My dear Mrs. Pegram

I cannot find words to express my deep sympathy in your affliction, my sorrow at your loss. God alone can give you strength to bear the blow he has inflicted, & since it has been death by his hand I know it was sent in mercy. As dear as your husband was to you, as necessary apparently to his country & as important to his friends, I feel assured it was best for him to go at the moment he did. His purity of character, his services to the country & his devotion to his God, prepared him for the peace & rest he now enjoys. We are left to grieve at his departure, cherish his memory & prepare to follow. May God give us his Grace, that through the mediation of his blessed Son, we may be ready to obey his gracious summons.

Truly & affy your friend

R E Lee

Petersburg 11 Feby ’65

Mrs Hetty Pegram

Source: Transcribed from digital copy of original letter, Mss2 L515 a 21, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2021 October 11