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[119] kindly replied, ‘Yes; we had no time to wait for you, but you must go with us and help to conquer Pennsylvania.’ He continued to speak and said: ‘We have again out-manoeuvred the enemy, who even now don't know where we are or what are our designs. Our whole army will be in Pennsylvania the day after to-morrow, leaving the enemy far behind, and obliged to follow us by forced marches. I hope with these advantages to accomplish some signal result, and to end the war if Providence favours us.’

He then alluded to the conduct of our army in Pennsylvania, said he ‘had received letters from many prominent men in the South urging retaliatory acts while in the enemy's country, on property, &c., for ravages and destruction on Southern homes.’ He said: ‘What do you think should be our treatment of people in Pennsylvania?’ I replied ‘General, I have never thought a wanton destruction of property of non-combatants in an enemy's country advanced any cause. That our aims were higher than to make war on the defenceless citizens or women and children.’

General Lee at once rejoined with that solemnity and grandeur so characteristic of the man. ‘These are my own views, I cannot hope that heaven will prosper our cause when we are violating its laws. I shall, therefore, carry on the war in Pennsylvania without offending the sanction of a high civilization and of Christianity.’

A few days after was issued that humane order, one of the noblest records of the war, the recollection of which should cause the cheeks of Northern generals and people to kindle with shame, when in contrast with their orders and their conduct in the South—before and after the day at Gettysburg—I was never so much impressed with the exalted moral worth and true greatness of Robert E. Lee, as when I heard him utter with serene earnestness the words I have quoted, and beheld the noble expression of magnanimity and justice which beamed from his countenance.

General Lee did not finally conquer by arms in the just cause which he espoused; but his more glorious victories in favour of mercy and justice, over mad ambition, lust, rapine and wrong, lift his character to a sublimer height than any ever attained by a military chieftain. Already the verdict of the world has pronounced him the hero of humanity.

Yes comrades, ‘He was not only famous, but of that good fame, without which Glory's but a tavern song.’

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