
Last night my dear brother Childe, I recd. among a package of over 30 letters from San Antonio, your two of the 2nd & 4th Decr. I have read & reread them, & to the exclusion of all else, save Marys sit down to acknowledge them, by a steamer, which is expected to depart from the mouth of the river tomorrow, for New Orleans: & to meet which, a mail is to be despatched from here this morg. I Cannot express the Comfort they have given me. To Know that you & your children are well, safe, & in America has taken from my mind a load of anxiety. But what sweet Consolation to know that she I mourn, was so prepared so ready, so happy in the moment of translation from earth to heaven! Your account, clear & touching, & next in pain to witnessing the reality, though it has reopened afresh the springs of my grief & incapacitated me for writing, has still produced a healing soothing influence that is beyond all price. I now sorrow for the living not the dead. I do not even wish her return to this world of pain & Care. In the bright mansions of a glorious heaven she will be forever happy! We cannot help but mourn & be quiet.
I felt the truth of all you said & how grateful I am that you were with her, to guide encourage & support her as this earth faded & a brighter world had not yet opened to her view.
I am afraid the cold of a northern winter, may be too trying to you, Edwad. & Marie, so long accustomed to a milder climate.
You will have to be very careful of yourself & them. The spring in Boston I know is particularly Severe. Give much love to E. & M. & Florence when you write.
I will write again Soon. Tell Fitzhugh I found no letter from him among the package. His was the only one missing. May God bless & preserve you is the Constant prayer of your brother
R E Lee
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 3, M2009.233, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 29