Camp Rapidan 25 Novr ’63
I recd yesterday, My dear Mrs Stiles your letter of the 17th Ulto, with the package of peach leather. I am very much obliged to you for thinking of me, & I assure you I never forget you. I had heard of Henry’s return & sent word to him to Come & See me, as I wished to hear of you all. I will forward your letter to Mrs Lee, & I have no doubt she recd the one to her to which you refer. But she has been a great Sufferer & I fear is little or no better of her malady. She has been able to obtain a Small house, or rather part of a house in Richmond where she Mary & Agnes are very Comfortable she reports. Please remember me very kindly to all the Elliotts, Misses Kate & Sarah, & your dear little children. I think of them very often. You must not forget Col: S. & Robt: Custis only left me yesterday. He accompd the President on a visit here of a few days. They all returned to Richmond yesterday. I believe with you that our Gracious God will release us from the grevious punishment with which he has thought proper to afflict us in his own time. I pray it may be Soon! In the meantime we must be patient & all do what we Can. Our enemies are very strong at all points. Genl. Meade has recd large reinforcements & is apparently about to advance against us again. I trust the Lord of hosts will be with us.
I have not yet opened the package of peach leather, but I have so much faith, that I know I Can thank you in anticipation & feel assured of its worth. Again with many thanks
I remain as ever affly your friend
R E Lee
Mrs E. A. Stiles
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 4, M2009.304, Jessie Ball duPont Library, Stratford Hall
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 September 24