3, 1864, with: ‘Our loss to-day has been small, and our success under the blessing of God all that we could expect.’ . . . .
He closed his announcement of A. P. Hill
's brilliant victory at Reams's Station, in August, 1864, by saying: . . . ‘Our profound gratitude is due the Giver of all victory, and our thanks to the brave men and officers engaged.’
In his order assuming the chief command of all of the Confederate forces he said: . . . . ‘Deeply impressed with the difficulties and responsibility of the position, and humbly invoking the guidance of Almighty God, I rely for success upon the courage and fortitude of the army, sustained by the patriotism and firmness of the people, confident that their united efforts under the blessing of Heaven will secure peace and independence.’ . . . .
I give the above only as specimens of his dispatches and general orders, which all recognized in the most emphatic manner his sense of dependence upon and trust in God.
With the close of the war and the afflictions which came upon his loved land, the piety of this great man seems to have mellowed and deepened, and I could fill pages concerning his life at Lexington
and the bright evidences he gave of vital, active godliness.
He was a most regular attendant upon all of the services of his own church, his seat in the college chapel was never vacant unless he was kept away by sickness, and if there was a union prayer-meeting, or a service of general interest in any of the churches of Lexington
, General Lee
was sure to be among the most devout attendants.
His pew in his own church was immediately in front of the chancel, his seat in the chapel was the second from the pulpit, and he seemed always to prefer a seat near the preacher's stand.
He always devoutly knelt during prayer, and his attitude during the entire service was that of an interested listener or a reverential participant.
He was not accustomed to indulge in carping criticisms of sermons, but was a most intelligent judge of what a sermon ought to be, and always expressed his preference for those sermons which presented most simply and earnestly the soulsaving truths of the Gospel.
I heard him remark in reference to the Baccalaureate sermon preached at the college by Rev. Dr. J. A. Broadus
: ‘It was a noble sermon—one of the very ’