Now General Lee
's Report does reflect on General Stuart
, so far as to intimate surprise that he did not report to Ewell
or to Lee
before the 2nd of July, and it reflects the feeling of the Commander-in-Chief
that he was greatly embarrassed by this absence.
But it leaves it an open question
whether that absence was unavoidable.
Now, if there was one feature in Lee
's character that was conspicuous and undeniable, it was his magnanimity.
He showed it in a remarkable degree at Gettysburg
, and when he states in his report the fact of Stuart
's absence, and the embarrassment it caused him, his soldiers feel that the statement is to be accepted as absolutely true.
Military critics at once recognize that the absence of the Cavalry was the most serious drawback to the success of the campaign.
We think Lee
was a better judge than Colonel Mosby
whether the cavalry of Stuart
, under such a superb leader as he was, would have contributed to the success of the campaign, or would have, at least, prevented the precipitation of the battle when and where it occurred.