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[74] follower of General Lee? Is there anything in the earnest and undoubtedly honest sentiments here expressed to confirm the conclusion of the London Telegraph that it is ‘impossible to read General Longstreet's able book without perceiving that he, who knew General Lee better than any other man who fought under him or against him, was distinctly of opinion that General Johnston, as a soldier, was his superior.’ Be it remembered, too, that this letter from General Longstreet to General Lee was written after the Gettysburg campaign, and the glowing words of admiration and affection employed in giving expression to the recognition of the fact that all the glory of his command was directly due to the ability of his commander are utterly irreconcilable with many statements alleged to have been made by General Longstreet touching the invasion of Pennsylvania by General Lee in 1863. General Longstreet could not claim to have entertained the views and sentiments now attributed to him when he penned the letter of September 12, 1863, without branding himself as a disingenuous flatterer and time-server. When he discussed with General Lee the line of action most advisable to be pursued in the fall of 1863, although rather more disposed to favor the reinforcement of our army in the West for aggressive movements, while the Army of Northern Virginia should take the defensive, nevertheless, he went so far as to suggest another invasion by General Lee of the enemy's country. In a letter to General Lee, under date September 2, 1863, he wrote, ‘I do not know that we can reasonably hope to accomplish much here by offensive operations unless you are strong enough to cross the Potomac.’ With such decided views as he is said to entertain now concerning the Gettysburg campaign, it is impossible to understand the suggestion made so soon thereafter as to a repetition of the invasion of the country beyond the Potomac.

In speaking of General Longstreet's operations about Knoxville in November, 1863, the London Telegraph refers to the mistake then made by him when, ‘from a misconception, he stopped the assaulting column, which he now knows would infallibly have carried Knoxville by storm.’ Clearly the reviewer here charges General Longstreet, by implication at least with the lack of that aggressive and, perhaps, audacious quality, which he subsequently condemns in General Lee. The recognition of this lack of aggressiveness or boldness in General Longstreet is, perhaps, the key to the statement of the Telegraph that General Johnston, who excelled in defensive tactics, was, in the estimation of General Longstreet, superior as a soldier to General Lee, and prepares us for that disapproval


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