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Gen. Lee in its service. He is still in the prime and vigor of physical and intellectual manhood, being about forty-five years of age. He is six feet in height; weighs about one hundred and ninety pounds; is erect, well formed, and of imposing appearance; has clear, bright, benignant black eyes, dark gray hair, and a heavy gray beard. He is exceedingly plain in his dress, and one looks at his costume in vain for those insignia of rank for which most officers show such a weakness. He wears an unassuming black felt hat, with a narrow strip of gold lace around it, and a plain Brigadier's coat, with three stars on the collar, but without the usual braidings on the sleeves. He travels and sleeps in an ambulance when the army is in motion, and occupies a tent when it is stationary, and not the largest and best house in the neighborhood, as is the custom of some officers. In a few words, he cares but little for appearances, though one of the handsomest men in the Confederacy, and is content to take the same fare his soldiers receive. In character and personal deportment he is all that the most ardent patriot can desire. Grave and dignified, he is yet modest and painfully distrustful of his own abilities. The descendant of a gallant officer of the older revolution, the husband of the grand-daughter (by adoption,) of General Washington, the inheritor of a large estate, and the trusted leader of a great and victorious army, he is nevertheless accessible to the humblest and most ragged soldier in the ranks, courteous to his officers. just and kind to the citizen, and with all and above all, a meek and humble Christian. During the time the army was in Maryland an officer of high position in the country suggested a number of reasons to Gen. Lee in support of a grave measure then under discussion. Among others, he remarked to him that he was trusted by his Government, had the hearts of his soldiers, and possessed the entire confidence of his country, and that the army, the Government, and people, relied implicitly upon his patriotism and genius. Tears rushed to his eyes and he exclaimed--‘"Do not say that — do not say that. I am sensible of my weakness, and such a responsibility as your remark implies would crush me to the earth. "’ He said in the same conversation that there was nothing he so much desired as peace and independence. All he had, and all he hoped for — all that ambition could or glory give — he would freely surrender them all to stop the flow of blood and secure freedom to the country. He did not doubt that these blessings would come in due season; but he wanted them now, and would readily sacrifice every thought of personal aggrandizement to save the life of even one soldier. Gen. Lee, though not possessing the first order of intellect, is endowed with rare judgment and equanimity, unerring sagacity, great self-control, and extraordinary powers of combination. Like Washington, he is a wise man and a good man, and possesses in an eminent degree those qualities which are indispensable in the great leader and champion upon whom the country rests its hopes of present success and future independence. In simple intellect there are other officers in the service who are his equals, and perhaps his superiors, and as a mere fighter there are some who may excel him. But in the qualities of a commander, entrusted with the duty of planning and executing a campaign upon a broad scale, and with the direction and government of a large army, whether scattered over a wide extent of territory, or massed together as at Richmond, he surpasses them all, and is the peer of any living chieftain in the New World or the Old. The country should feel grateful that Heaven has raised up one in our midst so worthy of our confidence and so capable to lead. The grand-son of Washington, so to speak, let us hope that the mantle of the ascending hero has fallen upon the shoulders of the wise and modest chief who now commands the army of Northern Virginia.
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