Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/237

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General Stuart in the Gettysburg Campaign.

I do not think Colonel Mosby has shown that Stuart was without blame, and I therefore feel that part of the responsibility (I do not say the larger part), for the failure of the campaign must rest on him. And when I say this, I nevertheless yield to none in my admiration of that superb soldier whose military genius and magnificent intrepidity place him so high among the great leaders of the Confederate army.

It is greatly to be regretted that Colonel Mosby should have deemed it proper, in defending General Stuart against what he considers unjust criticism, to indulge in these strictures upon the conduct and the military judgment of General Lee. He declares, as we have seen, that General Lee was absolutely in error in several of the salient and most important points of his reports. Or, if we wish to save General Lee's reputation in these respects, he suggests an alternative, inconsistent with Lee's whole character and record, and dishonorable to him as a responsible officer, viz.: that he signed his reports without reading them. Was Lee than an automaton to do the bidding of Colonel Marshall, his military secretary?

Again, in referring to General Lee's suggestion before he embarked on the Pennsylvania campaign, June 23rd, that General Beauregard should be sent to Culpepper Courthouse with an army, however small, to threaten Washington, Colonel Mosby dismisses the subject lightly with the remark that "if it had been practicable to raise such an army, as the campaign closed the next week at Gettysburg, it could not have been assembled in time to render any assistance to General Lee in the Pennsylvania campaign," p. 84. Yet there were five brigades at Petersburg, Richmond and Guinea Station, besides three brigades in North Carolina, and if General Beauregard and even two of these brigades had been at once sent forward to Culpepper, they could have reached there by rail in a few days, and the moral effect would have been such as probably to turn back some of Hooker's army for the defence of Washington greatly to Lee's advantage in the approaching battle. Capt. Battine, a military critic of ability, remarks that it would have been "worth incurring great risks" to have drawn four of these brigades "to comply with this suggestion about Beauregard," p. 166.