LEE, ROBERT E., General, C.S.A. Autograph letter signed ("R.E. Lee") to W.R. Burwell, Lexington, Virginia, 15 February 1869. 3 pages, 4to, 250 x 204mm (9.7/8 x 8 in.), written in slightly pale ink, but quite legible, with original postmarked envelope in Lee's hand.
LEE'S RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS
A highly unusual personal letter in which Lee expresses his Christian faith. He thanks a relative for gifts sent him including a robe which "will keep me warm by day & cover me at night," and a volume of Blair's sermons formerly owned by his mother. Those sermons, he recalls, he "listened to... many a Sunday night, read by my mother to her children, when I was too young to read them myself. I am very glad to see the identical volume she used, with her name on it..." He wishes he could visit the Burwells, "but it would be impossible for my poor wife to travel over your mountainous roads" with her rheumatism. Lee offers advice on religious education: "You must be diligent in the instruction of your children. Begin by teaching them the great love of God for them, his kindness to all his people, whom he never afflicts but for their own peril & how wrong it will for them to offend him or to break his Commandments. It will require all the patience, all the application, all the precepts & all the example of their father & mother to make the service of their God & Savior their pleasing duty..." He goes on to give news of old friends in Lexington, including "your nephew Lewis Logan...one of the finest young men at Washington College & one of the most prominent scholars. I am sorry to tell you that Fitzhugh is the only one of my sons who is married. Custis & Robert are still bachelors...The latter is farming...& is able to make support...I hope he will get himself a good wife..." Lee closes with "earnest prayers that the great & merciful God may keep constant watch over you & yours, & take you under the shadow of his heavenly wings..."