n to the command of an infantry brigade (which General Lee declined to do, on the ground that he could not be spared from the artillery, and made him instead colonel of artillery, which is recognized as really a higher rank than brigadier of infantry), he thus wrote to his mother:
Now, my dear mother, you must not think that I am conceited, and that I rely on my own ability, if I get this position and take it. I would not accept the position, but I believe the maxim given me by General Dabney Maury to be the proper one for a soldier to follow: Never to seek promotion, and never to refuse it, but leave it to your superiors to judge of you. . . . . If I felt that it was from my own merit, I should be afraid to go again on the battle-field.
I hope sincerely that before I am promoted to that grade, if it is to be done, brother will be made major-general; for, otherwise, I shall not believe that they ever promote according to merit.
Do not be disappointed if General Lee refuses to