the origin of the movement, I will introduce, in corroboration of my statement, the following letter, from General Lee, published in the address of General Fitzhugh Lee, before the Southern Historical Society.
Here follows General Lee
's letter to Dr.
A. T Bledsoe
, as already given above.
The last interview between Lee and Jackson, during which this important movement was decided upon, was an occasion of great historical interest, in regard to which the writer is fortunately able to add some information from his own knowledge of the circumstances, and that of other members of General Lee's staff.
He has been favored by Major T. M. R. Talcott with certain important details of this event, conveyed in a private letter, from which the following extract is made:
My recollections of the night before the Battle of Chancellorsville are briefly as follows:
About sunset General Jackson sent word to General Lee (by me) that his advance was checked, and that the enemy was in force at Chancellorsville.
This brought General Lee to the front, and General Jackson met him in the southeast angle of the Chancellorsville and Catherine Forge roads.
General Lee asked General Jackson whether he had ascertained the position and strength of the enemy on our left, to which General Jackson replied by stating the result of an attack made by Stuart's cavalry near Catherine Forge about dusk.
The position of the enemy immediately in front was then discussed, and Captain Boswell and myself were sent to make a moonlight reconnoisance, the result of which was reported about 10 P. M., and was not favorable to an attack in front.
At this time Generals Lee and Jackson were together, and Lee, who had a map before him, asked Jackson, “How can we get at these people?”
To which Jackson replied, in effect, “You know best.
Show me what to do, and we will try to do it.”
General Lee looked thoughtfully at the map; then indicated on it, and explained the movement he desired General Jackson to make, and closed by saying, “General Stuart will cover your movement with his cavalry.”
General Jackson listened attentively, and his face lighted up with a smile while General Lee