My dear Mr. President:
The taking over of the railroads by the Government has naturally raised many unforeseen and intricate questions, and it seems clear to me that I ought now to give my whole time to the affairs of the Baltimore & Ohio Company. Further, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, because of its location, is one of the heavy coal carriers and also serves many of the industries engaged in the manufacture of materials necessary for the prosecution of the war, and in common with all other American railroads its operating organization has been considerably weakened during the last year because of the large number of officers and skilled employes who have gone to France and Russia.
With all this in mind it has seemed to me best that I should ask you to relieve me, at least temporarily, of the duties of Chairman of the War Industries Board in order that I may devote my whole time to the Baltimore and Ohio service. If I felt that my resignation would interfere with the usefulness of the Board, I should hesitate to make this request, but I am confident that there are many others much better qualified than I am to perform the duties of that important position.
I app reciate greatly the honors you have shown me and the confidence which you have placed in me, and I regret that it has seemed to me necessary to ask you to accept my resignation, but my sense of obligation to the Baltimore & Ohio Company, together with the very strong feeling which I have that under existing circumstances I can actually contribute more toward winning the war as President of that Company than in any other capacity, convinces me that I am taking the right course. While I feel that it is in the best interests of all that the change should be made as soon as possible, I shall of course expect to yield to your wishes and endeavor to meet your views.
I wish to assure you again of my undivided confidence and support, and of my willingness and desire to be of service. I earnestly hope that you may continue to have good health and strength to sustain the great responsibility that rests upon you.
Respectfully and sincerely yours,
Honorable Woodrow Wilson,
President, The United States of America,
The White House, Washington, DC