Washington’s Run

Sept 30, 1862


My Precious Annie & Agnes:

I have received your affectionate letters of the 21st by Capt Cone,1 which have given me the greatest pleasure. I am glad to hear that you are both well, and I hope have enjoyed yourselves. I heartily join you in sincere gratitude to Almighty God for gra[n]ting such success as he has seen fit to our arms, and pray and trust that his blessings and favors may be continued until an honorable peace is accomplished, and the whole country instead of being joined in strife with each other should unite in praise & serving him. I set little value on what the newspapers say; the esteem of good men, I covet, but the praise or censure of the papers I think are equally write several. I try at all times to do my duty, but our conscious how signally I fail. It is want of ability and not intention when I come short of my efforts. You are right in supposing the great inconvenience I suffer in being disabled in both hands. It has been a great affliction and hindrance to me. But when I think of how much others have suffered, and how I and mine have been preserved amid the terrible dangers which have surrounded us, I am filled with thankfulness to the Gracious Giver of all Good for his mercies, and try to express my gratitude in adoration. You must help me with your pure prayers, and on your part do all that is becoming and proper. I am recovering the use of my left hand, and am now able to mount my horse. The bones in my right hand have united but it is still powerless. I wish you had been with me to assist me in my feebleness. Think of my being left to the graceful ministration of Perry, who had to dress, feed, and array me; but I can help myself a little now, and matters are materially mitigated. You tell me nothing about “Life,” I don’t like the idea of your fixing yourselves in Richmond, and I see no good you can accomplish there. You ought to be working out some good result, sewing, weaving, knitting, for the poor soldiers. If nothing better offers, teach the children of those who are unable to pay for their instruction. Custis will tell you the rest. Give much love to Miss Sally & other friends

Your loving Father

R. E. Lee   per G. W. C. Lee




1. See Lee’s letter of 1862 September 29 to his wife.




Source: Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 387, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 September 23