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‘ [79] questions; my chief concern is to try to be an humble, earnest Christian myself.’

An application of a Jewish soldier for permission to attend certain ceremonies of his synagogue in Richmond was endorsed by his captain: ‘Disapproved. If such applications were granted the whole army would turn Jews or Shaking Quakers.’ When the paper came to General Lee he endorsed on it: ‘Approved, and respectfully returned to Captain——, with the advice that he should always respect the religious views and feelings of others.’

The following letters, addressed to a prominent rabbi of Richmond (to whom I am indebted for copies), will serve to illustrate the broad charity of this model Christian:

Headquarters, Valley Mountain, August 29, 1861.
rabbi M. J. Michelbacher, Preacher Hebrew Congregation, House of Love, Richmond, Virginia:
Reverend Sir: I have just received your letter of the 23d inst., requesting that a furlough from the 2d to the 15th of September be granted to the soldiers of the Jewish persuasion in the Confederate States Army, that they may participate in the approaching holy service of the synagogue. It would give me great pleasure to comply with a request so earnestly urged by you, and which, I know, would be so highly appreciated by that class of soldiers. But the necessities of war admit of no relaxation of the efforts requisite for its success, nor can it be known on what day the presence of every man may be required. I feel assured that neither you nor any member of the Jewish Congregation would wish to jeopardize a cause you have so much at heart by the withdrawal even for a season of its defenders. I cannot, therefore, grant the general furlough you desire, but must leave it to individuals to make their own applications to their several commanders, in the hope that many will be able to enjoy the privilege you seek for them. Should any be deprived of the opportunity of offering up their prayers according to the rites of their church, I trust that their penitence may nevertheless be accepted by the Most High, and their petitions answered. That your prayers for the success and welfare of our cause may be answered by the Great Ruler of the Universe is my ardent wish.

I have the honor to be, with high esteem,

Your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee, General Commanding.

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