Lee and his Lieutenants.
[editorial Petersburg daily index, September 11, 1869.]
's new work, ‘Lee
and His Lieutenants
,’ in the sketch of Major-General Cadmus M. Wilcox
's career, there occurs an error into which the author should not have fallen, considering his claimed acquaintance with the composition of General Lee
On page 506 the following occurs:
From this summary record we must detach one incident that glorified the last days of the Confederacy, and is generally related as having fitly closed, with illuminated scroll, the career of the Army of Northern Virginia.
It is the story of the defenders of Fort Gregg.
Whose troops they were that gave this last example of devotion on General Lee's lines had been subject to some doubt; but it is now certain that they were of General Wilcox's command.
It is certain that no such thing is the case.
The infantry garrison of Fort Gregg was composed entirely of members of the Mississippi
brigade of Harris
, formerly Posey
's, and the brigade was, from the battle of Manassas
, a part of R. H. Anderson
's, latterly Mahone
On the same page General Wilcox
is accredited with three performances erroneously.
He was not engaged, except slightly, on the first evening at the Wilderness
; his troops did not hold their own on the 12th of May at Spotsylvania
, and instead of achieving success at Jericho Ford, May 24th, as Pollard
relates, his brigades (Lane
's and McGowan
's) behaved most disgracefully, and were replaced by Davis
' and Cooke
's troops of Heth
On page 522, in the biography of General Field
, of Virginia
, the historian relates that his division, when surrendered, constituted more than half of General Lee
's force then under arms.
This is not so. The divisions of Field
together did form the larger portion of the army.
Why the silence in regard to the latter corps [ought to have been division], which rendered as splendid service on the retreat as was ever performed in the halcyon days of the Confederacy