Lexington Va: 11 Feby 1869


My dear Sir1

I have been very remiss in acknowledging the copy of your Geography & a number of the ‘Library Magazine’ which you Kindly sent me two months ago. My excess is that my correspondence is so large that I am unable to keep pace with it; & in this case I wanted to look over the books before putting them into the hands of others for their examination. I am very much obliged to you for having dedicated the former to me, which I did not deserve, & as far as I could judge from the cursory examination I could give it, I was much pleased with its general arrangement & plan. There are however so many similar books of the kind, that it requires a long time to bring them to the notice of the public.

You are mistaken if you think that I am unable to appreciate the labours, hardships & suffering of a soldier. I can realize all their feelings & sympathize in all their distresses. They are however spared the burden of responsibility & their path though narrow is very straight. In this they are to be envied.

I hope that your sojourn at Norfolk has proved beneficial to the health of yourself & family, & that you all have enjoyed in abundance other blessings that are needful & beneficial.

We must not be cast down by what we may consider misfortunes, but by patient submission & active fortitude endeavour to convert into benefits, what might otherwise result in injuries. We have much to be thankful for, much to hope for & everything to trust to from a merciful God.

You must remember me most Kindly to my cousin H & your daughter, in which I Know Mrs Lee & my family would join did they Know I was writing. We are all in the enjoyment of reasonable health. Mrs Lee is always a sufferer, but has so far progressed through the winter in comfort, & I am glad to say that my daughter Mildred who was very sick last Summer & Fall seems to have entirely recovered.

Wishing you every happiness

I am very truly yours

R E Lee     




1. Reverend Kensey Johns Stewart (1817-1902) was a native of Delaware who was educated at the Virginia Theological Seminary. He wrote several books about religion as well as A Geography for Beginners, which was published in Richmond in 1864. He died in Richmond, but he is buried in Delaware.



Source: Digital scan of original letter, Robert E. Lee Collection, 1835-1869, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript Archives & Rare Book Library, Emory University

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 November 5