The life and character of so noble a man as General Robert E. Lee
is a theme that none but our greatest minds should discuss in public or in private but with your permission the writer, who held an humble position on the staff of Brigadier-General Jos. R. Davis
, of Mississippi
, (nephew of Jefferson Davis
), in the Army of Northern Virginia, will relate two little incidents which happened at the ‘Battle of the Wilderness
On the eve of the 5th of May General Lee
, with General Stuart
, rode to the front, where Stuart
's cavalry had encountered the advance of the Federal
As they rode through the infantry, then awaiting orders, passing a farm-house, three young ladies stood at the gate of the residence, holding a package, which from his gallantry, or good looks, or both, they entrusted to Capt. E. P. Thompson
(nephew of Jake Thompson
, and now a Mississippi editor), of General Davis
's staff, with the request that he deliver the same to General Lee
It contained three handsomely embroidered colored merino overshirts, very much worn in the army.
at once rode forward to overtake the General
, who had by this time reached within range of the shots from Grant
's skirmishers, and while under fire tendered the gift as from the ladies.
, with his usual self-possession and courteous bearing, said to Capt.
T.: ‘Return my warmest thanks to the ladies, and be kind enough to deliver the package to one of my couriers: say that I trust I may see and thank them in person.’
Early on the morning of the 6th, Grant
, who had massed a heavy force in the immediate front of Davis
's Mississippi brigade, opened fire and began a forward movement on our lines at this point.
Seeing we were unable to check their advance, Colonel Stone
), commanding Davis
's brigade, sent word to General Heth
, division commander, that he must be reinforced, which brought to our aid a division of Longstreet
's corps, led in person by that able Lieutenant-General
It was at this critical crisis that General Lee
appeared upon the scene.
After the enemy had been repulsed on the right, and while our chieftain was awaiting, in painful anxiety, information from our left wing, a courier—a mere youth—came dashing up with a message from Lieutenant-General R. H. Anderson
, his small pony panting like a deer that had been pursued by a