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‘With Pickett leading grandly down’ Thompson's description of Pickett's charge, with this martial portrait, calls for little explanation. A few words from an English army officer who was present, Arthur J. Fremantle, will describe Lee's share in the record of nobility. General Lee's conduct after the charge, writes the English colonel, ‘was perfectly sublime. He was engaged in rallying and in encouraging the broken troops, and was riding about a little in front of the wood, quite alone, the whole of his staff being engaged in a similar manner further to the rear. His face, which is always placid and cheerful, did not show signs of the slightest disappointment, care, or annoyance; and he was addressing to every soldier he met a few words of encouragement, such as, “All this will come right in the end—we'll talk it over afterward; but, in the mean time, all good men must rally—we want all good and true men just now,” etc. He spoke to all the wounded men that passed him, and the slightly wounded he exhorted “to bind up their hurts and take up a musket” in this emergency. Very few failed to answer his appeal, and I saw many badly wounded men take off their hats and cheer him. He said to me, “This has been a very sad day for us, Colonel, a sad day; but we can't expect always to gain victories.” . . . I saw General Wilcox come up to him, and explain, almost crying, the state of his brigade. General Lee immediately shook hands with him and said, cheerfully, “Never mind, General, all this has been my fault; it is I that have lost this fight, and you must help me out of it in the best way you can.” ’


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Robert E. Lee (3)
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