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[374] courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them, but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss which would have attended the continuation of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God may extend to you His blessing and protection. With an increasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

Robert E. Lee, General.

In this sublime and pathetic epistle is vividly portrayed a lofty and intrepid spirit, softened by an almost womanly tenderness, and sanctified by the most exalted Christian principle.

This ended Lee's masterly defense of the South during four of the most memorable years of modern warfare. As to the merits of his operations it will suffice to refer to the opinion of the military critics and writers of Germany, of whom it has been said that, ‘having examined minutely the campaigns of Lee, they unite in the following judgment: Despite its adverse issue, the four years conduct of the war by Lee is the ablest that ever a war of defense has exhibited, with the exception of the Seven Years defensive war which Frederick the Great conducted in Saxony and Silesia.’ Thus, Lee is, by the most competent judges, calmly ranked with their national hero, Frederick, one of the most consummate captains the world has ever seen.

In reading the references to Lee in many United States papers, and the blatant and bombastic harangue of Mr. Senator Ingalls at the Gettysburg memorial services on the 30th ult., one cannot help re-echoing Cicero's lament—“O! Tempora, O! Mores.” Did they but know it, such writers and speakers are rending afresh a well-healed wound, and exposing themselves and their country to the merited contempt of every right-thinking, magnanimous nation upon earth. The seed of exalted patriotism, however, does not germinate in the breast of the petty politician. If this is all the forbearance

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