• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our curator, Colin Woodward, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Sunday morg 27 Decr ’63


Custis’ despatch which I recd last night, demolished all the hopes in which I had been indulging during the day, of dear Charlottes recovery. It has pleased God to take from us one exceedingly dear to us & we must be resigned to his holy will. She I trust will enjoy peace & happiness forever, while we must patiently struggle on under all the ills that may be in store for us. What a glorious thought it is that she has joined her little cherubs & our angle Annie in heaven! Thus dear Mary is link by link of the strong chain broken that binds us to earth, & smooths our passage to another world. Oh that we may at last unite in that haven of rest, where trouble & sorrow never enters, to join in the everlasting chorus of praise & glory to our Lord & Saviour! I grieve for our lost darling as a father can only grieve for a daughter. I loved her with a father’s love, & my sorrow is heightened by the thought of the anguish her death will cause our dear son, & the poignancy it will give to the bars of his prison. May God in his mercy enable him to bear the blow he has so suddenly dealt, & sanctify it to his everlasting happiness!

As I can now be of no service to our dear child, & do not know whether I could reach Richmond in time for the funeral, I must leave the payment of the last offers of friendship to those around her, & bear my sorrow in silence alone. May God have mercy upon us all & have you in his holy keeping

Truly & devotedly yours

R E Lee




Source: Photocopy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L 51 c 496, Section 24, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 June 15  

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