April 20, 1865: Lee’s Final Report

Almost Chosen People

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Although he had no idea where the fugitive President of the Confederacy precisely was, Robert E. Lee on April 20, 1865 wrote his final report to Davis which contained a plea for peace instead of partisan warfare:

Robert E. Lee
to
Jefferson Davis

Richmond, Virginia
April 20, 1865

Mr. President

The apprehensions I expressed during the winter, of the moral [sic] condition of the Army of Northern Virginia, have been realized.   The operations which occurred while the troops were in the entrenchments in front of Richmond and Petersburg were not marked by the boldness and decision which formerly characterized them.   Except in particular instances, they were feeble; and a want of confidence seemed to possess officers and men.   This condition, I think, was produced by the state of feeling in the country, and the communications received by the men from their homes, urging their return and the abandonment of the field.  …

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