Appendix: the testimony of letters.I feel reluctant to add a word to what General Early has written of himself and yet his letters, bearing (as many of them do) upon his manuscript, show that there are some things he has left untold which would interest the reader of his life. My feeling in this matter proceeds from the remembrance of his sentiments on the subject of biography, which he forcibly expressed in a letter written in 1866 to a correspondent who proposed writing an account of his life, saying: I trust that you will not suspect me of rudeness or a desire to offend when I respectfully request that you omit mine from the list of biographies you propose writing. If I were to furnish you the materials desired, you would become the biographer of my choice, and I would be bound by what you might write. I hope you will understand what I mean, and will not interpret what I say as intended in an offensive sense. I cannot, of course, prevent your writing on any subject you may choose. If my biography was of sufficient importance to require its being placed before the world, and my wishes were consulted, I would not trust its compilation to any but one who had known me personally and well: you and I are, personally, entire strangers. During my life I have often associated with men who thought they knew me, but who in fact had very little appreciation of my true character. I would not therefore expect it to be understood by one who is a stranger. Naturally possessing a reserved disposition, and in his bachelor life cut off from the softening influences of familiar intercourse to be found in the home, it was not entirely the fault of others that he was often misunderstood: but as he has said, those who knew him best were the ones who best appreciated him. The opportunity of intimate acquaintance enabled one to fathom the depths of his kindly nature and to discover his real feelings. In his autobiographical sketch he writes of the mother whose death was the source of grief to her family, but he does not tell of the affection which caused him to  choose her companionship preferably to that of any other, nor of the sense of deprivation he felt upon the loss of her tender counsels at the early age of sixteen. His father was a most thoughtful and affectionate parent, but from him, too, he was parted during the crucial period of his youth, though that parent's watchful care followed closely in a correspondence, preserved by the son, during a long life of many vicissitudes. As the son's character developed, he inspired more and more confidence and respect, until the relations of father and son seemed to become reversed, and, as years wore on, the position of head of the family was insensibly accorded the son. Possessing a sense of right never swayed by impulse, his opinion and advice were never questioned by members of his family. His grandmother, observing the promise of his youth, had said of him that he was born to make a name for himself. In his nineteenth year, while a cadet at West Point Academy, his sympathies were very much aroused for the Texans in their revolt against the tyranny of Santa Anna, and he wrote urging his father's consent to his joining in their cause. This letter portrays the disposition of the future patriot, and is in part as follows:
The Texans are bound by every principle of self-preservation and are justified by the natural law of rights, as well as by precedent, to declare their independence and to resist the attempt which is being made to annihilate them. And we of the United States are called upon by every principle of humanity, by our love of liberty and our detestation of oppression, to go to the succor of our countrymen and aid in overwhelming the tyrant. Shall we shed tears over the fate of Greece and Poland, yet see our countrymen slaughtered with indifference? The respect we entertain for our forefathers of the Revolution forbids it. The gratitude we owe another country for espousing our cause imperiously commands us to espouse that of the oppressed. The cause of the Texans is more justifiable than was ours. We resisted the usurpation of our lawful government. They are resisting the tyranny and cruelty of an usurped government. Liberty has been driven from the old world and its only asylum is in the new. It is the imperious duty of every one, who in this fair land has received it and its principles unsullied from his ancestors, to extend its dominion and to perpetuate its glorious light to posterity. How can this be done if  tyranny more despotic than that which exists in Europe is allowed to exist in our very confines? In succoring the Texans we should consider that we extend the sway of the goddess we worship, that we secure to their progeny the benefits of which we are so tenacious, and secure to oppressed freemen of other countries an asylum which our own country will, ere long, not be able to afford them .... The great end of all education is to expand the mind and gain a knowledge of human nature. What is more calculated to expand the mind than the espousing and working in the cause of liberty? What better book in which to study human nature than such a variety of characters as I would be constantly thrown with? All things cry out to me to go. Oh, my dear father, will you not give me permission? Do not think that my resolution has been taken unadvisedly, and do not smile at my aspirations. I do not believe that I shall become a Bonaparte