HEAD QUARTERS Anderson's Div. Stewart's Corps, A.T.
Near Hillsboro N.C. April 14, 1865
It has been rarely the case that I have recommended any one for position in the
service during the latter days of the war. White men are proverbially uncertain, but now
and then an individual case appears, exhibiting the highest qualities of manhood &
patriotism deserving to be distinguished above the common herd. I wish to bring to your
notice, just such a case. Lieut. J.B. Downing desires service with you. He can be relied
on, wherever you put him. As a scout, or on hazardous and important reconnaissance, he
is excellent. You may rely implicitly on what he reports. As a commander, he is as
brave as the bravest a fine disciplinarian, and excellent tactician. I ought to say too, he
is my nephew, or I could speak in still higher terms of his excellencies.
Wishing you continued success and a happy and honorable peace as the result of
your arduous labors for four years.
I am General
Yr. old friend
Remember me very kindly to Mrs. Forrest and Willie, also to Mrs. Montgomery and Miss
[Note in pencil in another hand]
Jessie Downing's mother was half sister of your uncle Patton, daughter by a former
marriage of his father's. Jessie was a fine soldier and we were very fond of him.
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.