Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 34.djvu/22

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14 Southern Historical Society Papers.

ing from the enemy. General Jackson then withdrew, and Gen- eral Lee dictated to Colonel Marshall a long letter to President Davis, giving him fully the situation. In it he regretted he could not have the assistance of Pickett's and Hood's divisions, but expressed his confidence in the good judgment that had withdrawn and kept them from him, and closed with the hope that, notwithstanding all our dangers and disadvantages. Provi- dence would bless the efforts which he was sure his brave army would make to deserve success/

"I give all this detail to show the errors writers upon Chan- cellorsville have fallen into, in reference to the ORIGIN of Gen- Jackson's famous flank movement.

"And as settling the question as to who originated this movement, I give the following extract from a letter written by General Lee to Rev. Dr. A. T. Bledsoe, in reply to one from Dr. Bledsoe, in which he asked the direct question as to whether Jackson's move originated with himself or was suggested by General Lee :

"LEXINGTON, VA.", October 2&th, 1867.

"Dr. A. T. Bledsoe, Office 'Southern Rcvietv' Baltimore, Md.; "My DEAR SIR: In reply to your inquiry, I must acknowl- edge that I have not read the article on Chancellorsville in the last number of the Southern Revieiv, nor have I read any of the books published on either side since the termination of hos- tilities. I have as yet felt no desire to revive my recollections of those events, and have been satisfied with the knowledge I possessed of what transpired. I have, however, learned from others that the various authors of the Life of Jackson award him the credit of the success gained by the Army of Northern Virginia, where he was present, and describe the movement of his corps, or command, as independent of the general plan of operations, and undertaken at his own suggestion and upon his own responsibility. I have the greatest reluctance to do any- thing that might be considered as detracting from his well de- served fame, for I believe that no one was more convinced of his worth, or appreciated him more highly than myself; yet your knowledge of military affairs, if you have none of the events themselves, will teach you that this could not have been so. Everv movement of an armv must be well considered and