After the Mexican
war we met no more on duty until about 1858, when a board of cavalry officers was assembled in Washington
to establish a uniform equipage for our cavalry and artillery regiments.
We were occupied several weeks on this business in Winder
's building, where during the same time Captain William B. Franklin
and Raphel Semmes
were serving together on the light-house board.
One day after our daily session Franklin
said: Now that you have seen Lee
working together for some weeks, how do you estimate the two men?
In previous discussion I had thought Lee
more full of promise and capacity.
I said: While both are as earnest and intelligent as possible, I have noticed that Colonel Lee
often yields his opinions to those of the board or of other members of it, while Colonel Johnston
has never on any occasion yielded his, but frequently has made the board yield to him. In fact, he is the one man who seems to have come to his work with a clear and fixed idea of what is needed in every detail of it.