CAMP FREDERICKSBURG, 26th December, 1862.
MY PRECIOUS LITTLE AGNES:
I have not heard of you for a long time. I wish you were with me, for, always solitary, I am sometimes weary, and long for the reunion of my family once again. But I will not speak of myself, but of you
I have only seen the ladies in this vicinity when flying from the enemy, and it caused me acute grief to witness their exposure and suffering. But a more noble spirit was never displayed anywhere. The faces of old and young were wreathed with smiles and glowed with happiness at the sacrifices for the good of their country. Many have lost everything. What the fire and shells of the enemy spared, their pillagers destroyed. But God will shelter them, I know. So much heroism will not be unregarded. I can only hold oral communication with your sister, and have forbidden the scouts to bring any writing, and have taken back some that I had given them for her. If caught it would compromise them. They only convey messages. I learn in that way she is well. . . .
Your devoted father,
R. E. LEE.
TO AGNES LEE.
SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 211-2