Columbia Nov. 2nd 1865
My Dear General
On my return to this place after an absence of two months, I found your kind & most acceptable letter. The terms in which you were pleased to express your regret at my absence during the last struggle, gratified & touched me beyond expression. I shall always keep your letter as the highest testimonial I could have won, & as my proudest memorial of the war. The war has left me, like most of my countrymen with broken fortunes, & without a home. All the houses of my family here were destroyed by Sherman & we are all homeless. This however & the loss of fortune are such small evils in comparison to the loss of our cause that they give one but little concern. True soldiers are all willing. I am sure to follow your example, & to earn their bread by their labor.
In a few days, I expect to go out to Miss. to see if I can save anything from the general wreck there. As soon as I can get hold of any mem. I shall try to renew my reports. Nearly all the originals were destroyed in my house. The campaign in this state was sickening, & I suppose that its history will never be written. Shall I send my reports to Lexington? And when shall you need them? I write with some difficulty at present, as I met with an accident some weeks ago, by which my right shoulder was very badly dislocated. Your letter would have been answered sooner, but for this misadventure, & I shall begin on my reports as soon as I can write with care. With my kind regards to your family, & my earnest wishes for your propriety & happiness, I am, my Dear General
Very Respy & sincerely
Source: Robert E. Lee Headquarters Papers, Folder 29, Mss3 L 515a, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 9