May 15th 1865
I avail myself of the first opportunity which has presented itself since our recent crisis, to say that my confidence in you as a a [sic] gentleman, a christian, and an unrivalled military leader is unshaken. You have done all, that could be done, by one man to uphold our cause, and its failure is chargeable to others, not to you.
If when the struggle commenced, we could have convinced the leading men, and the administrations, that the war, would be a long and bloody one, and most fiercely contested, I feel persuaded, the result would have been different. All however is now over, and it’s useless to complain of the past.
We have no mails, and are therefore in utter ignorance of all, that is going on around us. A friend from Richmond informs me, that you are in good health, and treated with great respect and consideration, by the enemy. This I was much gratified to hear. I trust that health, happiness and prosperity may attend you, through life.
We are well, and my wife and family desire to be most kindly remembered to you and your family. Remember me to them also.
Your friends as ever,
Source: Robert E. Lee Headquarters Papers, Folder 29, Mss3 L 515a, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 7