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[239] needed them most, during the days of the disproportionate conflict with General Grant's army, when General Lee had but few of the enemy in his front. Telegrams, to be found in the Appendix to the present chapter (to which the reader's attention is invited), will show that not only were General Lee and the War Department most anxious at that time to draw troops from General Beauregard, but that they had actually requested his presence and personal co-operation on the north side of the James. Butler, they thought, had sent the greater part of his army to reinforce General Grant, and had left only a nominal force to guard his position. General Beauregard, however, was too farseeing, too well-informed as to the enemy's movements in his front, to partake of these delusions. He expressed his readiness to obey any order given him by the authorities at Richmond, but warned them that at least 8000 men, under Gillmore, still confronted his lines, and most strongly advised that no more troops should be withdrawn from his Department.

Like Mr. Swinton, who, in most instances, is a careful and impartial examiner of the events he chronicles, Mr. J. D. McCabe, in his work entitled ‘Life and Campaigns of General Robert E. Lee,’ falls into error with regard to the date of the arrival of General Lee's forces at Petersburg.

We quote from pages 507 and 508:

General Lee hurried forward as soon as he learned of the attack on Petersburg; but, as he was full forty miles from the Appomattox, his advanced forces did not reach the city until the night of the 15th.’

The reader is already aware that, on the 15th of June, General Lee had not the least idea of ‘hurrying forward’ to the support of General Beauregard. His own telegrams exist to bear witness --to this. Not only were none of his forces at or around Petersburg on ‘the night of the 15th,’ but as late as June 17th he did not believe that General Grant had left his front. He was endeavoring on that day to find out ‘what had become of Grant's army.’ Very clearly, Mr. McCabe had no such evidence, derived from General Lee himself, among ‘the valuable collection of materials for a history of the war’ from which, he says, his book was written.

This, however, is not the only error concerning the siege of Petersburg into which Mr. McCabe has fallen.

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