West Point [New York] 11 April 1853
My dear Mr Bonaparte
By the first mail after the reception of your letter of the 31st Ulto. I wrote to Genl Smith at Phila. according to your desire: & have delayed replying to you, in the hope of recg from him an answer. I have not yet heard from him, & conclude that my letter has either not reached him, or that he did not think it called for an immediate reply. The only thing that I see now necessary to be done, is to get the Secy to act upon your application. Perhaps there is some delicacy felt in transferring an officer from one Corps to another, in the absence of an application from himself, or some exigency of the Pub. Service. But if Col: Craig wants more officers, as I understand from your letter he does; as one has been taken from him for another branch of the Service, he could with propriety apply for another to fill his place, & either name Jerome, or let the nomination be made according to the recommendation of the A— Board. In that way Jeromes claims would be brought up.
I think some fine day you had better run down to Washington, just to see how the wind blows. I will write to some friend to recall the matter to the Secy, who has probably overlooked it, in the multiplicity of affairs requiring his attention. An application from Jerome would bring it up at once.
Louis passed some days with us on his way west. I have never seen him look better, or more cheerful & happy. He was much pleased at seeing his old Comrades, & I was particularly pleased to find at dinner, that he invariably refused to take wine, & even with his classmates at parting. I commended his act at the time & hope he may always continue in the same disposition.
Lacy spent but a single day with us, & was only one day behind Louis. He having arrived the day L. left.
I am glad Mrs B. has met with Col Loring. I formed his acquaintance in Mexico, & thoguht him very gentlemanly in behaviour. His service was new to him, but his deportment & conduct good. I am sorry to hear his health is so bad.
I am very sorry to hear that Mrs B. has suffered from another attack of erysipelas. Tell her if she will come on here, our mountain air & mountain fare, will soon eradicate every thing of that kind. Bring her on in May. I shall not take otherwise, your message by Lacy as any excuse for your promised visit in June: Indeed tell Mrs B— I think she had better not go to the White Sulphur again, but had better come & stay with me. I recd last week a letter from the Commander, at the Cape of Good hope, who sent his particular regards to “Madame B. & Lady E.”
Mrs. Taylor & Captn & Mrs Jones are here. They arrived friday & came Saturday evg. to help us entertain some of our Cadet friends—Mr & Mrs Sidney Brooks are to join them at our house this ev— & tomorrow we are to be honoured with the Compy of Sir James Alexander, & col D’Urban of the British Army. You & Mrs. B— ought to be here for them.
Mrs Lee joins me in kindest regards to yourself Mrs B. Mrs W & Charlie. I wish this to go by the morngs mail & must therefore close with our remembrances to Mrs Emily Very truly yours
R E Lee
Source: Bonaparte Papers Maryland Historical Society, printed in William D. Hoyt, Jr., ed., “Some Personal Letters of Robert E. Lee, 1850–1858,” Journal of Southern History, 12 (November 1946), 563–64.
Uploaded by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 23