Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Chapter II: The Confederate General: Chosen to command Virginia forces

The Document

My father reached Richmond April 22, 1861. The next day he was introduced to the Virginia Convention, and offered by them the command of the military forces of his State. In his reply to Mr. John Janney, the President, who spoke for the Convention, he said:

"Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: Deeply impressed with the solemnity of the occasion on which I appear before you, and profoundly grateful for the honour conferred upon me, I accept the position your partiality has assigned me, though I would greatly have preferred your choice should have fallen on one more capable.

"Trusting to Almighty God, an approving conscience, and the aid of my fellow citizens, I will devote myself to the defense and service of my native State, in whose behalf alone would I have ever drawn my sword."

Next: Anxiety about his wife, family, and possessions

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How to cite this article

Lee, Robert E. jr., The Recollections & Letters of Robert E. Lee, http://www.historyofwar.org/sources/acw/lee_letters/chapter02d.html, webpage created by Rickard, J (8 June 2006),

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