Author: Francis Preston Blair


Statement by Francis Preston Blair (April 14, 1871)

In this statement made on April 14, 1871, Francis Preston Blair, a former aide to President Abraham Lincoln, describes a conversation he had with Robert E. Lee in 1861, on behalf of Lincoln and Secretary of War Simon Cameron, about the possibility of Lee taking charge of the U.S. Army. Blair’s report and Lee’s response, contained in a later letter, are all contained in a footnote of volume 3 of History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 by James Ford Rhodes (1895). Lee’s letter first appeared in Memoirs of Robert E. Lee by A. L. Long (1886).