Lexington Va: 5 Aug 1869
Absence from Lexington has prevented my receiving until today your letter of the 26th Ulto: enclosing an invitation from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, to attend a meeting of the officers engaged in that battle at Gettysburg, for the purpose of marking upon the ground by enduring memorials of granite the position & movements of the Armies on the field.
My engagements will not permit me to be present, & I believe if there I could not add anything material to the information existing on the subject. I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife & to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.
Very respy your obt Sevt
R E Lee
Source: David McConaughy Papers, Gettysburg College, Musselman Library Special Collections & Archives
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 March 1