Letter from General A. L. Long, military Secretary to General R. E. Lee.
Pennsylvania and the battle of Gettysburg, I will notice in the order in which they are propounded; 1st. “It was a mistake to invade the Northern States at all, because it stirred up their military spirit. The best chance of the Confederacy was the pecuniary exhaustion of the North, and not the exhaustion of its resources in men. The invasion of the North was the deathblow to what has been called the ‘Copperhead’ party. It called under arms thousands of men who would never have enrolled otherwise, and who became experienced soldiers in 1864; and, moreover, it diminished for one or two years the resisting powers of the Confederate army.” Since there was never a deficiency of men in the Northern army, it may be justly inferred that the stimulant of our invasion was not needed to arouse the military spirit of the North. In regard to the Copperhead influence in the prosecution of the war, seems to adhere to the same fallacy that was entertained by many prominent Confederates at the commencement of hostilities, but which was speedily dissipated by subsequent events. The fruit of the first battle of Manassas was lost partly on account of the opinion that the capture of Washington and the invasion of Maryland would unite the political parties of the North and obliterate the hope of a speedy termination of the war; for it was soon demonstrated that the mortifying defeat of the Federal army at Manassas, July, 1861, as firmly united the political parties of the North as an invasion would have done. Again,---- seems oblivious of the fact that while there was a pecuniary diminution of one per cent. in the North there were ten in the South. ---- is mistaken in his opinion that the resisting power of the South was materially impaired by the invasion of Pennsylvania. This is clearly shown by the subsequent movements of the Army of Northern Virginia, for it will be remembered that on the retreat from Gettysburg the Federal army