The truth of history.Defence of Fort Gregg—The battle of Jericho Ford—Troops surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse—Last official reports made to General Lee after the surrender, etc.
In the account of the Unveiling of the Soldiers' Monument in Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Va., from the correspondent of the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, and published in its issue of June 8, 1890, and republished in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XVII, pp. 388-403, occurs the following misstatement: ‘Fort Gregg, whose defence by the small band of gallant Mississippians was one of the bravest, most glorious, and most stubborn in the annals of the war.’ This inadvertant publication has elicited from General James H. Lane several material communications, explaining not only how the oft-repeated error as to the real defenders of Fort Gregg first gained currency, but correcting other erroneous statements heretofore made. He also makes a valuable suggestion. Under date of September 5, 1890, he writes:
[The desire of General Lane that the reports made to General Lee by his general officers, after the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, be collected and published in one volume, commands eager and general acquiescence. The editor would be thankful for the privilege of preserving in the Southern Historical Society Papers all or any of these reports. It is to be hoped that reports were made, as requested, by a majority if not all of the officers. The editor wrote to General G. W. C. Lee, in furtherance of the  suggestion of General Lane, and had response from him October 23, 1890. He wrote: ‘Soon after the death of my father all of his military papers were sent to Colonel Charles Marshall, who had been acting as his military secretary, and who had been requested by the faculty of this institution [Washington and Lee University] to prepare a biographical sketch of its late president. Colonel Marshall did write the sketch, but was not satisfied with it, and consequently it has never been published.’ American history is materially indebted to Colonel Marshall for valuable contributions, which have commanded profound attention. The latest, most familiar to the public, being his oration delivered at the laying of the corner-stone of the Lee Monument at Richmond, October 27, 1887. (Published in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XVII, pp. 215-245—‘Lee Monument Memorial Volume.’) Doubtless Colonel Marshall will favor the public, in book form, with the valuable papers in his possession left by General Lee.]