ter I cannot err in wishing and praying for peace. Our great national questions cannot be settled except in time of peace. Oh, may that peace come now, at the beginning, instead of the end of a fearful conflict.
So praying, I am sure of your sympathy, and subscribe myself,
Most sincerely, your friend,
C. F. Lee, Esq.
Richmond, 25 April, 1861.
My Dear Cassius—I have received your letter of 23d. I am sorry your nephew has left his college and become a soldier. It is necessary that the persons on my staff should have a knowledge of their duties, and an experience of the wants of the service, to enable me to attend to other matters. It would otherwise give me great pleasure to take your nephew. I shall remember him if anything can be done. I am much obliged to you for Dr. May's letter. Express to him my gratitude for his sentiments, and tell him that no earthly act would give me so much pleasure as to restore peace to my country. But I fear it is now out of the power of man, and in God alone must be our trust. I think our policy should be purely on the defensive. To resist aggression, and allow time to allay the passions and reason to resume her sway. Virginia has to-day, I understand, joined the Confederate States. Her policy will doubtless therefore be shaped by united counsels. I cannot say what it will be, but trust that a merciful Providence will not dash us from the height to which his smiles had raised us. I wanted to say many things to you before I left home, but the event was rendered so imperatively speedy that I could not.
May God preserve you and yours.
R. E. Lee.