Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/586

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576 Soutkern Historical Society Papers.

"The conduct of Jackson's campaign, in 1S62, between Harpers Ferry and Richmond, justifies any measure of praise."

He pays General Lee the following tribute :

" The whole civilized world has reviewed the career of General Lee. The qualities of his mind and disposition have been recognized and extolled, and his fate has excited the tenderest sympathy in millions of hearts. A character like that of Robert E. Lee could not possibly be found in any human society in which the laws and public opinion do not sanction and ap- prove of marked distinctions of rank among its members.

" Lee's family was of the highest, and his cradle was rocked by a slave. His sense of superiority and fitness to command, being infused at his birth, was never questioned. From infancy to threescore he knew no physical malady, and the admirable symmetry of his person and the manly beauty of his countenance were the aids to his virtues which secured to him tolerance, affection, and respect from all with whom he mingled. He passed the four years of his cadetship without a single mark of demerit, and during my long acquaintance with him I never heard him accused of an act of mean- ness, tyranny, or neglect of duty His nature was genial and sociable, and he would join freely in all the sports and amusements proper to his age. He was exempt from every form and degree of snobbery, which is a detestable quality that appears most often among people whose theories of govern- ment presume an absolute equality. He was a favorite with the ladies, but he never allowed them to waste his time, to warp his judgment, or to inter- rupt his duty. To whatever station he was ordered, however secluded or unhealthy it might be, he would go to it with cheerfulness. Every kind of duty seemed a leasure to him, and he never intrigued for promotion or reward. Nevertheless, no man could stand in his presence and not recog- nize his capacity and acknowledge his moral force. His orders, conveyed in mild language, were instantly obeyed, and his motives were universally approved In all the time in which I observed his conduct I was true to my own antecedents. I was a northern man, and no word dropped Irom my lips or was shed from my pen that did not testify to my origin and proper allegiance. I will not deny that the presence of Lee, and the multiform graces that clustered around him, oftentimes oppressed me, though I never envied him, and I doubt if he ever excited envy in any man. All his accom- plishments and alluring virtues appeared natural in him, and he was free from the anxiety, distrust, and awkwardness that attend a sense of inferi- ority, unfriendly discipline, and censure."

It is pleasant to read such a tribute from the pen of a Federal soldier, and we cannot do less than to heartily commend the book which contains it.

1996