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[379] His principle of discipline was indicated in his expression that ‘a true man of honor feels himself humbled when he cannot help humbling others,’ and never exercising stern authority except when absolutely indispensable, his influence was the more potent because it ever appealed to honorable motives and natural affections. In the dark days of the Revolution, two Major-Generals conspired with a faction of the Continental Congress to put Gates in the place of Washington, denominating him a ‘weak General.’ Never did Confederate dream a disloyal thought of Lee, and the greater the disaster, the more his army leaned upon him.

When Jackson fell, Lee wrote to him: ‘You are better off than I am, for while you have lost your left arm, I have lost my right arm.’ And Jackson said of him: ‘Lee is a phenomenon. He is the only man that I would follow blindfold.’ Midway between Petersburg and Appomattox, with the ruins of an Empire falling on his shoulders, and the gory remnants of his army staggering under the thick blows of the advancing foe, we see Lee turning aside from the column, and riding up to the home of the widow of the gallant Colonel John Thornton, who had fallen at Sharpsburg. ‘I have not time to tarry,’ he says, ‘but I could not pass by without stopping a moment to pay my respects to the widow of my honored soldier, Colonel Thornton, and tender her my deepest sympathy in the sore bereavement she sustained when the country was deprived of his invaluable services.’

Three of his sons were there in the army with him; but they were too noble to seek, and he too noble to bestow honors, because of the tie of blood. One of them, a private in the artillery, served his gun with his fellows. Another he is requested by President Davis to assign to command an army, but he will not be the medium of exalting his own house, though a superior ask that it be done, and though his son deserve it. Yet another is in a hostile prison, and a Federal officer of equal rank begs that General Lee will effect an exchange, the one for the other. The General declined, saying, ‘that he will ask no favor for his own son that could not be asked for the humblest private in the army.’ On the cars crowded with passengers a soldier, scarce noticed, struggles to draw his coat over his wounded arm. One from amongst many rises and goes to his aid. It is General Lee. An army surgeon relates that while the battle of the Crater raged, General Lee rode to the rear of the line where the wounded lay, and dismounting, moved amongst them. ‘Doctor, why are you not doing something for this man,’ he said, pointing

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