To James H. Van Alen

                                                  Executive Mansion,
My dear General                 Washington, August 3, 1863.

Your letter, without date, announcing your resignation, has been on my table some considerable time. I hope it may be a sufficient appology for not replying sooner, that it was not a business letter, requiring prompt attention; particularly as I am closely pressed with business matters. I am grateful for the Military service you have performed, which has been valuable to the country and honorable to yourself; and I regret the illness which has compelled you to discontinue it. I trust that illness, may speedily be superseded by renewed health, if, indeed, it has not already been. Since you wrote, as you anticipated, Port-Hudson has fallen. By that, and our other sucesses, I am greatly encouraged; still, we must not flag in our efforts, till the end shall be more clearly in view than it yet is Yours truly



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