Robert E. Lee - A Digital History Collection. This collection is specially designed to provide sources for any person interested in the life and career of Robert E. Lee, including re-enactors, roundtable members, writers, historians, university libraries, historical societies, researchers, and Civil War publishers.                                               Open the guide to the collection>>

Letter from Robert E. Lee to Winfield Scott, written two days after his meeting with Francis Blair where he refused command of the Union Army. In this letter Lee explains his reasoning behind his resignation from the U.S. Armed Forces.

   Arlington, Washington City, P.O
   20 Apr 1861
   Lt. Genl Winfield Scott
   Commd U.S. Army

   Genl, Since my interview with you on the 18th Inst: I have felt that I ought not longer to retain any Commission in the Army. I therefore tender my resignation which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once but for the struggle it has Cost me to separate myself from a Service to which I have divoted all the best years of my life, & all the ability I possessed. During the whole of that time, more than a quarter of a century, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors & the most Cordial friendships from any Comrades. To no one Genl have I been as much indebted as to yourself for kindness & Consideration & it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation. I shall carry with me, to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind Consideration, & your name & fame will always be dear to me. Save in the defense of my native state shall I ever again draw my sword. Be pleased to accept any more [illegible] wishes for "the Continuance of your happiness & prosperity & believe me

   Most truly yours

   R E Lee

Newspaper samples: This collection contains 640+ newspapers of the time covering 1853 to 1922. Relive the life and career of Robert E. Lee through the correspondents covering before, during and after the Civil War. These are full newspaper sheets, not clipped articles. There is a lot of Civil War History to explore. Click on the samples below.

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Book samples: This collection contains 220+ books in PDF format. In each book, all  pages have been renumbered to match the table of contents to its respective pages.

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