Sunday 27 December 1863.
Lee’s son Major-General W.H.F. Lee was a prisoner at Fortress Monroe for nine long months. General Benjamin F. Butler, in charge, refused to allow him to visit his dying wife, although his brother, Cusits Lee, of equal rank, had volunteered in writing to take his place for forty-eight hours as a hostage, until the brother should return to his captivity. The wife died calling for her captive husband.
In a letter to his wife, dated as above General Lee said:
“Custis’s (his other son) dispatch which I received last night demolished all the hopes, in which I had been indulging during the day, of dear Charlotte’s recovery. It has pleased God to take from us one exceedingly dear to us, and we must be resigned to His holy will. She, I trust, will enjoy peace and happiness forever, while we must patiently struggle on under all the ills that may be in store for us. What a glorious thought it is that she has joined others in heaven! Thus link by link is the strong chain broken that binds us to earth, and our passage soothed to another world.Oh, that we may be at last united in that heaven of rest, where trouble and sorrow never enter, to join an everlasting chorus of praise and glory to our Lord and Saviour! I grieve for our lost darling as a father only can grieve for a daughter, and my sorrow is heightened by the thought of the anguish her death will cause our dear son and the poignancy it will give the bars of his prison. May God in His mercy enable him to bear the blow He has so suddenly dealt, and sanctify it to his everlasting happiness”.
Her death was a great blow to Lee.
Note that there was no word of bitterness against General Butler, the most hated Northern general in all the South.
End of Quotation.
Truly this man was resigned to God’s providence.