<br /> Lee Letter: wl171

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Mrs. J. M. Wyche
Recipient: Robert E. Lee

Gen. Robert E. Lee,

name glorious, & dear to every southern heart!! pardon this out burst for, I cannot address you in the measured terms of conventionalism, But to my task – my pleasant – sacred task – ’tis to inform you that you have been constituted an honorary member of the Ladies Mem. Soc. of this city by the act of one of its members; this would have been done by acclamation, by this practical use of your name, hoping that others who under your illustrious leadership shared in the noble yet hapless defense of our city, may thus be made sharers in this holy work by the liberality of our citizens. Our lives once resounding with the tread of our brave & patriotic soldiery, are now silent & desolate, untenanted, save by the pale and silent dead; the little mounds which mark their resting places, are fast crumbling away, & unless speedily rescued from oblivion must serve only to swell the long, sad list of the Unknown Dead!! To this rescue, we the ladies of Virginia now come, false would we be to the history of the past, should we be wanting now; and we feel encouraged & stimulated in the great work we have undertaken, by the remembrance of the chivalry & heroism of Virginia’s sons; to you, most all our beloved fellow citizen- late our illustrious & chosen chieftain, we look for countenance and sympathy – write – speak and the work will be done. Excuse this suggestion & this draft upon your valuable time, for the cause of feelings that crowd my heart & my pen as I thus write to you – May God bless you and yours.

With reverent respect Yrs.

Mrs.J. M. Wyche
Cor. Sec. L. M. Assoc. Petersburg

Notes:

Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Endorsed by Lee: “1 June 1866 Mrs J. M. Wyche announces that I have been made an honorary member of the Ladies M. Assoc – Petersburg (Complimentary) 11 June Ansd 27 Mar ’67 – Sent $25.00 to Treas.”