3rd April 1876
Mrs. Patton Anderson
My dear Madam,
Your esteemed letter of the 25th ult. reached me yesterday and I hasten to reply,
that you may act promptly, should you conclude to do so at all.
It is a complicated question but easily solved, in my mind, if we react to first
principles. It was not the government which government which we opposed, but the
administration of it. So it is now defeated in our object we must remain as an integral
part of the government and pay the taxes imposed. We pay our share to support the the
school at West Point, and are asking and receiving no favor, at the hand of our enemies,
when we accept our part of the benefits. In this sentiment, I am confident your noble
husband would have agreed with me.
But a more difficult question arises which your son alone can answer. Could he,
with his high true and southern principles principles his father's son must possess so
restrain and control himself as to peacefully tread the difficult path he would have to
travel? He would find but few, if any, congenial spirits, and many, probably, to irritate
and exasperate him. His life must then be one of constant trouble or partial isolation. If
he can make up his mind to the latter, then I see no reason against acceptance. It will be a
severe ordeal, but I have too much faith in the blood of Patton Anderson to doubt its
successful passage by his son, should he deliberately decide to try it May God, in His
mercy, give him strength for the struggle.
It gives me great pleasure to know your children are proving worthy of their
father my best, truest, and noblest friend. I shall regard it a great favor for you to keep
my name green & fresh in their memory.
Mrs. Bragg has been some weeks with her mother in Louisiana. With affectionate
regards to yourself and children.
Faithfully yr. friend,
Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.