<br /> Lee Letter: n478

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Baron de Knobelauch

Sir,1

I am much concerned that the state of my health prevented me from seeing
you when you did me the honor of calling at my lodgings, and my concern
is very greatly increased by knowing that it is absolutely out of my
power to promote your views (as you have expressed them in your favor
of the 15 instant).2If Sir my powers were
equal to my wishes which are founded on the conviction I have of your
merit, most certainly you would be gratified in your desires. But I
should think myself much to blame if I encouraged hopes where I was
convinced that none can be entertained. The state of the army, the
opinion of Congress on such cases, and the fact being that there are
many more Officers of all ranks than Men to be commanded, will I fear
render it impossible for you to succeed. Your situation affects me
greatly, but how to better it, is a difficulty that I know not in which
way to remove.

I have the honor to be with real esteem and regard Sir your most
obedient and very humble servant,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Lee Family PapersUniversity of Virginia Archives

Printed in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 2, 1779 – 1794, pp. 40 – 41. Printed also in the April 1860 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger, 269. This letter was drafted on the back of de Knobelauch’s letter to Lee of 15 March.

1 For Knobelauch’s efforts to secure a Continental commission, see these
Letters,10:442n.5; and John Jay to Knobelauch, 29 August 1779.

2 Knobelauch’s letter to Lee of 15 March is in the Lee Papers, University of Virginia Archives.