"My Dear Doctor: I have just received your letter of the 4th inviting me to accompany you across the Atlantic, and I return you my cordial thanks for your kind solicitation for my health and comfort. There is no one whom I would prefer to have as a companion on the voyage, nor is there one, I am sure, who would take better care of me. But I cannot impose myself upon you. I have given you sufficient trouble already, and you must cure me on this side of the Atlantic. If you are the man I take you for, you will do so. You must present my warmest thanks to your wife for her remembrance of me and her kind offer of the hospitalities of her house. Should I ever be able to visit Europe I shall certainly accept them, but I hope she will soon return to this country and that you will bring her up to the mountains to us. We are all peaceable here now and she will find that we are not as bad as we have been reported to be, and every one will extend to her a hearty welcome, whereas Europe is now convulsed with the horrors of war or the agony of its expectancy, and I fear for a season is destined to feel the greatest calamity that can befall a people. I am pursuing your directions and hope that I am deriving benefit from them. I have made my arrangements to visit the Hot Springs, Virginia, on Monday next, as you recommended, and trust I may find relief from them. My rheumatic pains continue, but have diminished, and that in my shoulder, I think, has lessened under the application of the blister. I shall endeavour to be well by the fall. The letter you inclosed to me was from Mrs. Smith on the Hudson--and not from Mr. Henry White, as you supposed. Good-bye, my dear doctor; may you have a prosperous voyage and find your family all well on your arrival, and may your own health be entirely restored. My family unite with me in every kind wish, and I am most truly,
This letter to General Cooper (Adjutant General of the Confederate States Army), written at this time, explains itself, and is one of many witnesses of my father's delicate consideration for old soldiers in distress:
"Lexington, Virginia, August 4, 1870.
"General S. Cooper, Alexandria, Virginia.
"My Dear General: Impressed, with all the people of the South, with your merits and services, I haev with them admired your manly efforts to support your family, and have regretted that more remunerative occupation, better suited to your capacities and former habits, had not presented itself. This has been a subject of conversation with some of us here, and when in Savannah last spring I presented it to General Lawton, Colonel Cole, and others, and suggested that efforts be made to raise a sum for the relief of any pressing necessity. The idea was cordially adopted, and it was hoped that an amount would be contributed that would enable you to receive some relaxation. I have received a letter from General Lawton regretting the smallness of the sum collected, $300, and explaining the delay that had occurred, the general poverty of the people, the many calls upon them, and the disposition to procrastinate when facts are not known to them personally. To this sum I have only been able to add $100, but I hope it may enable you to supply some immediate want and prevent you from taxing your strength too much. You must also pardon me for my moving in this matter, and for the foregoing explanation, which I feel obliged to make that you might understand the subject.
"With my best wishes for your health and happiness and for the useful prolongation of your honourable life, I am, with true regard,
He remained at Lexington only for a short time, as it was decided that he should go to the Hot Springs, Virginia, where he could try their famous waters for his rheumatism. On the day of his arrival he writes to my mother:
"Hot Springs, Bath County, Virginia, August 10, 1870.