Camp near Winchester

26 Oct 1862


I cannot express my dear Mary the anguish I feel at the death of our sweet Annie. To know that I shall never see her again on earth, that her place in our circle which I always hope one day to rejoin is forever vacant is agonizing in the extreme. But God in this as in all things has mingled mercy with the blow in selecting that one best purpose to leave us. He has taken the purest & best. May you be able to join me in saying His will be done! When I reflect on all she will escape in life brief & painful at the best & all we may hope she will enjoy with her sainted Grd. mother, I cannot wish her back. I know how much you will grieve & how much she will be mourned by Agnes & the rest, & wish I could give you & them any comfort. But beyond our hope in the great mercy of God, & the belief that he takes us at the time & place when it is best for us to go, there is none. May that same mercy be extended to us all & may we be prepared for his summons! Mr Leigh wrote me he was going to bring her body to Richmond. Have it laid in a quiet grave. I am glad your are with kind friends able & willing to assist you, when I cannot. Thank them all for me. I can write no more. The rest is pent up in my troubled thoughts. My hands are still painful but improving. Give much love to my dear children & believe me truly & always yours

R  E Lee





Source: Photocopy, Lee Family Papers, MSs1 L51c 396, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond


Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 October 24