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[192] there was not entire harmony of purpose and accordance as to means. If ever there was difference of opinion, it was dissipated by discussion, and harmony was the result. I repeat, we never disagreed, and I may add that I never in my life saw in him the slightest tendency to self-seeking. It was not his to make a record, it was not his to shift blame to other shoulders; but it was his, with an eye fixed on the welfare of his country, never faltering, to follow the line of duty to the end. His was the heart that braved every difficulty; his was the mind that brought victory out of defeat.

He has been charged with “want of dash.” I wish to say that I never knew Lee decline to attempt anything that man may dare. An attempt has also been made to throw a cloud on his character because he left the army of the United States to join in the struggle for the liberty of his State. Without entering into politics, I deem it my duty to say one word in reference to this charge. Virginian born, descended from a family illustrious in the colonial history of Virginia, more illustrious still in her struggle for independence, and most illustrious in her recent effort to maintain the great principles declared in 1776; given by Virginia to the service of the United States, he represented her in the Military Academy at West Point. He was not educated by the Federal Government, but by Virginia; for she paid her full share for the support of that institution, and was entitled to demand in return the services of her sons. Entering the army of the United States, he represented Virginia there also, and nobly performed his duty for the Union, of which Virginia was a member, whether we look to his peaceful services as an engineer, or to his more notable deeds upon foreign fields of battle. He came from Mexico crowned with honors, covered by brevets, and recognized, young as he was, as one of the ablest of his country's soldiers.

When Virginia joined the Confederacy, and the seat of government was moved to Richmond, Lee was the highest officer in the little army of Virginia, and promptly co-operated in all the movements of the Confederate Government for the defense of the common country; and when he was sent to West Virginia made no inquiry as to his rank, but continued to serve under the impression that he was still an officer of Virginia; and though he had, in point of fact, been then appointed General by the Confederate Government, he was so careless of himself as never to have learned the fact, and only made inquiry when, ordered to another State, he deemed it necessary to know what would be his relative position towards other officers with


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