Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/162
154 Southern Historical Society Papers.
money. At Chancellorsville we gained another victory ; our peo- ple were wild with delight I, on the contrary, was more depressed than after Fredericksburg ; our loss was severe, and again we had gained not an inch of ground and the enemy could not be pursued. After the battle of Chancellorsville matters stood thus : Hooker in my front, with an army more than a hundred thousand strong ; Foster preparing to advance into North Carolina ; Dix preparing to advance on Richmond from Fortress Monroe ; Tyler in the Ka- nawha Valley preparing to unite with Milroy, who was in the Val- ley of Virginia, collecting men and material for an advance on Staunton. To oppose these movements I had sixty thousand men. It would have been folly to have divided my army ; the armies of the enemy were too far apart for me to attempt to fall upon them in detail. I considered the problem in every possible phase, and to my mind it resolved itself into the choice of one of two things either to retire on Richmond and stand a siege, which must ulti- mately have ended in surrender, or to invade Pennsylvania. I chose the latter. Milroy was in my route ; I crushed him, and as soon as the First corps of my army crossed the Potomac, orders were issued countermanding the advance of Foster and Dix. As soon as my Second corps crossed, Hooker loosened his hold, and old Virginia was freer of Federal troops than she had ever been since the commencement of the war.^ Had my cavalry been in place my plans would have been very different, and I think the result very different."
In speaking of the fight of the 3d of July at Gettysburg, General Lee said : " I shall ever believe if General Fender had remained on his horse half an hour longer we would have carried the enemy's position. After Pender fell the command of his division devolved on an officer* unknown to the division ; hence the failure of Pick- ett's receiving the support of this division. Our loss was heavy at Gettysburg; but in my opinion no greater than it would have been from the series of battles I would have been compelled to fight had I remained in Virginia." "General Lee," says Major Seddon, " then rose from his seat, and with an emphatic gesture said, ' and
- I am perfectly satisfied that General Lee did not intend by his remark to cast the slight-
est censure upon the officer referred to. He simply stated a fact which all military men will understand and appreciate. General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia had full con. fldence in this officer's sfcill. Ills courage was known to the entire army.