Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/574

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568 Southern Historical Society Papers.

course, very valuable, but would be, in our judgment, much more interesting and valuable if they had been published in proper order in the body of the book, and used to illustrate the campaigns to which they refer.

3. The " field returns" are, of course, valuable, but it would have been much more useful if (instead of scattering them through the appendix) their aggregates had been used in the text, and compared with the " returns" of the Federal army in order to show the relative numbers engaged in the great battles.

4. We exceeding doubt the propriety of ' ' padding ' ' the book with General Lee's official reports, which have been frequently published; which are easily accessible to those wishing to consult them, and for which the general reader will not specially care.

5. We are glad to be able to say that the statement made on page 645 to the effect that General Lee prepared no formal report of his ■operations" in the campaign of 1864 is incorrect. His subordinates prepared and forwarded their reports, and he had prepared his. These reports were unfortunately burned in General Lee's head- quarter wagons on the retreat, but duplicates of many of them were preserved, [we have published a number in Southern Historical Society Papers] and Colonel Charles Marshall, who was General Lee's military secretary after General Long went to command the artillery of the second corps, has fortunately preserved the original ■draught of General Lee's report. Colonel Marshall having been selected by the Lee family to write the full and authorized memoir of General Lee, has in his possession a number of documents of priceless value, besides all of the material which General Lee himself collected for his proposed history of his campaigns, and we record here the earnest hope that the day may not be distant when his book shall be given to the world.

6. We are surprised to see introduced at page 464-465, the famous letter which was published at the North during the war, and pur- ported to be a letter from General Lee at Arlington to his son, G. W. Custis Lee, at West Point, but which General Lee said, at the time, he never wrote, General Custis Lee said he never received, Mrs. Lee pronounced spurious, and we have had occasion several times to prove to be a forgery, from internal evidence as well as from the testimony of the family.

7. We are sorry to see also that, on page 338, ihe author copies an error, into which Jones, in his Reminiscences of Lee, was led, in attributing the incident of Gordon's men refusing to go forward