February 12, 1863
I am sorry to hear of your mother's suffering. I wish I could relieve her. I am also sorry to hear of the President's being unwell. I fear it will be a serious interruption to his business. As far as I can judge at this distance, the proper authorities in Richmond take the necessities of the Army generally very easy.
I hope there will be no cause to repent. But now every exertion should be made to put the Army everywhere on the strongest footing for vigorous work in the spring. Our salvation will depend on the next four months, and yet I cannot even get regular promotions made to fill vacancies in regiments, while Congress seems to be laboring to pass laws to get easy places for some favorites or constituent, or get others out of active service.
I shall feel very much obliged to them if they will pass a law relieving me from all duty and legislating some one in my place, better able to do it.
SOURCE: John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 226