From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/23/1861, p. 1
Col. Robert E. Lee, said by General Scott to be the best engineer officer in the United States Army, and to whom is due the brilliant result of the operations conducted by the American Army in the Valley of Mexico, during the war with that country, having resigned his office in the late United States Army, has returned to the bosom of his native State to offer to her, in this, her time of need, the homage of his unquestioned talent and genius. He arrived yesterday evening via the Central road from Gordonsville, and all along the route was cheered on his return. At the cars in this city his greeting was warm and enthusiastic. He was met by Judge John Robertson, Adjutant General Richardson, and other friends, and escorted to the Spotswood Hotel. Here there was an immense crowd of citizens congregated anxious to pay their respects, and after a brief retirement, he had to respond to their urgent entreaties by an appearance and a few remarks, in which he pledged himself to the performance of his duty and his whole duty to the land of his birth. Col. Lee's presence acted with magic influence on the citizens, who feel that in him they have secured indeed a prize of no ordinary magnitude. Col. Lee will no doubt be tendered a high command in the Virginia army. He is equal to any station that he could be called to.