Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/62

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their brothers of the South ; and their parliament, conscious of the impossibility of remaining neutral, voted solemnly for a separation -- a secession.

The vote was on April 7th, the same day Lee was arriving at Arlington, without having met the messenger sent to find him. The 18th, he had one interview[1] with his ancient chief in Mexico, General Scott. Far from accepting the commandment, Lee announced his intention to resign his rank.

“Lee, you have made the greatest mistake of your life ;” answered his old friend, “but I feared it would be so.” “Think it over again.” Then began for Lee, put between the call from the President and one from his native land -- the land to which he had a double allegiance -- an interior fight, the intense pain of which his wife (the grand-daughter of Washington) described when she wrote, “My husband shed tears of blood before making his decision.”[2]

After two days of inward fights, of regrets, of poignant anguish, he wrote to General Scott :

  1. According to Mr. Lee Child, General Lee: His Life and his Campaigns ; the Supreme Command was offered by President Lincoln himself.
  2. Remember, Robert Lee had been raised at the expense of The State of Virginia. That′s why he speaks of a double allegiance.