<br /> Lee Letter: w161

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Robert E. Lee
Recipient: Jerome N. Bonaparte

My dear Mr. Bonaparte

By the first mail after the reception of your letter of the 31st Ulti, 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 as necessary to be done, is to get the Secy to act upon your application. Perhaps there is delicacy felt in the 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 he does; as one has been taken from him for another branch of the Service, he could with propiety 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 could 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 probably has 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 him 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 this same disposition.

Lary spent but a single day with us, & was only one day behind Louis. He arrived the day L. left.

I am glad Mrs B. Has met Col Loring. I formed his acquaintance in Mexico, & thought him very gentlemanly in behavior. 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 another attack of erysipulas. Tell her that if she will come here, our mountain air & mountain fare, will soon eradicate everything of that kind. Bring her on in May. I shall not take otherwise, your message by Lary as any excuse for your promised visit in June. Further tell Mrs B. I think she 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. Innis are here. They arrived Friday & came Saturday evg to help us entertain some cadet friends – Mr & Mrs Sidney Brooks are to join them at our house this ev – & tomorrow we are to be honored with the compy of Sir James Alexander, & Col D’Urban of the British Army. You and Mrs B – ought to be here for them.

Mrs Lee joins me in the kindest regards to yourself Mrs B. Mrs A & Charlie. I wish this to go this morngs mail & must therefore close with remembrances to Mrs Emily

Very truly yours

R E Lee


R. E. Lee CollectionLeyburn Library

Transcription based on a facsimilein the Bonaparte Papers.