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[325] I should never have replied to General Maury's article and should have passed it by in silence, for General Maury had no just foundations for his criticisms, but meeting with General Fitzhugh Lee, who was a warm friend of mine, he, knowing all the circumstances of the engagement at the bridge, advised me not to let Gen. Maury's article go unnoticed, and I replied, though then as now, I think we had enough to do to fight the enemy.

Having been wounded and captured nearby the intrepid Armistead in the heroic charge where he led the remnant of Pickett's Division over the stone wall at Gettysburg; having been honored with this independant command after eight months confinement and subsequent escape from Johnson's Island, and congratulated by President Davis, for, as he facetiously said, ‘arranging my own cartel,’ General Grant at the time refusing to exchange prisoners; having been fortunate to come out victor when attacked by so superior a force, and received the thanks and compliments of my superior officers and commanding general for the great service which they recognized had been accomplished only by handling to the best advantage undisciplined troops, though as brave and patriotic as seasoned veterans, I should have been and am content to let history and posterity take care of the facts.

I regret to have written at such length, especially as I have been so often disgusted with many magazine writers, who being invisible in war and invincible in peace, yet now know all about it, and from a perversion of facts draw false conclusions with a facile pen. And I have time and again promised myself not to talk or write anything more about the War between the States, but as no doubt Noah and his sons being saved in the Ark from the vortex of water talked about the flood for the next hundred years, so I think it likely those who participated in the War of the Confederacy and were saved from the crucible of fire through which the Army of Northern Virginia passed from Seven Pines to Gettysburg, and from the Rapidan to Appomattox, will be apt to talk about it as long as life lasts, and chronologically reckon everything from that era.

Yours very sincerely,

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