In volume 1 of Freeman's biography, "R.E. Lee," Freeman writes about Robert E. Lee's relationship with Jefferson Davis when Lee was superintendent of West Point, and Davis was Secretary of War:
The incoming secretary was Jefferson Davis. From the very hour that Davis assumed office, reversals of the superintendent of the military academy virtually ceased. Himself a West Pointer, the secretary understood that discipline at the academy could be no stronger than the faith of the War Department in the discretion of the superintendent. Lee's troubles were accordingly reduced. On the foundation of old friendship, new confidence and respect between himself and Davis were built up so stoutly in two years that all the strains of the War between the States could not overthrow them.