Joseph R. Anderson Amnesty File, M1003, National Archives
Richmond, July 15th, 1865
Messrs Dilworth Porter, &c.
Your esteemed favor of 12th inst is to hand this morning.
I was commissioned Brig. General in the Confederate Army in September 1861 and resigned my commission on the 15th July 1862. I made a full statement to the President of my whole connection with the war from beginning to the end – substantially what I have stated to you in conversation. Whilst it is proper to say that I was originally opposed to secession and thought all differences between north and south ought to have been settled amicably within the Union, yet no matter what the responsibility, I would consider it dishonorable to ignore the fact that I went with my State, sympathized in the cause of the South, and aided it to the extent of my ability.
I sent forward when the United States resumed its authority here and [page break] informed the authorities that I desired to resume my allegiance, and concludeed that a pardon was promised to me and all other Virginians by Mr. Lincoln when he came here, “for the asking.” Accordingly, I went forward and took the oath of Amnesty as prescribed by him. I am advised by Eminent Counsel that I have full Amnesty under Mr. Lincoln’s proclamation, but to silence all doubt and enable me to do business I concluded to appeal to President Johnson for special Pardon. I rest my application on his clemency inasmuch as I accept the issues of the war, have no enmities towards a single human being and desire simply to pursue my own business quietly, doing what I can to build up our broken down section, (in which I conceive the whole Union is interested) and to restore cordial and fraternal relations between north and south. If it pleases the President to grant my application I shall be very thankful to him and to all who have said a kind work for me.
The marshall is now attacking our property and informs us that the question of confiscation is to be settled at the next [page break] session of the court. A large part of my property situated in Maryland, has already been condemned, which together with the loss of my Houses and large losses by the Confederate Government, leaves me in a shattered condition. Nevertheless with a strong Constitution and a will not accustomed to succumb to trifling obstacles, I should feel no lack of confidence in the future of myself, or the people of this state if we could be released of our disability.
With sentiments of esteem, Gentlemen, and sincere thanks for the friendship you have shown me in time of trouble,
I remain faithfully yours,
Joseph R. Anderson
My friends who have talked with the Attorney General inform me that the fact of my having been at West Point delays my case. I left there twenty nine years ago, and have been a private citizen nearly twenty eight years &c. I hope the President will give me the benefit of the act of limitation. The other parties in this state engaged in making implements of war for the Confederate Government – except my partners in business – have been already pardoned viz. F. B. Deane Jr & Son of Lynchburg – Asa Snyder and [page break] others of this City – besides our largest millers and capitalists, who had most business with the Confederate Government. The military no longer assume control of the Tredegar Works – but as intimated above I am informed by the Marshall that the question of confiscation is to be settled by the District Court at its next session unless the President shall be so kind as to relieve me by pardon.
J. R. A.