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[98] engineer officer. I mention these facts only that you may form an idea of my personal opportunities of observation and information.

And now as to the questions of----in their order:

First. Was the invasion a mistake? The proof of the pudding is the eating, and that test has certainly condemned it. I must also say frankly that my recollection is, that while the whole army went across the Potomac in the highest spirits, they were due more to confidence in General Lee than to an entire accordance of all of the prominent officers in the wisdom of the invasion. I remember conversations on the matter while on the march with one of the most gallant major-generals of the army-General Hood--in which he suggested all of the very grave considerations against it which are so forcibly put by---- . General Longstreet has also stated to me since (although during the campaign I do not remember a word or sign from him indicating any doubt in its success) that he urged similar considerations, very earnestly, upon General Lee, when the campaign was being discussed, and was only persuaded out of them by the understanding that we were not to deliver an offensive battle, but to so manoeuvre that Meade would be forced to attack us. Remember, in this connection, one of Stonewall Jackson's last speeches: “Our men sometimes fail to drive the enemy out of their positions, but they always fail to drive us.” Such a confidence on General Lee's part would probably not have been misplaced, for he carried the best and largest army into Pennsylvania that he ever had in hand. The morale and spirit of the men was simply superb, as shown by the fight they made and the orderly and successful retreat after the battle. General Lee, in his report, has given the reasons which led him to plan the invasion. Whether he then fully appreciated all of the objections to it which can now be pointed out I do not know, but, even if he did, I can imagine his confidence in defeating the enemy in a decisive battle, by forcing them to attack us, as so great, and as based on such reasonable grounds, as to fully justify the movement. For it must be remembered that there were great objections to be found to his standing still and allowing the enemy to take the initiative.

Second question. I fully agree as to the necessity to General Lee of defeating the Federal army, and perhaps that army would fight better on its own soil than in Virginia, and would, therefore, be


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