This is an excerpt from a letter written by Robert E Lee to his wife on Christmas Day 1862.
""...I will commence this holy day by writing to you. My heart is filled
with gratitude to Almighty God for His unspeakable mercies with which
He has blessed us in this day, for those He has granted us from the
beginning of life, and particularly for those He has vouchsafed us
during the past year. What should have become of us without His
crowning help and protection? Oh, if our people would only recognise
it and cease from vain self-boasting and adulation, how strong would
be my belief in final success and happiness to our country! But what
a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends,
and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world;
to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbours, and
to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world! I pray that, on
this day when only peace and good-will are preached to mankind, better
thoughts may fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace."