less fully discussed in my article on Gettysburg in the Southern Review, April, 1868. The views therein expressed as to the motives, policy, conduct and results of that campaign, I have reason to know agreed substantially with those of General Lee. I have procured a copy of the Review, corrected the errors and missprints, and sent it to---, through the address in Philadelphia you gave me. I will add a few notes here: 1st. ---- thinks it was “a mistake to invade the Northern States at all” in 1863. There were undoubted evils in such a course as --- clearly states, but he leaves out of view the fact that only a “choice of evils” existed for an army greatly inferior in numbers and resources in the presence of a powerful adversary — an adversary severely checked, it is true, at Chancellorsville, but with ample means of quickly repairing his losses, with absolute command of the water, and the consequent power to penetrate Virginia in half a dozen places whenever he chose to do so. It was impossible to attack Hooker at Fredericksburg, when he was only 10 or 12 miles from his base on the water. As Lee moved northward Hooker kept his forces in front of Washington, and so near it as to offer no opportunity to his antagonist. It was only after Lee had crossed the Potomac and excited apprehension in regard to one or more of the large Northern cities that he could get the Federal army far enough away from its base, or from fortified lines, to attack it. His march diverted their campaign from a movement against Richmond to the defence of Washington, and at the same time brought him within reach of ample supplies. But suppose Lee had remained at Fredericksburg on the strict defensive. This was to lose the results of the advantages gained at Chancellorsville. It was to yield a large part of the best grain producing portions of Virginia to the enemy. In a few weeks the Federal army would have been ready to move against him. His position could be easily turned because of the Federal command of the water. It was possible for the Federal army at any time to establish itself by
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Battle of Kelleysville , March 17th , 1863 -Reports of Generals J. E. B. Stuart and Fitz. Lee .
Causes of the defeat of Gen. Lee 's Army at the battle of Gettysburg -opinions of leading Confederate soldiers.
Letter from Gen J. A. Early .
Causes of the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg .
Letter from General E. P. Alexander , late Chief of artillery First corps , A. N. V .
Leading Confederates on the battle of Gettysburg .
Letter from General John B. Hood .
Official Reports of the battle of Gettysburg .
Report of General Patton Anderson of operations of his division from 30th of July to 31st of August , 1864 , including the battle of Jonesboro , Georgia .
The peace Commission .-letter from Ex-President Davis .
Letter from Hon. J. P. Benjamin .
Farewell address of Brigadier-General R. L. Gibson to the Louisiana brigade after the terms of surrender had been agreed upon between Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor , C. S. A. , and Major-Gen. E. R. S. Canby , U. S. A.
Reminiscences of torpedo service in Charleston Harbor by W. T. Glassel , Commander Confederate States Navy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.