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[446] from him and forwarded to Richmond. Governor Anderson reached Washington in December, 1861, or January, 1862. Upon his arrival, General Scott sent for him, wishing to talk with him about the National condition and prospects, as well as about other matters and people in that department. After extended and various conversation, in which General Scott seemed with his usual delicacy to have avoided reference to any military comment or criticism of our campaigns or movements, Governor Anderson said to him:

General Scott, what about Colonel Lee?’

General Scott replied, ‘Sir, Robert E. Lee is, of his grade, the first soldier in Christendom.’

Governor Anderson then said, ‘General Scott, is it your habit at a distance of six or eight or ten years apart, in expressing the same thought, to use identically the same language?’

General Scott—‘If the same language should best express the same idea, why should I not? But what do you mean?’

Governor Anderson—‘I will swear, that when in 1854 I asked you about the qualifications of Major Robert E. Lee for Superintendent of West Point you used identically the same words that you have now used—viz., that of his grade, Lee was the first soldier in Christendom.’

‘Well,’ said General Scott, ‘I believed it then as I do now, and think it very likely that I did use the same language.’

He then proceeded to say that in the march from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico there was not an encampment nor a battle-field which had not been previously selected by Lee, then a Captain, and chief of engineers on the staff of General Scott; that not a battle in that campaign, had been fought, the day and place of which had not been previously announced by despatches to the Government at Washington, and that in every instance the announcement had been justified by the result in their due order; and this he attributed chiefly to the fact of having such a captain of Engineers.

General Scott then proceeded to detail an interview between Colonel Lee and himself, held a short time before the secession of Virginia, while the Convention of that State was in session. Colonel Lee, having called upon General Scott, opened the interview by saying:

General Scott, I have called upon you to say, what I deem it my duty to say to you as my superior officer and as my best friend’——

At this point, General Scott divining his purpose, and not wishing him to commit himself, said:

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