Again, Colonel Mosby
challenges General Lee
's statement that he was embarrassed by the absence of General Stuart
with the larger part of the cavalry.
knows better—Lee had all the cavalry that he needed.
It does not appear to be necessary to ascribe infallibility to General Lee
, in order to justify the conclusion that that great soldier probably knew better than the gallant partisan Colonel
whether or not the presence of Stuart
and his horsemen would have been of great service to him in the campaign.
doubtless was not infallible, but his judgment in military matters was, if we may say so without offence, much less fallible than that of Colonel Mosby
The same able writer already referred to says, p. 195:
‘Probably it was the want of information due to the lack of co-operating cavalry which lay at the root of the halting tactics of the Confederate
Thus every move of the enemy took them by surprise and inspired them with unnecessary caution at the very moment when boldness would have gained so much.’
(See p. 219 and 220.)
But the most painful thrust which Colonel Mosby
makes at the reputation of General Lee
, is contained in the following paragraph:
‘There is a floating legend that General Lee
assumed all the blame of his defeat.
He did not: his reports put all the blame on Stuart
That General Lee
said to his soldiers after the repulse of Pickett
's charge that he was responsible for the failure is not a ‘floating legend’ but a well attested fact.
That he refrained from reproaching his three Lieutenants
, with their share in the defeat is another well known fact.
That he wrote to Jefferson Davis
that touching and pathetic letter asking that a younger and better man be placed in command of the army, because of his lack of success is yet another proof that he assumed the responsibility of the failure.
And to say that in his report he ‘put all the blame on Stuart
’ is a grave inaccuracy.
The first report states the simple fact, without any animadversion that ‘the absence of the cavalry rendered it impossible to obtain accurate information.’