Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last words on the death of Hilly Carter

The letter from Fitzhugh Lee was forwarded with a covering note from General Robert E. Lee, also a cousin of Hill Carter on his mother’s side.

“My Dear Cousin Hill,

“Upon my return from Richmond yesterday, I found the enclosed letter from my nephew, Fitz Lee. He says, it has been a long time since he felt called upon to write such a letter, & fears it may only serve to renew the sad remembrance of your loss. I fear your bereavement is ever present to you & hope the knowledge of how your noble son was appreciated & admired, may mitigate the anguish at his death. The only consolation I have is in the belief that a merciful God takes us at such a time & in such a manner as is best for us & to His will I humbly bow. May He give you, his dear mother, sisters & brothers strength to bear your heavy affliction. I know well how all of you loved him who has gone. What present joy & future hope he gave you. I cannot express to you the pleasure that he and others of my kinsmen in the Army afford me, as I contemplate their course, so young, so self-denying, so devoted to their country, so modest & so bold. What comfort to think of them at peace, & rest! Yet what anguish does the knowledge of their absence cause!”

“With warmest love to all at Shirley
“Believe me your affectionate cousin
“R.E. Lee”

That Lee should take the time to pen this says a great deal about him and how he viewed this part of his family. I wish I could have found a picture of carter to go with the posts. Thanks again to Frank Carpenter for bringing these letters to my attention. To any who haven't visited Shirley plantation, it's well worth a visit.

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