A LIFE OF GEN. ROBERT E. LEE.
BY JOHN ESTEN COOKE.
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language."
"Human virtue should be equal to human calamity." LEE. 1876
LEE'S EARLY LIFE.
X. The War begins
Early in May, Virginia became formally a member of the Southern Confederacy, and the troops which she had raised a portion of the
Confederate States Army. When Richmond became the capital soon afterward, and the Southern Congress assembled, five brigadier-generals were appointed, Generals Cooper,
Albert S. Johnston, Lee, J. E. Johnston, and
Beauregard. Large forces had been meanwhile raised throughout the South; Virginia became the centre of all eyes, as the scene of the main struggle; and early in June occurred at Bethel, in Lower Virginia, the first prominent affair, in which General Butler, with about four thousand men, was repulsed and forced to retire.
The affair at Bethel, which was of small importance, was followed by movements in Northern and Western Virginia--the battles at
Rich Mountain and Carrick's Ford; Johnston's movements in the Valley; and the advance of the main Federal army on the force under Beauregard, which resulted in the first battle of Manassas. In these events, General Lee bore no part, and we need not speak of them further than to present a summary of the results. The Federal design had been to penetrate Virginia in three columns. One was to advance from the northwest under General McClellan; a second, under
General Patterson, was to take possession of the Valley; and a third, under
General McDowell, was to drive Beauregard back from Manassas on Richmond. Only one of these columns--that of McClellan--succeeded in its undertaking. Johnston held Patterson in check in the Valley until the advance upon Manassas; then by a flank march the Confederate general hastened to the assistance of Beauregard. The battle of Manassas followed on Sunday, the 21st of July. After an unsuccessful attempt to force the Confederate right, General McDowell assailed their left, making for that purpose a long _detour_--and at first carried all before him. Reenforcements were hurried forward, however, and the Confederates fought with the energy of men defending their own soil. The obstinate stand made by Evans, Bee, Bartow, Jackson, and their brave associates, turned the fortunes of the day, and, when reenforcements subsequently reached the field under General Kirby Smith and General Early, the Federal troops retreated in great disorder toward