<br /> Lee Letter: wl045

Washington and Lee University

Sender: A. C. Niven
Recipient: Robert E.Lee

My dear Sir

You are doubtless aware that the Federal Congress, before the close of the war appointed a Committee on the conduct of the war whose labors are published in several volumes (three I think. Much of what they have published, is unquestionably a one-sided affair, as a grand object was to feed the prejudices of anti-southern men.

In view of the work, which, we understand you are preparing in regard to the war, I have thought it might be important for you to possess these volumes. I therefore wrote to the Hon: Mr Winfield who represents this district to ascertain if he could procure these volumes for me, and if so, whether he would forward them to my address at Lexington, Va. I explained to him that they were for you, but for prudential reasons, personal to himself, he might not be very willing just now, to frank them to you. I received his letter in reply, by last mail, stating that but a small edition was published; but he had the promise from the person having charge of documents, of a set. and would forward them as I requested.

Should they reach Lexington, will you see that they are taken from the Post Office, and if you possess the volumes already; these may be placed in the Library of the College. They will be directed to me, and, of course, the Postmaster at your place will have no knowledge upon the subject; except as you may say to him that you are authorized to receive them –

I am watching with intense interest the blood-thirsty movements of radicalism: The vindictiveness which has arrested Col Moseby, Admiral Semmes etc and which clamors for a military commission to try Mr. Davis; does not, I am sure, meet with general approbation. If I could be convinced that the people at the North, generally approved of such a course, I would strike my tent and go into winter quarters south of Mason & Dixon’s line at once –

My daughter as to be remembered – Our feelings are so intensely southern, especially since our visit, that we shall be strongly inclined to repeat it, should a kind providence spare our lives. With sentiments of unaffected regard I am

Yr friend

A. C. Niven

P.S. I perceive by a paragraph in the papers that the survivors of the Stonewall Brigade propose to erect a monument to his memory – when the scheme is fully matured, I desire to contribute my mite in gold toward a laudable purpose –


Robert E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library, Washington and Lee University

Endorsed by Lee: “Mr Niven.”