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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 3. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Address on the character of General R. E. Lee, delivered in Richmond on Wednesday, January 19th, 1876, the anniversary of General Lee's birth (search)
half the guns of our train the spoil of the enemy, who bore upon our flags the blazon of consistent victory. If he and we confided in our daring and trusted to downright fighting for what strategy might have safely won, who shall blame us and which shall blame the other? It was a fault, if fault there were, such as in a soldier leans to virtue's side; it was the fault of Marlbrook at Malplaquet, of Great Frederic at Torgau, of Napoleon at Borodino. It is the famous fault of the column of Fontenoy, and the generous haste that led Hampden to his death. Lee chose no defensive of his own will. None knew better than he that axiom of the military art which finds the logical end of defence in surrender. None knew better than he that Fabius had never earned his fame by the policy some attribute to him, nor saved his country by retreats, however regular, or the skill, however great, to choose positions only to abandon them. The defensive was not his chosen field, but he was fated to co