Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

I have mentioned before my father's devotion to children. Thissentiment pervaded his whole nature. At any time the presence of alittle child would bring a brightness to his smile, a tender softnessto his glance, and drive away gloom or care. Here is his account ofa visit paid him, early in January, 1865, by three little women:

"...Yesterday afternoon three little girls walked into my room, eachwith a small basket. The eldest carried some fresh eggs, laid by herown hens; the second, some pickles made by her mother; the third, somepopcorn grown in her garden. They were accompanied by a young maidwith a block of soap made by her mother. They were the daughters ofa Mrs. Nottingham, a refugee from Northhampton County, who lived nearEastville, not far from 'old Arlington.' The eldest of the girls,whose age did not exceed eight years, had a small wheel on which shespun for her mother, who wove all the cloth for her two brothers--boysof twelve and fourteen years. I have not had so pleasant a visitfor a long time. I fortunately was able to fill their baskets withapples, which distressed poor Bryan [his mess-steward], and I beggedthem to bring me nothing but kisses and to keep the eggs, corn, etc.,for themselves. I pray daily and almost hourly to our HeavenlyFather to come to the relief of you and our afflicted country. I knowHe will order all things for our good, and we must be content."


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