RICHMOND, 26th April, 1862.
I have just received your note of Thursday night, dearest Chass, and write to say that I have taken time to read it and enjoy it too, and shall always do so as long as I live, so do not hesitate to write. I want to see you very much, and am always thinking of you. It is very hard, I think, for you to say that you did not want to come to me. I hope, at least, F. will be able to go to you, and if he does you must tell him to kiss you for me double and treble. Do not accuse your mama, you told me yourself. You are such a little sieve, you cannot retain anything. But there is no harm, you sweet child, and I love you all the more for it, and so does F.
I am glad you get such delightful tidings of him. C. left him yesterday, very indignant at some of his pickets having been captured. I hope he will get them back, and indemnify himself with many of the enemy. He is very well, but sent no particular messages. I am glad you rejoice in the good service he is doing his country. Encourage him to continue to the end. We have received some heavy blows lately, from the effects of which I trust a merciful God will deliver us. I fear New Orleans has fallen, though nothing certain has yet been received. The last accounts received prepared me for its fall. Remember me to your grandpapa and all at Hickory Hill. Kiss my grandson for me, and tell him you are mistaken. I want to do so for myself very much, but do not know when I can have that pleasure. I must confess that I desire more to kiss his mother, but I catch that from Fitzhugh. Good-by, my sweet daughter. May Heaven guard and protect you and yours, prays Your affectionate father,
R. E. LEE.
SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 183.