was, therefore, not subject to arrest. Another grand jury was summoned and a bill was presented against me alone and amended by inserting specifications of overt acts. General Lee was summoned as a witness before that grand jury, the object being to prove by him that I was responsible for certain things done by him during the war. I was in Richmond, having been released by virtue of the writ of habeas corpus. General Lee met me very soon after having given his testimony before the grand jury, and told me that to the inquiry whether he had not, in the specified cases, acted under my orders, he said that he had always consulted me when he had the opportunity, both on the field and elsewhere; that after discussion, if not before, we had always agreed, and therefore he had done with my consent and approval only what he might have done if he had not consulted me, and that he accepted the full responsibility for his acts. He said he had endeavored to present the matter as distinctly as he could, and looked up to see what effect he was producing upon the grand jury. Immediately before him sat a big black negro, whose head had fallen back on the rail of the bench he sat on; his mouth was wide open, and he was fast asleep. General Lee pleasantly added that, if he had had any vanity as an orator, it would have received a rude check. The evident purpose was to offer to Lee a chance to escape by transferring to me the responsibility for overt acts. Not only to repel the suggestion, but unequivocally to avow his individual responsibility, with all that, under existing circumstances, was implied in this, was the highest reach of moral courage and gentlemanly pride. Those circumstances were exceptionally perilous to him. He had been indicted for treason; the United States President had vindictively threatened to make treason odious; the dregs of society had been thrown to the surface; judicial seats were held by political adventurers; the United States judge of the Virginia district had answered to a committee of Congress that he could pack a jury so as to convict Davis or Lee—and it was under such surroundings that he met the grand jury and testified as stated above. Arbitrary power might pervert justice and trample on right, but could not turn the knightly Lee from the path of honor and truth. Descended from a long line of illustrious warriors and statesmen, Robert Edward Lee added new glory to the name he bore, and, whether measured by a martial or an intellectual standard, will compare favorably with those whose reputation it devolved upon him to sustain and emulate.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The race problem in the South —Was the Fifteenth Amendment a mistake?
Times have changed.
A list of Confederate officers, prisoners, who were held by Federal authority on Morris Island, S. C. , under Confederate fire from September 7th to October 21st , 1864 .
Annual Reunion of the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia .
Oration of the evening.
Life, services and character of Jefferson Davis .
He truly represented the South in not Negotiating for peace on other terms than independence.
Two revolutions rising on parallel lines—the Revolution of the North against the Constitution .
Secession preached and threatened in all sections—the Northern record for it and against extension of the Union .
The United States treated secession as a political question and met it by Revolution.
The Twelfth Georgia Infantry .
List of casualties in the Twelfth Georgia regiment in the battle of Gettysburg , July 1st , 1863 .
The Monument to General Robert E. Lee .
The unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee , at Richmond, Va. , May 29th , 1890 .
Testimonials from visiting soldiers.
Robert Edward Lee .
Letters of R. E. Lee .
At Lee 's tomb.
Lee 's Birthday: eminent men of the United States send sentiments for the day—ministers, soldiers, statesmen and scholars each bring an offering.
Lee as an educator.
Robert E. Lee .
Prisoners of the civil war.
Andersonville prison .
The unveiling. [ Richmond Dispatch , June 10 , 1890 .]
Valuable war relic.
Casualties in the old First at Gettysburg : two out of every three men who were carried into the charge shot down.
Lee 's Lieutenants.
Names of surviving Generals of the Confederate Army —a valuable Roster. [ Richmond Dispatch , May 29 , 1890 .]
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