or a Bolivar, but he who never aspires, never rises. I have confined this letter to one subject because my whole soul is taken up with that subject.General Early returned from Canada to the States in 1869; that winter was devoted to visits among his relatives and friends from whom he had been so long parted. His father died in 1870. In the autobiography he writes of his father as still living: it is therefore presumable that his manuscript was, at least, commenced while he was in Canada. Previously he had published at Toronto (in 1866), “A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence,” which was written, he states, “under a solemn sense of duty to my unhappy country, and to the brave soldiers who fought under me, as well as to myself.” His correspondence was very large and in many cases continued during years. Through this runs the story of his unflagging interest and industry in endeavoring to confirm every minutest detail of the narrative he desired to complete. The letters all show the esteem in which he was held. Many of them are written to thank him for contributions, already written, in the defence of the South. Others urge that he prepare a complete history of the war giving the Southern side. From among these letters the following are selected; not the least of the interest in which proceeds from the fact that they are voluntary offerings, generally from  warm personal friends and received in the course of private correspondence. The first is from the pen of the beloved leader and is followed by tributes from Jefferson Davis, Generals D. H. Hill and W. H. Payne, Colonels Marshall and Johnston, Senator John W. Daniel, Professors Peters and Venable, Dr. McGuire, and others,--if less known to fame,--none the less ardent in the expression of their regard.
For the benefit of history, a physician would prolong his life indefinitely.
 There are so many pages devoted to recalling war incidents and exploits that it becomes difficult to make the choice, from among them, of such as might serve to gain the especial interest of the reader; those which disclose critical situations and unconscious heroism, such as these sent from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Farmdale, Kentucky, will best appeal to veterans of the war:
In his manuscript, General Early refers to his order for the burning of Chambersburg; this I do not find, but in an article in the Richmond State, June 22nd, 1887, he makes this statement:
The act was done in retaliation for outrages committed by General David Hunter in the Valley of Virginia. I thought it was time to try and stop this mode of warfare by some act of retaliation, and I accordingly sent a cavalry force to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to demand of the authorities of that town compensation for the houses of Messrs. Hunter, Lee and Boteler, upon pain of having their town reduced to ashes on failure to pay the compensation demanded. The three houses burned were worth fully $100,000 in gold and I demanded that, or what I regarded as equivalent in greenbacks. No attempt was made to comply with my demand and my order to burn the town was executed. This was in strict accordance with the laws of war and was a just retaliation. I gave the order on my own responsibility, but General Lee never in any manner indicated disapproval of my act, and his many letters to me expressive of confidence and friendship forbade the idea that he disapproved of my conduct on that occasion. It afforded me no pleasure to subject non-combatants to the rigors of war, but I felt that I had a duty to perform to the people for whose homes I was fighting and I endeavored to perform it, however disagreeable it might be.It may not be out of keeping with General Early's object in writing a history of the war to insert a letter  from a former Federal soldier acknowledging kindness received while he was held as prisoner within Southern lines. The one chosen gives the address at the National Military Home in Montgomery County, Ohio:
Volumes might be filled from the collection, which in length of time covers the period of his manhood to old age, all attesting respect for the veracity of his character. Perhaps the finest tribute to him comes from the pen of his devoted friend, General Wm. H. Payne, of Warrenton, who writes:
There is no man now living who so entirely commands my respect, or of whose good opinion I am so covetous, as yours. What I most admire in you is your passionate love of truth. I am truly pleased to know that you are to deliver the address on the Jackson statue. So many false conceptions of men and events are cultivated, that one gives up all hope of truth ever having an audience. It is a consolation to know that it will be spoken at Lexington.The friendship between General Early and Senator Daniel dated from the time the latter became a member of Early's staff. The acquaintance thus begun ripened into a friendship  which never paled, and which afforded General Early great satisfaction. I have selected from a bundle of his letters a hurried note written in 1874 while Senator Daniel was a candidate for Congress,--in order to show the friendly relations existing between these two.
After an interval of eight years, there is a letter telling of Daniel's desire to write the life of his friend. To accomplish this purpose he seems to have collected a vast deal of material. The answer to his request has not been found.