December 20, 1865

Robert E. Lee Charmingly, and Piously, Responds to a Young Girl's Gift of Socks in 1865

Autograph Letter Signed
1 page
SMC 1123
Lee, who wanted after the war to be remembered not as the servant of Mars, but Christ, gracefully and charmingly exhibits his piety, in thanking a young girl from a “distant home” for the gift of socks.
I am at a loss, my dear little friend, how to thank you, for remembering me in your distant home, & for bestowing upon me, a stranger, your innocent love. I prize very highly the socks you sent me, & in my prayers to our merciful God, will implore that his blessings may be abundantly bestowed upon you.  You must tell your little sister & Cousin, that they will be likewise remembered, & that I shall hope, that they will Cause my unworthy name, which they bear, to be loved by their parents and friends.
When Lee arrived at Washington College to become its President in the fall of 1865, waiting for him was a wicker laundry basket, overflowing with letters from all over the country. Perhaps it was from that jumble that Lee pulled Miss Maggie’s missive and gift which Lee found so wonderfully kind and touching.
Autograph Letter Signed (“R.E. Lee”), as President of Washington College, 1 page, Octavo, Lexington, Virginia, December 20, 1865. To Miss Maggie H. Thornton.
View American Civil War Manuscripts.
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