Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/44

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

though a very valuable and impartial publication, has scarcely any circulation in the South.

There is an error in the report as published in locating the entrenched position which my command assaulted and carried at the time of the capture of Winchester, on the Newtown road. It should be on the Pughtown road, which is on the northwest of Winchester, while the Newtown road (the Valley pike) is on the south of the town. This mistake was probably made in copying or printing the report, and I have made the correction to conform to the facts of the case by merely substituting Pughtown for Newtown. With this correction, the general accuracy of the report as now given will be recognized by all who participated in the memorable campaign into Pennsylvania, and it is eminently worthy of preservation as containing General Lee's own account of a campaign which has been much criticised by persons not well acquainted with the facts. If there are any variations between the published report and the original now in the hands of Colonel Marshall, he can make the proper corrections.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

J. A. Early.

June 29th, 1872.

We received a few days ago a very valuable confirmation of the substantial accuracy of this document, in the shape of a MS. copy of General Lee's report, found among the papers of Mr. Michael Kelly, who was a confidential clerk to General S. Cooper.

Mr. Kelly died about two years ago, and the lady who sends us the MS. (Mrs. Henry Pye, of Richmond,) says of him: "He was a young man of high character, unblemished reputation, and one in whom was placed the most implicit confidence."

As this report is of very great value and importance, and is not accessible to many who desire to see it, we will print it in full from our MS. copy, which was doubtless either the original copy sent from General Lee's headquarters, or a correct copy of that made in the office of General Cooper and preserved by Mr. Kelly.

It will be seen by comparison with the printed copy, which we have carefully made, that the MS. corrects several verbal errors in the printed copy (notably the one to which General Early calls attention, the printing of Newton instead of Pughtown and supplies several paragraphs which the printed copy omits. These omissions refer to the conduct of our officers and men, and to our captures at Gettysburg.

With this explanation we give the report entire as follows: