The spirit of 1861--correspondence of General R. E. Lee.
[The following hitherto unpublished letters are of interest and value as Illustrating the spirit of the early days of the war.]
Alexandria, April 23, 1861.
My Dear Robert — The enclosed letter was written to me, as you will see, in consequence of a remark I made to Dr. Sparrow, which he repeated to the writer, Dr. May, that I hoped your connection with the Virginia forces — if you concluded to accept the command — might lea the passions and reason to resume her sway.
Virginia has to-day, I understand, joined the Confederate States.
Her policy will doubtless therefore be shaped by united counsels.
I cannot say what it will be, but trust that a merciful Providence will not dash us from the height to which his smiles had raised us. I wanted to say many things to you before I left home, but the event was rendered so imperatively speedy that I could not.
May God preserve you and yours.
Very truly, R. E. Lee