the fate of the Confederacy
, for the time, at least.
If, from the time of that action until the Army of Northern Virginia was ordered to Yorktown
, my conduct had more than confirmed previous bad impressions, it is impossible that the President
could have so forgotten his obligations to the country as to leave me in the most important military command of the Confederacy
Still more so, that he could have greatly enlarged that command by adding two armies to it, and this when General Lee
, whom he regarded (though illegally) as my senior, was in a mere staff-office in Richmond
And if in the fall of 1862 he had thought of my conduct at Yorktown
, and in the battle of Seven Pines
, as he wrote of it in 1865, his oath of office would not have permitted him to place me in command of the most important department of the Confederacy
And, although he terminated this message with an assurance to the Confederate Congress that nothing would induce him to assign me to an adequate command, the paper was not sent to Congress, and I was ordered to report to General Lee
(who had just been appointed commander-in-chief), and assigned to the command of the second department of the Confederacy
In war, the testimony of an enemy in one's favor is certainly worth more than that of a friend, as he who receives a blow can better estimate the dexterity of the striker than any spectator.
I therefore offer that of one of the most prominent officers of the United States Army, who was conspicuous in this campaign, in the following letter: