Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Deep and Affectionate Sympathy

A portion of a letter from Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate army, to his daughter-in-law, Charlotte Wickham Lee. Dorie McCullough Lawson writes, “He had [recently] suffered the loss of his beloved twenty-three-year-old daughter to typhoid fever. Lee wrote the following letter to his daughter-in-law upon learning of the death of his only living grandchild, a baby girl.” The letter was written December 10, 1862, three days prior to the Battle of Fredericksburg.

I heard yesterday, my dear daughter, with the deepest sorrow, of the death of your infant. I was so grateful at her birth. I felt that she would be such a comfort to you, such a pleasure to my dear Fitzhugh, and would fill so full the void still aching in your hearts. But you have now two sweet angels in heaven. What joy there is in the thought! I can say nothing to soften the anguish you must feel, and I know you are assured of my deep and affectionate sympathy. May God give you strength to bear the affliction He has imposed, and produce future joy out of your present misery, is my earnest prayer.

Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children, Dorie McCullough Lawson, Doubleday, 2004, p. 230.

No comments: