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[119] a measure checked and moderated, and that he threw cold water on a rabble who hurrahed him at a railroad station, by telling them they had better go home.

Gen. Lee's first task was to organize and equip the military forces that were from every direction flowing in upon his charge. The military council at the State House, Richmond, consisting of Governor Letcher, Lieut.-Gov. Montague, Lieut. M. F. Maury, of the Navy, Gen. Lee and others, was in almost constant session. The raw material promptly brought forward was to be effected for speedy service. The quartermaster and commissary departments were to be organized, to enable the immediate concentration of troops upon the borders of the State, wherever the movements of the enemy might demand the presence of troops. In fact, Gen. Lee had now all the duties of a minister of war to discharge, in addition to those more immediate of general-in-chief. And yet all these duties were executed with a rapidity and effect, and an easy precision of manner that may be said, at the outset of the war to have secured Lee's reputation as an unrivalled organizer of military forces, and thus early to have indicated one conspicuous branch of his great mind.

On the 6th of May, Virginia was admitted into the Southern Confederacy; and her forces then forming part of the entire Confederate Army, Lee's rank was reduced to that of Brigadier-General. In that position he was to remain for some time in comparative obscurity, while the more conspicuous names of Beauregard and others were to ride the wave of popular favour.

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