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[303] express his admiration of the courage, endurance and soldierly conduct of the officers and men engaged. These brilliant results have cost us the loss of many brave men, but while we mourn the loss of our gallant dead, let us not forget that they died nobly in defense of their country's freedom, and have linked their memory with an event that will live forever in the hearts of a grateful people. Soldiers, your country will thank you for the heroic conduct you have displayed, conduct worthy of men engaged in a cause so just and sacred, and deserving a nation's gratitude and praise.

The cheers of the army of Northern Virginia, as the victorious chieftain rode along their columns returning to resting and recruiting camps in the vicinity of Richmond, were their reciprocating general order. In leading them to conquer their foes, he had conquered their lasting admiration and devotion, and henceforward, whether in victory or defeat, their confidence in Lee continued unchanged, as it will continue among their descendants and their people ‘to the last syllable of recorded time.’

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R. E. Lee (1)
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