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[88]

Letter from the Count of Paris.

Sevilla, January 21st, 1877.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society:
Dear sir: I am writing the account of the battle of Gettysburg, and consider that chapter as the most important, the most difficult to write of the whole work which I have undertaken. I share the opinion of those who think that the Confederate cause was not a lost cause from the beginning; that it may have been successful; and therefore I seek with great care to find out why it did not succeed. The battle of Gettysburg, coupled with the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, is, in that respect, the turning point of the war.

The Army of Northern Virginia, when it invaded the Northern States was more powerful than it had ever been before. The issue of the invasion was disastrous for the Confederate cause. This is a mere fact which neither a Southerner nor a Northerner can dispute. Therefore, I must show the causes of this disaster without any disparagement for the army or its leader, just as I pointed out the causes of the ill successes of McClellan and Burnside, and shall do the same for Hooker.

At present, as far as my studies of this period go, my opinion on the question is this: The mistakes which brought upon the Confederate arms the repulse at Gettysburg with its fatal consequences were the following:

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 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 ‘64, and, moreover, it diminished for one or two years the resisting powers of the Confederate army.

2d. If the invasion was to be undertaken, only raiding parties should have been sent until the Army of the Potomac should have been defeated. It was a great mistake to bring her on the


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