My dear Colonel
I am desirous that the bravery of the Army of N. Va shall be correctly transmitted to posterity. This is the only tribute that can be paid to the worth of its noble officers & soldiers, & I am anxious to collect the necessary data for the history of the campaigns in Vrga from the commencement of its organization to its final surrender. I am particularly anxious that its actual strength in the different battles it has fought, be correctly stated. You know all its official returns, records, etc from the time of my connection with it have been lost or destroyed. As you prepared the bimonthly returns for so long, & listed their accuracy, I have thought its gradual changes may have been impressed upon your memory & that you might state with some confidence its effective strength at each of the great battles it has fought, in Inft Cavy & Arty. You may also have some memoranda within your reach that would assist your memory. Please give me at least the benefit of your recollection.
I have been grreatly pleased at hearing that you have been elected to the office of Registrar of your native city, which has been stated to me to be one of importance, & profit. I know you will fill it worthily & satisfactorily.
Please present my kindest regards to your mother wife sisters & brothers, in which I know I would be joined by all the members of my family did they know I was writing.
P.S. Please direct to the care of James K. Caskie
Clay & 11 Sts Richmd VA
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2015 October 16