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Preface.

The occasion has been embraced to express the universal regret that General Lee never wrote anything concerning his career and campaigns. His statements would have settled conflicting opinions on all subjects contained therein. We know that it was his intention to record the deeds of his soldiers, but not to write his personal memoirs. He waited for a “convenient season,” and waited too long. In this volume the attempt has been made to imperfectly supply the great desire to have something from Robert E. Lee's pen, by introducing, at the periods referred to, such extracts from his private letters as would be of general interest. He is thus made, for the first time, to give his impressions and opinions on most of the great events with which he was so closely connected. Except in a few instances, the scope of the book has not permitted the tactical details of the battlefield, or the mention by name of many of the officers and organizations whose superb courage contributed to their commander's fame.

F. L. Glasgow, Va., August, 1894.

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