COOSAWHATCHIE, South Carolina, January 18, 1862.
I am truly grateful for all the mercies we enjoy, notwithstanding the miseries of war, and join heartily in the wish that the next year may find us in peace with all the world. I am delighted to hear that our little grandson is improving so fast and is becoming such a perfect gentleman. May his path be strewn with flowers and his life with happiness. I am very glad to hear also that his dear papa is promoted. It will be gratifying to him, I hope, and increase his means of usefulness. While at Fernandina I went over to Cumberland Island and walked up to Dungeness, the former residence of General Greene. It was my first visit to the house, and I had the gratification at length of visiting my father's grave. He died there, you may recollect, on his way from the West Indies, and was interred in one corner of the family cemetery. The spot is marked by a plain marble slab, with his name, age, and date of his death. Mrs. Greene is also buried there, and her daughter, Mrs. Shaw, and her husband. The place is at present owned by Mr. Nightingale, nephew of Mrs. Shaw, who married a daughter of Mrs. James King. The family have moved into the interior of Georgia, leaving only a few servants and a white gardener on the place. The garden was beautifully enclosed by the finest hedge of wild olive I have ever seen.
SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 153-4; A more complete transcription of this letter can be found in Captain Robert Edward Lee’s Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee, p. 60-1 which I have used to date this letter fragment.