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Camp Petersburg 4 July ‘64


My dear Genl

I recd today your letter of the 29 Ulto: & hasten to express my thanks for the care of the relics you so kindly undertook to guard. I must also express my gratitude to Mrs. S. & the trusty friend who acted in the matter. Unless inconvenient to you, I would prefer their remaining where they are than to bring them to Richmond.

I have grieved over the destruction of the Mil: Institute. But the good it has done to the country cannot be destroyed, nor can its name or fame perish. It will rise stronger than before, & continue to diffuse its benefits to a grateful people. Under your wise administration there will be no suspension of its usefulness. The difficulties by which it is surrounded will call forth greater energies from its officers & increased diligence from its pupils. Its prosperity I Consider certain.

With great regard, very truly yours

R E Lee




Source: Sarah Henderson Smith Papers, Mss1 Sm 653 a, p. 54, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 August 1