July 27, 1861
That, indeed, was a glorious victory, and has lightened the pressure upon us amazingly. Do not grieve for the brave dead, but sorrow for those they left behind — friends, relatives, and families. The former are at rest; the latter must suffer. The battle will be repeated there in greater force. I hope God will again smile on us and strengthen our hearts and arms. I wished to participate in the former struggle, and am mortified at my absence. But the President thought it more important that I should be here. I could not have done as well as has been done, but I could have helped and taken part in a struggle for my home and neighborhood. So the work is done, I care not by whom it is done. I leave tomorrow for the army in western Virginia.
SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 144; Henry Alexander White, Robert E. Lee and the Southern Confederacy, 1807-1870, p. 113