January 4, 1862
Give much love to everybody. We are all well. No news. Enemy quiet, and retired to his Islands. The main seemed too insecure for him, and he never went 400 yds. from his steamers, not even to the extent of the range of his guns. After burning some houses (three) on the river bank, and feeling our proximity unpleasant, he retreated to Port Royal again. I hope we may always be able to keep him close. But he can move with great facility and rapidity and land anywhere he can bring his steamers, and burn, pillage, and destroy and we cannot prevent him. We lost one 12-pounder. It was drawn by mules with negro drivers, so hard are we pressed for men, who became frightened at the firing, upset the gun in a ditch, broke the carriage, and it had to be abandoned. Do you hear of any more troops coming to me, or can any be sent? The Mississippi regiment, Colonel Russell, I understand has gone to Tennessee, and I hear of none coming in its place. The South Carolina troops come very slowly. Georgia has taken her troops in the State service.
Your affectionate father,
R. E. LEE.
SOURCES: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 157-8