From the 7 March 1886 issue of The New York Times.

JEFF. DAVIS TO A CLASSMATE>

From the Baltimore Sun, March 3.

The late Major Edward Watts, of Hagerstown, whose death was recently mentioned in the Sun, was a student at West Point with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who were both warm friends of his ever afterward. Major Watts, of Hagerstown, whose death was recently mentioned in the Sun, was a student at West Point with Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, who were both warm friends of his ever afterward. Major Watts was a strong supporter of the Union cause, but when Gen. Lee passed through Hagerstown at the head of the Confederate Army, moving toward Gettysburg, says the Hagerstown Mail, the recognition by Gen. Lee of his old friend was “affectionate and even boyish.” In June, 1883, Major Watts wrote to Jefferson Davis, and the latter replied on the 4th of July in a letter in which he says:

Memory brings to me many happy associations as I read your welcome letter, and long I dwell on the signature of a beloved classmate, now one of the few left on earth. Crafts J. Wright lives in Chicago. I saw him a year ago quite an invalid. Thomas F. Drayton resides in Charlotte, N.C.; I. J. Austin has a retreat in Newport, R.I., and, more fortunate than the others, has wealth to support it. Robert E. Cleary is on the retired list of the army, and free to go, like the wind, where he listeth. These and you and I are, so far as I know, alone left. Our paths in life have been far apart, but you have ever been near to my heart, and it gave me sincere gratification to receive your expressions of solicitude for the restoration of my health. The attack was severe and of a complicated type, but there remains no more than the consequent debility. I am living on the Gulf coast, quite near to the railroad which connects New-Orleans and Mobile, and about midway between those cities. It would give me great pleasure to receive you in this quiet home, where, though the war ruined me financially, I could give you shelter with a heart’s whole welcome. Crafts Wright came to see me two Winters ago, and he is the only one of our class I have seen for many years. It is sweet to renew the memories of schoolboy days, and, though the body has grown old, the heart may still preserve the freshness of the happy days when all was colored by hope, and, like butterflies, we looked for flowers without the knowledge of thorns. I am glad to learn that you are yet able to continue your professional labors, and trust the day is far distant when you shall be put on the list of the exempts. Postponing the many things I would like to commune with you about until we meet, or until with more strength I may write to you again, and wishing for my dear Ned all the good things and all the happiness possible in this life. I am, as ever, affectionately yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.