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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

  PART VIII.

LEE'S LAST CAMPAIGNS AND LAST DAYS.

XVIII.   General Lee after the War

 In the concluding pages of this volume we shall not be called upon to narrate either military or political events. With the surrender at Appomattox Court-House the Confederate War ended--no attempt was made by General Johnston or other commanders to prolong it--in that great whirlpool all hopes of further resistance disappeared.

We have, therefore, now no task before us but to follow General Lee into private life, and present a few details of his latter years, and his death. These notices will be brief, but will not, we hope, be devoid of interest. The soldier who had so long led the Confederate armies was to enter in his latter days upon a new field of labor; and, if in this field he won no new glories, he at least displayed the loftiest virtues, and exhibited that rare combination of greatness and gentleness which makes up a character altogether lovely.

Adhering to the resolution, formed in 1861, never again to draw his sword except in defence of Virginia, General Lee, after the surrender, sought for some occupation, feeling the necessity, doubtless, of in some manner employing his energies. He is said to have had offered to him, but to have courteously declined, estates in England and Ireland; and to have also declined the place of commercial agent of the South in New York, which would have proved exceedingly lucrative. In the summer of 1865, however, he accepted an offer more congenial to his feelings--that of the presidency of Washington College at Lexington--and in the autumn of that year entered upon his duties, which he continued to perform with great energy and success to the day of his death. Of the excellent judgment and great administrative capacity which he displayed in this new field of labor, we have never heard any question. It was the name and example, however, of Lee which proved so valuable, drawing to the college more than five hundred students from all portions of the South, and some even from the North.

Upon the subject of General Lee's life at Washington College, a more important authority than that of the present writer will soon speak. In the "Memorial Volume," whose publication will probably precede or immediately follow the appearance of this work, full details will, no doubt, be presented of this interesting period. The subject possesses rare interest, and the facts presented will, beyond all question, serve to bring out new beauties in a character already regarded with extraordinary love and admiration by men of all parties and opinions. To the volume in question we refer the reader who desires the full-length portrait of one concerning whom too much cannot be written.

During the period extending between the end of the war and General Lee's death, he appeared in public but two or three times--once at Washington, as a "witness" before a Congressional committee, styled "The Reconstruction Committee," to inquire into the condition of things in the South; again, as a witness on the proposed trial of President Davis; and perhaps on one or two additional occasions not of great interest or importance. His testimony was not taken on the trial of the President, which was deferred and finally abandoned; but he was subjected before the Washington committee to a long and searching examination, in which it is difficult to decide whether his own calmness, good sense, and outspoken frankness, or the bad taste of some of the questions prepounded to him, were the more remarkable. As the testimony of General Lee, upon this occasion, presents a full exposition of his views upon many of the most important points connected with the condition of the South, and the "reconstruction" policy, a portion of the newspaper report of his evidence is here given, as both calculated to interest the reader, and to illustrate the subject.

The examination of General Lee took place in March, 1866, and the following is the main portion of it:

General ROBERT E. LEE, sworn and examined by Mr. Howard:

Question. Where is your present residence?

Answer. Lexington, Va.

Q. How long have you resided in Lexington?

A. Since the 1st of October last--nearly five months.

THE FEELING IN VIRGINIA.

Q. Are you acquainted with the state of feeling among what we call secessionists in Virginia, at present, toward the Government of the United States?

A. I do not know that I am; I have been living very retired, and have had but little communication with politicians; I know nothing more than from my own observation, and from such facts as have come to my knowledge.

Q. From your observation, what is your opinion as to the loyalty toward the Government of the United States among the secession portion of the people of that State at this time?

A. So far as has come to my knowledge, I do not know of a single person who either feels or contemplates any resistance to the Government of the United States, or indeed any opposition to it; no word has reached me to either purpose.

Q. From what you have observed among them, is it your opinion that they are friendly toward the Government of the United States, and that they will cooeperate to sustain and uphold the Government for the future?

A. I believe that they entirely acquiesce in the Government of the United States, and, so far as I have heard any one express an opinion, they are for cooeperating with President Johnson in his policy.

Q. In his policy in regard to what?

A. His policy in regard to the restoration of the whole country; I have heard persons with whom I have conversed express great confidence in the wisdom of his policy of restoration, and they seem to look forward to it as a hope of restoration.

Q. How do they feel in regard to that portion of the people of the United States who have been forward and zealous in the prosecution of the war against the rebellion?

