VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE ROBERT E. LEE FIELD LETTER WRITTEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY 1863, DESCRIBING INTIMATE FAMILY DETAILS.
The letter reads:
"My dear Cousin Margaret, I take advantage of a few quiet moments this holy ? to write to you, for the thought of you always brings me pleasure & adds to my Causes of gratitude to our merciful God for all the blessings bestowed upon me. I have recently returned from Richmond, where I thought much of you & wished for your presence that afforded so much pleasure to my former visit. I caught glimpses of Sweet Carrie but she was so surrounded by her little because that little could be got from her. But there was one tall one with her, a signal man, of that voracious family of Randolphs, whom I threatened with Castle Thunder. I did not see her look at Rob once. But you know he is to take her home on certain conditions. I hope your mother has given her Consent & that the Cakes are baking. I also saw happy Mrs. Ada. Her face was luminous with Content & she looked as if she thought there was but one person in the world. Mrs. Randolph was as handsome as ever & she was as kind & sweet as she is beautiful. Nothing more can be said for her. Mrs. R is much better & looks indeed quite well. But I was ? at the Condition in which I found your poor Cousin Mary. She is now a great sufferer, Cannot walk at all & can scarcely move. But Mildred has returned and I hope now she has all her daughter with her she will be more Comfortable. She is going to move to my old quarters, next to Mrs. Randolph's. Go down and help dispense the Club. The members are all aghast. Curtis says he cannot be married now till six months after the ratification of peace. The day in which all the public dues are payable-So you will have to wait Maggie-I left Richmond with a sad heart. Charlotte who was so well on me arrived looking like herself again, so cheerful affectionate & sweet, was taken sick two or three days before my departure & completely prostrated. She sounds ? weak though somewhat ? the night before I left. The change between my arrival & departure was so sudden & unexpected to me that I am filled with sadness, Yet can do nothing. I pray she may be relieved, you must give a great deal of love to your father & mother for me. May every happiness attend you all, & may a kind God in his infinite mercy before the return of the anniversary of this blessed day, give us our independance & restore us to peace and happiness. Truly & affy your Cousin, R E Lee"
Margaret and Mary Stuart were Lee's wife's second cousins, and they were close in age to his own daughters.