previous next

[560] Confederacy. But he is especially welcome when his facile pen narratives matters of which he, above all others, is best qualified to speak.]

Beauvoir, Miss., 22d November, 1883.
Rev. J. William Jones, D D., Secretary Southern Historical Society:
Dear Sir,—I regretted to see several important errors published in the October No. of the Southern Historical Society Papers, especially because I have regarded them as to be the depository of authentic facts in regard to the ‘Confederate States of America.’ Sympathizing with the evident purpose of the writers to do honor to the memory of our great Captain, Robert E. Lee, I submit that his fame requires no adventitious aid. His character grand, beautiful in its simplicity, complete in its consistency, needs no ornamentation, and least of all, fictitious elevation at the expense of others.

A note appended to page 447 contains the following sentence.

‘Remember, too, that the Confederate high places were all notoriously filled or engaged (Sidney Johnston for first command, &c.’) Remember, also, Lee's ‘Virginia soil conditions’ of acceptance. His is a wondrous record of consistent purity!—Governor Anderson.

This is a wondrous bundle of errors.

General Lee did not leave the United States Army to enter that of the Confederacy. He conscientiously believed that his allegiance was due primarily to Virginia, and through her, so long as she remained in the Union, that he owed allegiance to the United States; therefore, when Virginia withdrew from the Union and war was waged against her because of the exercise of that sovereign right, the alternative presented to Lee, was to fight against, or in defence of, his mother State. Any one who knew him could have foretold what his choice would be. Temptatious arguments offered to such a man to prove traitor to his country in the hour of her direst need, could only have been heard for complaisance sake.

When he came and offered his services to Virginia, he was at once appointed Commander in Chief of her army, for Virginia had not then united with the Confederate States. Subsequent to that event Virginia voluntarily became one of the Confederate States, as she had in 1788 become one of the United States. Then the Army of Virginia was transferred and became a part of the army of the Confederate

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (5)
Biloxi (Mississippi, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert E. Lee (3)
Robert Edward Lee (1)
J. William Jones (1)
Charles Anderson (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 22nd, 1883 AD (1)
1788 AD (1)
October (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: