"Lexington, VA., August 5, 1869.
Dear Sir--Absence from Lexington has prevented my receiving until to-day
your letter of the 26th ult., inclosing an invitation from the Gettysburg Battle-field Memorial Association,
to attend a meeting of the officers engaged in that battle at Gettysburg, for the purpose of marking upon the
ground by enduring memorials of granite the positions and movements of the armies on the field. My engagements
will not permit me to be present. I believe if there, I could not add anything material to the information existing
on the subject. I think it wiser, moreover, not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those
nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered. Very
Your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee."