“  man who gave to his son, just admitted to the military academy, as a leading motto for his professional career the beautiful words: ‘ Duty is the sublimest word of our language,’ --could follow only that path, which, after earnest reflection, he was convinced his duty commanded him to follow. This conclusion is warranted by the stainless purity of his character, which makes his image as a man so noble and sublime; it is warranted by his truly Christian disposition and his simple, almost childlike piety. But if we should want Further proof, we could find it in the answer he gave, when, after the war, he was asked directly by the Reconstruction Committee what were his personal views on the question of secession: ‘ It was my view,’ he said, ‘ that the act of Virginia, in withdrawing herself from the United States, carried me along with it as a citizen of Virginia, and that her laws and acts were binding on me.’ ” I think that is sufficient to show to you and Dr. Curry that it never entered my mind to quietly assume the accusation of the violation of an oath on the part of Lee. Let me now turn to the other contents of your very kind letter. You ask me what Confederate authorities I have access to in preparing my book on the civil war. I frankly admit that the Southern sources have until now been flowing very scantily. I am in posession of and have consulted the following works: Pollard's Lost Cause, and Southern History of the War; Biographies of Lee, by McCabe and Cook; Biography of “Stonewall” Jackson, by Cook; Life of Jefferson Davis, by Pollard; Battle-fields of Virginia, by----; History of Morgan's Cavalry, by Basil W. Duke; A Rebel War-clerk's Diary, by Jones, and General Joseph E. Johnston's Narrative. I think that is about all I have. I have ordered lately the latest biography of Lee, which has come out this spring, by Marshall, if I am not mistaken. You may be sure it has been my earnest desire to be as impartial as possible, and it has been a source of constant vexation, but it seemed next to impossible to get at any reliable and extensive military history of the great struggle, written from a Southern standpoint. For instance, I have only the first volume of the Confederate reports of battles, published by order of Congress. (I forgot to mention this above.) You are so very kind as to offer to furnish me everything in your power, and you may be sure I shall accept whatever you send with the greatest gratitude, and shall make the most conscientious and impartial use of it. Up to the present there has appeared only one volume of my book, which brings the history of the war to the close of 1861. Nothing more will be printed before the manuscript of the whole is finished, and it seems tome now more than likely that I shall then suppress the first volume and write that over again also. So you see everything you can send to me will be made use of, and in the most careful and unbiased way. I dare say the monthly papers of your Society contain treasures for the historian, at least if I am justified in judging from the two numbers you were kind enough to send me; and I can only repeat, what I have said before, that everything you send me shall be received with great gratitude, and be used to the best advantage. Hoping that this letter is only the beginning of a relation from which I hope the greatest furtherance of my object, to give my German brother-officers a reliable and impartial history of the great struggle, I remain, dear sir, yours, very respectfully,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Detailed Minutiae of soldier life.
Relative numbers at Gettysburg .
General Early 's reply to the count of Paris .
General Tan Dorn 's report of the Elkhorn campaign.
The Second battle of Manassas --a reply to General Longstreet .
The battle of the Wilderness .
Hart 's South Carolina battery --its War guidon — addresses by Major Hart and Governor Hampton .
Remarks of Major Hart .
Presentation of Army of Tennessee badge and certificate of membership to ex-president Davis .
Address of Colonel James Lingan , President of the Association .
Two witnesses on the treatment of prisoners -- Hon. J. P. Benjamin and General B. F. Butler .
Detailed Minutiae of soldier life.
The naval fight in Mobile bay , August 5th , 1864 --official report of Admiral Buchanan .
Killed and wounded of Confederate fleet in action of August 5 , 1864 , Mobile bay .
Annual meeting of Southern Historical Society , October 28th and 29th , 1878 .
Sixth annual report of the Executive Committee of the Southern Historical Society for year ending October 29th , 1878 .
The Gettysburg campaign --official reports.
Stonewall Jackson — the story of his being an Astrologer refuted — an eye-witness describes how he was wounded.
Annual reunion of the Virginia division, A. N. V .
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