“I am sure I need scarcely tell you with what keen interest I have read all the accounts from your continent of the proceedings in Congress and elsewhere in connection with the reconstruction of the South. I do sincerely trust it may be eventually effected in a way satisfactory to the South, and I most deeply deplore the steps taken by the Radical side of the House to set the two (North and South) by the ears again. President Johnson’s policy seems to me to be that which, if pursued, would be most likely to contribute to the consolidation of the country; but I am both surprised and pained to find how little power the Executive has against so strong a faction as the Radicals, who, while they claim to represent the North, do, in fact, but misrepresent the country. I am sure you will believe that I say with sincerity that I always take great interest in anything I hear said or that I read of yourself, and I am happy to say that, even with all the rancour of the Northern Radicals against the South, it is little they find of ill to say of you.
“Hoping you will not think I am doing wrong in the course I propose to take, and that your answer may be satisfactory, I remain, my dear General Lee,
“Yours very sincerely, HERBERT C. SAUNDERS.
“GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE.”
“LEXINGTON, Virginia, August 22, 1866.
“MR. HERBERT C. SAUNDERS,
“3 Bolton Gardens,
“South Kensington, London, England.