Resignation of Robert E. Lee - Date: 4/20/1861
Arlington, Washington City P.O.
April 20, 1861
Since my interview with you on the 18th instant I have felt that I
ought not longer to retain my commission in the Army. I therefore
tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for
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 devoted
all the best years of my life & all the ability I possessed.
During the whole of that time, more than 30 years, I have
experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors, & the most
cordial friendship from my companions. To no one Genl have I been as
much indebted as to yourself for uniform 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 defence of my native State, I never desire again
to draw my sword.
Be pleased to accept my most earnest wishes for the continuance of
your happiness & prosperity & believe me most truly yours
R. E. Lee