Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Chapter XXIII: A Round of Visits: To General Cooper

The Document

This letter to General Cooper (Adjutant General of the Confederate States Army), written at this time, explains itself, and is one of many witnesses of my father's delicate consideration for old soldiers in distress:

"Lexington, Virginia, August 4, 1870.

"General S. Cooper, Alexandria, Virginia.

"My Dear General: Impressed, with all the people of the South, with your merits and services, I haev with them admired your manly efforts to support your family, and have regretted that more remunerative occupation, better suited to your capacities and former habits, had not presented itself. This has been a subject of conversation with some of us here, and when in Savannah last spring I presented it to General Lawton, Colonel Cole, and others, and suggested that efforts be made to raise a sum for the relief of any pressing necessity. The idea was cordially adopted, and it was hoped that an amount would be contributed that would enable you to receive some relaxation. I have received a letter from General Lawton regretting the smallness of the sum collected, $300, and explaining the delay that had occurred, the general poverty of the people, the many calls upon them, and the disposition to procrastinate when facts are not known to them personally. To this sum I have only been able to add $100, but I hope it may enable you to supply some immediate want and prevent you from taxing your strength too much. You must also pardon me for my moving in this matter, and for the foregoing explanation, which I feel obliged to make that you might understand the subject.

"With my best wishes for your health and happiness and for the useful prolongation of your honourable life, I am, with true regard,

"Your friend and servant,

"R. E. Lee."

Next: To Mrs. Lee from the Hot Springs

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How to cite this article

Lee, Robert E. jr., The Recollections & Letters of Robert E. Lee,, webpage created by Rickard, J (8 June 2006),

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