beyond what he could hope for by siding with the Confederates
, he went immediately to his friend, General Scott
, and told him all about it. The last interview between Scott
was a very affecting one.
The veteran begged Lee
to accept the offer of Mr. Lincoln
, and not to ‘throw away such brilliant prospects,’ and ‘make the great mistake of his life.’
expressed the highest respect for General Scott
and for his opinions, repeated what he had said to Mr. Blair
, that while he recognized no necessity for the state of things then existing, and would gladly liberate the slaves of the South
, if they were his, to avert the war, yet he could not take up arms against his native State, his home, his kindred, his children.
They parted with expressions of warmest mutual friendship, and General Lee
returned to Arlington
The night before his letter of resignation was written, he asked to be alone, and while his noble wife watched and prayed below he was heard pacing the floor of the chamber above, or pouring forth his soul in prayer for Divine guidance.
About three o'clock in the morning he came down, calm and composed, and said to his wife:
‘Well, Mary, the path of duty is now plain before me. I have decided on my course.
I will at once send my resignation to General Scott
Accordingly he penned the following letter: