Frederick Trevor Hill

While Grant was earning a reputation as a fighting general in the West, Lee had been at a desk in Richmond attending to his duties as chief military adviser to the Confederate President, which prevented him from taking active part in any operations in the field. As a matter of fact, however, there had been no important engagements in the East, for "On to Richmond!" had become the war cry of the North, and all the energies of the Federal government had been centered on preparations for the capture of the Southern capital.

Desperate as their plight had been for many days, Lee's men had not wholly abandoned the hope of escape, but when their beloved commander returned from the Federal lines they saw by his face that the end had come, and crowding around him, they pressed his hands, even the strongest among them shedding bitter tears. For a time he was unable to respond in words to this touching demonstration, but finally, with a great effort, he mastered his emotion and bravely faced his comrades.

During the early years of the Civil War someone tauntingly asked Mr. Charles Francis Adams, the United States Minister to England, what he thought of the brilliant victories which the confederate armies were then gaining in the field. "I think they have been won by my fellow countrymen," was the quiet answer.

While the remnants of McClellan's fine army were recuperating from the rough handling they had received, Lee was developing a plan to remove them still further from the vicinity of Richmond. Harrison's Landing was too close to the Confederate capital for comfort and the breastworks which the Union commander erected there were too formidable to be attacked. But, though he could not hope to drive his adversary away by force, Lee believed that he could lure him from his stronghold by carrying the war into another part of Virginia.

While Lee was passing the closing years of his life in tranquility, Grant was entering upon a stormy career in politics. But before he had any thought of the honors that lay before him he proved himself a good friend to the South and a really great American. Toward his late adversaries he maintained that the true policy was "to make friends of enemies," and by word and deed he earnestly strove to accomplish that result, never losing an opportunity to protect the people of the South from humiliation and injustice.

England was an uncomfortable place to live in during the reign of Charles the First. Almost from the moment that that ill-fated monarch ascended the throne he began quarreling with Parliament; and when he decided to dismiss its members and make himself the supreme ruler of the land, he practically forced his subjects into a revolution.

Lee's masterly defense of Richmond, and his complete triumph over McClellan and Pope had, in three months, made him the idol of the Confederacy. In all military matters his word was law, while the army adored him and the people of the South as a whole regarded him with a feeling akin to reverence. This was not entirely the result of his achievements on the field. Jackson had displayed an equal genius for the art of war and in the opinion of many experts he was entitled to more credit than his chief. But Jackson was regarded with awe and curiosity rather than affection.

"Wakefield," Westmoreland County, Virginia, was the birthplace of Washington, and at Stratford in the same county and state, only a few miles from Wakefield, Robert Edward Lee was born on January 19, 1807. Seventy-five years had intervened between those events but, except in the matter of population, Westmoreland County remained much the same as it had been during Washington's youth. Indians, it is true, no longer lurked in he surrounding forests or paddled the broad Potomac in their frail canoes, but the life had much of the same freedom and charm which had endeared it to Washington.

Had McClellan not absurdly overestimated the number of troops opposed to him when his army neared Sharpsburg on the 15th of September, 1862, he might have defeated Lee and possibly destroyed or captured his entire force. Never before had a Union commander had such an opportunity to deliver a crushing blow. He had more than 80,000 men under his control - fully twice as many as his adversary; he had the Confederate plan of campaign in his hands and such fighting as had occurred with the exception of that at Harper's Ferry had been decidedly in his favor.

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