Voice from the Past: The Hardest Calamities to Bear

Among the calamities of war, the hardest to bear, perhaps, is the separation of families and friends. Yet all must be endured to accomplish our independence and maintain our self-government. In my absence from you I have thought of you very often, and regretted I could do nothing for your comfort.

– Robert E. Lee, writing from Coosawhatchie, South Carolina on December 25, 1861 –

Source: Robert Edward Lee, “Letter from Robert E. Lee, December 25, 1861,” in Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee, Soldier and Man edited by J. William Jones (Washington, DC: Neale Publishing Company, 1906).

Image Credit: Harper’s Weekly, January 3, 1863.

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