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[72] who alone can heal your bleeding heart, that in His infinite mercy He would be ever present with you—to dry your tears and staunch your wounds; to sustain you by His grace and support you by His strength.

I hope you felt assured that in this heavy calamity you and your children had the heartfelt sympathy of Mrs. Lee and myself, and that you were daily remembered in our prayers.

With our best wishes and sincere affection, I am very truly yours,


The date of the following letter gives it additional interest. The movements of Burnside were developing themselves, and the battle of Fredericksburg about to open; but the charger of the great captain must ‘wait at his tent door’ while from a heart as tender as that of the gentlest woman he sends these lines of affectionate sympathy to a bereaved mother:

camp Fredericksburg, December 10, 1862.
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. What relief to your grief. What suffering and sorrow they have escaped. 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 present misery, is my earnest prayer.

I saw F——yesterday. He is well and wants much to see you. When you are strong enough, cannot you come up to Hickory Hill, or your grandpa's, on a little visit, where he could ride down and see you? My horse is waiting at my tent door, but I could not refrain from sending these few lines to recall to you the thought and love of your devoted father,


Colonel Walter H. Taylor, of his staff, relates (in his admirable book, ‘Four Years With Lee’) that he carried him the letter

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