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[65]

Sir: I have received within a few days your letter of the 14th of November, 1864, and had hoped that by this time it would have been followed by the copy of the Holy Scriptures to which you refer, that I might have known the generous donors, whose names you state are inscribed upon its pages.

Its failure to reach me will, I fear, deprive me of that pleasure! and I must ask the favor of you to thank them most heartily for their kindness in providing me with a book, in comparison with which all others in my eyes are of minor importance; and which in all my perplexities and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength. Your assurance of the esteem in which I am held by a large portion of the British nation, as well as by those for whom you speak, is most grateful to my feelings; though I am aware that I am indebted to their generous natures, and not to my own merit, for their good opinion.

I beg, sir, that you will accept my sincere thanks for the kind sentiments which you have expressed towards me, and my unfeigned admiration of your exalted character.

I am, with great respect, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) R. E. Lee.

General Lee was a most active promoter of the interests of his church, and of the cause of Christ in the community; and all of the pastors felt that they had in him a warm friend.

He was a most liberal contributer to his church and to other objects of benevolence. At the vestry meeting, which he attended and over which he presided the evening he was taken with his fatal illness, an effort was being made to raise a certain sum for an important object. General Lee had already made an exceedingly liberal contribution, but when it was ascertained that $55 were still lacking, he quietly said, ‘I will give the balance.’ These were the last words he spoke in the meeting— his contribution, his last public act. I happen to know that, within the last twelve months of his life he gave $100 to the education of soldiers' orphans, $100 to the Young Men's Christian Association of the college and smaller sums to a number of similar objects—making, in the aggregate, a most liberal contribution.

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