War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 1032 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

December 30, 1864.

JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President, &c.:

MY DEAR SIR: The fact stated in the inclosed note may serv to answer inquiries as to the object of my visit, which, if allowed by you, I would not communicate fully to anyone bur yourself. The main purpose I have in seeing you is to explain the views I entertain in reference to the state of affairs of our country and to submit to your consideration ideas which, in my opinion, you may turn to good account and possibly bring to practical results that may not only repair all the ruin the war has brought upon the Nation, but contribute to promote the welfare of other nations that have suffered from it.

In candor I must say to you in advance that I come to you wholly unaccredited except in so far as I may be by having permission to pass our lines and offer to you my own suggestions-suggestions which I have submitted to no one in authority on this side of the lines and will not without my conversation with you may lead me to suppose they may result in something practicable. With the hope of such results, if allowed, I will confidentially unburden my heart frankly and without reserve. You will on your part, of course, hold in reserve all that is not proper to be said to one coming, as I do, merely as a private citizen and addressing one clothed with the highest responsibility.

Unless the great interests now at stake induce you to attribute more importance to my application than it would otherwise command, I could not expect that you would invite the intrusion. I venture, however, to submit the matter to your judgment.*

Yours, obediently,

F. P. BLAIR.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

December 30, 1864.

JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President, &c.:

MY DEAR SIR: The loss of some papers of importance (title papers) which I suppose may have been taken by some persons who had access to my house when General Early's army were in possession of my place induces me to ask the privilege of visiting Richmond and beg the favor of you to facilitate my inquiries in regard to them.

Yours, obediently,

F. P. BLAIR.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 31, 1864.

Secretary of War, for consideration.

If permission be given, it should be guarded by strict parole.

J. D.

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*For subsequent correspondence on this subject see Series I, Vol. XLVI, Part II, pp. 505-513.

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