Item description: letter, 26 November 1863, from Robert E. Lee to R.H. Graves in which he regretfully acknowledges the loss of Captain H. A. Gordan at Gettysburg and the impossibility of recovering his body. He concludes that the battlefield is a fitting resting place for those brave soldiers who have given their lives for their country.
[Item transcription available below images.]
Hdqrts. Rapidan 26 Nov ’63
My dear Sir
In answer to your note of the 20th inst., it grieves me to state that I know of no way of recovering the body of Capt. H. A. Gordan from the field of Gettysburg. Should the place of his interment be known and be so marked as to be recognized, which his C[?] officer can alone tell, I see no way of [inducing?] the Federal authorities at this time of granting the family of visiting it for the purpose.
Though deeply sympathizing with his sorrowing mother, and appreciating the feeling which induces the desire to have near her the remains of her gallant son, I know of no more fitting resting place for a brave soldier than the battle field in which he has laid down his life in the defense of the rights of his Country.
I am with great respect
Your obt. servt.,
R E Lee
Mr. R. H. Graves