Spottswood House

Richmond, Va., April 23, 1865



This afternoon I had the honor of calling at your residence to see you; but although I sent my card in to you, was refused admission. It was assigned to me as my mission from New York to see you. The particular objects of this interview may only be disclosed at such an interview. It is very far from my desire to be obtrusive, nor will I be so. If it is repugnant to your feelings to see me, I shall certainly not call. But, sympathizing deeply with you personally, and being perfectly familiar with the views of the paper which I represent towards you, I am confidant that your sense of justice and deference to popular views and the truth of history, will lead you to grant me this interview. Whatever may be said at that interview, or whatever may transpire, I assure you on the honor of a gentleman, shall be considered with the utmost confidence, and only used publicly with your fore assent.

If it shall please you to see me, I will thank you to appoint the time when I may call. An answer may be sent by bearer, or addressed to me at the Spottswood House.


I have the honor to be


With great respect,

Your obedient Servant

Thomas M. Cook

Special correspondent

New York Herald




Source: Robert E. Lee Headquarters Papers, Folder 29, Mss3 L 515a, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 February 7