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Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 6: the campaign in West Virginia. (search)
nces, might have proved successful. Military operations are often like a vast piece of machinery: with one part out of gear, the successful operation of the whole machine is not possible. In a letter to Mrs. Lee, dated Valley Mountain, September 17, 1861, the general writes: I had hoped to have surprised the enemy's works on the morning of the 12th, both at Cheat Mountain and on Valley River. All the attacking parties with great labor had reached their destination over mountains consideredto eat from this same old tinware with which he commenced the war in West Virginia. It is not known that General Lee ever attempted in any way to make explanation or defense of these attacks. In a private letter to Governor Letcher, dated September 17, 1861, he simply states that he was sanguine of success in attacking the enemy's works on Rich Mountain ; that the troops intended for the surprise had reached their destination, having traversed twenty miles of steep and rugged mountain paths, a