CAMP FREDERICKSBURG, 3d March, 1863.
I received today, my darling daughter, your letter of the 28th, and it has furnished me such pleasing thoughts. I am glad you are so well and happy. Tell F. I know you "look very well," and more than that you look beautiful, and that he must answer all your questions, and R. must drive you out every day. You and that young bride must make fine company for each other. Affording each other so much time for fruitful thought, and when you do speak always on the same subject, your husbands. How deluded each must appear to the other. As to Fitzhugh, the Misses H. need take no credit to themselves for perceiving his condition. It is patent to all the world and requires no Columbus to discover it. Tell him that he must look at you as much as he can, for the spring is approaching and we have a great deal before us. I am glad you have had this opportunity to be together, and hope the war with all its baneful effects will always be removed far from you. It is strange though that nobody writes to you now. You are both such good correspondents that I should think you would be overwhelmed with letters. Your mama says neither of you ever write to her. But I tell her it is the fault of the mails. Your poor mama has been a great sufferer this winter. I have not been able to see her, and fear I shall not. She talks of coming to Hickory Hill this month when the weather becomes more fixed. We are up to our eyes in mud now, and have but little comfort. Mr. Hooker looms very large over the river. Has two balloons up in the day and one at night. I hope he is gratified at what he sees. Your cousin Fitz Lee beat up his quarters the other day with about 400 of his cavalry and advanced within four miles of Falmouth, carrying off 150 prisoners with their horses, arms, etc. The day after he recrossed the Rappahannock they sent all their cavalry after him, and even brought Sir Percy Wyndham and his three regiments from Chantilly down upon him, but the bird had flown. It was reported that they displayed 10,000 cavalry. I suppose half that number would be nearer the truth. I hope these young Lees will always be too smart for the enemy. Kiss Fitzhugh for me and give much love to Rob. I pray daily to our Heavenly Father to guard, guide, and protect you all. Tell Fitzhugh I will not write to him this time. It is so dark I can hardly see. I am obliged to him for his letter.
Your devoted papa,
R. E. LEE.
SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 227-8