A father and son.
has a son, Robert E Lee
Jr., a private in the Rockbridge, Va, Artillery.
Of course the boy, though only seventeen, has had numerous offers of posts of aid to commanding officers, but has declined them all, and is content to take his turn at cooking and washing with the rest.
The company was with Jackson
during his Valley campaign.
A correspondent of the Lynchburg Virginian
relates an interview between the father and son on the battle-field of Sharpsburg
All the guns of the battery had been disabled.
The letter says:
We were engaged in getting our remaining gun in fighting trim when Gen. Lee
rode up. Aids and couriers went and came in quick succession from different parts of the field to communicate or receive dispatches from him. Shells bursted in air or ploughed up the dust around him or passed over head, singing their ominous death messages.
It was the most critical period of the contest.--Defeat, if not annihilation was disastrous and disgraceful retreat heroes the Potomac
— But amid all the excitement and dangers and weighty responsibilities of the hour, he was, as he always is on the battle field, Copland
self-possessed — his face fairly radiant with intelligence and the workings of his master mind and the emotions of the patriot soldier.
as bright and cheering as the sun when he breaks through the black clouds of the thunder storm.
It inspired us all with fresh courage and confidence.
In his kind.
gentlemanly manner, he inquired as to our losses, and was just saying that he wanted us to go back on the left again when Hob, hearing his voice, came forward — his clothes drenched with perspiration, and his person blackened with smoke and dust — and, saluting him with an affectionate familiarity, the following co ensued: "Why, good morning General." "How are you, my son?" "We are badly used up sir; have only one place fit for action" An aid came up at full speed to say that "Gen.
--(I could not hear the name) says send him all the reinforcements you can spare; that the enemy is bringing up heavy columns of fresh troops against him" "And so you are going to send us to that hot place on the left again?" "Yes, my son; General Jackson
will need every gun on the left.
We must drive those people back." Here another aid from the same General dashed up to say that "the General
says he will inevitably be driven from his position unless reinforced." I heard Gen. Lee
say: "Tell the General
I have no reinforcements to send; to hold his ground if it is possible." Turning to Bob, he continued, "Yes my son, we must drive those people back!
Tell your Captain
I want him to take his gun over to the left again" He then rode on, and we pitched into the fight again.
Alluding to his refusal of commissions, the correspondent says:
Time and again he has been solicited and urged to accept commissions with easy and honorable position on staff duty; but he has invariably declined — assigning as a reason that he did not think his father approved of inexperienced boys holding positions over men; that he reckoned he would put him in the way of getting a commission when he considered him deserving of it. Added to his many other virtues, like his father, he is a consistent, humble Christian