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