• The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia
  • The Lees of Virginia

The Lee Family Digital Archive is the largest online source for primary source materials concerning the Lee family of Virginia. It contains published and unpublished items, some well known to historians, others that are rare or have never before been put online. We are always looking for new letters, diaries, and books to add to our website. Do you have a rare item that you would like to donate or share with us? If so, please contact our editor, Colin Woodward, at  (804) 493-1940, about how you can contribute to this historic project.



Confidential.                                                                             House of Representatives,

January 21, 1864 [1865]

His Excellency President Davis:

            My Dear Sir: I apprehended that in my interview with you yesterday I omitted to state with sufficient distinctness one important reason for the recent movement of the Virginia delegation.

            There has been some discussion among the members of Congress in relation to the propriety of declaring by resolution that the country wants confidence in the cabinet as an administration. If such a resolution should be offered, and it is, I assure you, by no means improbable, we are satisfied that it will pass the House of Representatives by a vote of at least three-fourths of the members present. It was to prevent so distinct an issue between the executive and the legislative branches of the Government, and to save you from a position so unpleasant as that would necessarily be, that your friends of the Virginia delegation thought it proper, as your friends, to advise you to anticipate that movement.

            We hear daily of a rapid change for the worse in the public sentiment of the country, not only in other States, but here in our loved and honored Virginia. I am deeply pained to make the announcement, but it is necessary now that we should all stand face to face [sic] which surround us. I feel altogether sure that something must be done, and that promptly, to restore confidence and revive the hopes, or else we may look for the worst result.

            Assuring you again of the kindest regards of those with whom and for whom I act,

                        I remain, very sincerely, yours,

Thomas S. Bocock




            Thomas S. Bocock, about the advice volunteered to Executive by himself and other, and changing somewhat the position taken in conversation. It now is a warning, if not a threat.

Jefferson Davis


Richmond, Va., January 21, 1865

General R. E. Lee, Petersburg, Va., :

            If the circumstances permit I would be glad to have a personal interview with you.

Jefferson Davis







Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 46, Part 2, p. 1118

Transcribed by Daniel Shevalier, 2018 June 21

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