A. Well, I don't know as I have heard anybody express any opinion in regard to it; as I said before, I have not had much communication with politicians in the country, if there are any; every one seems to be engaged in his own affairs, and endeavoring to restore the civil government of the State; I have heard no expression of a sentiment toward any particular portion of the country.

Q. How do the secessionists feel in regard to the payment of the debt of the United States contracted in the prosecution of the war?

A. I have never heard anyone speak on the subject; I suppose they must expect to pay the taxes levied by the Government; I have heard them speak in reference to the payment of taxes, and of their efforts to raise money to pay taxes, which, I suppose, are for their share of the debt; I have never heard any one speak in opposition to the payment of taxes, or of resistance to their payment; their whole effort has been to try and raise the money for the payment of the taxes.

THE DEBT.

Q. From your knowledge of the state of public feeling in Virginia, is it your opinion that the people would, if the question were left to them, repudiate and reject that debt?

A. I never heard any one speak on that subject; but, from my knowledge of the people, I believe that they would be in favor of the payment of all just debts.

Q. Do they, in your opinion, regard that as a just debt?

A. I do not know what their opinion is on the subject of that particular debt; I have never heard any opinion expressed contrary to it; indeed, as I said in the beginning, I have had very little discussion or intercourse with the people; I believe the people will pay the debts they are called upon to pay; I say that from my knowledge of the people generally.

Q. Would they pay that debt, or their portion of it, with as much alacrity as people ordinarily pay their taxes to their Government?

A. I do not know that they would make any distinction between the two. The taxes laid by the Government, so far as I know, they are prepared to pay to the best of their ability. I never heard them make any distinction.

Q. What is the feeling of that portion of the people of Virginia in regard to the payment of the so-called Confederate debt?

A. I believe, so far as my opinion goes--I have no facts to go upon, but merely base my opinion on the knowledge I have of the people--that they would be willing to pay the Confederate debt, too.

Q. You think they would?

A. I think they would, if they had the power and ability to do so. I have never heard any one in the State, with whom I have conversed, speak of repudiating any debt.

Q. I suppose the Confederate debt is almost entirely valueless, even in the market in Virginia?

A. Entirely so, as far as I know. I believe the people generally look upon it as lost entirely. I never heard any question on the subject.

Q. Do you recollect the terms of the Confederate bonds--when they were made payable?

A. I think I have a general recollection that they were made payable six months after a declaration of peace.

Q. Six months after the ratification of a treaty of peace between the United States and the Confederate Government?

A. I think they ran that way.

Q. So that the bonds are not due yet by their terms?

A. I suppose, unless it is considered that there is a peace now, they are not due.

THE FREEDMEN.

Q. How do the people of Virginia, secessionists more particularly, feel toward the freedmen?

A. Every one with whom I associate expresses the kindest feelings toward the freedmen. They wish to see them get on in the world, and particularly to take up some occupation for a living, and to turn their hands to some work. I know that efforts have been made among the farmers near where I live to induce them to engage for the year at regular wages.

Q. Do you think there is a willingness on the part of their old masters to give them fair living wages for their labor?

A. I believe it is so; the farmers generally prefer those servants who have been living with them before; I have heard them express their preferences for the men whom they knew, who had lived with them before, and their wish to get them to return to work.

Q. Are you aware of the existence of any combination among the "whites" to keep down the wages of the "blacks?"

A. I am not; I have heard that in several counties the land-owners have met in order to establish a uniform rate of wages, but I never heard, nor do I know of any combination to keep down wages or establish any rule which they did not think fair; the means of paying wages in Virginia are very limited now, and there is a difference of opinion as to how much each person is able to pay.

Q. How do they feel in regard to the education of the blacks? Is there a general willingness to have them educated?

A. Where I am, and have been, the people have exhibited a willingness that the blacks should be educated, and they express an opinion that it would be better for the blacks and better for the whites.

Q. General, you are very competent to judge of the capacity of black men for acquiring knowledge--I want your opinion on that capacity as compared with the capacity of white men?

A. I do not know that I am particularly qualified to speak on that subject, as you seem to intimate, but I do not think that the black man is as capable of acquiring knowledge as the white man. There are some more apt than others. I have known some to acquire knowledge and skill in their trade or profession. I have had servants of my own who learned to read and write very well.

Q. Do they show a capacity to obtain knowledge of mathematics and the exact sciences?

A. I have no knowledge on that subject; I am merely acquainted with those who have learned the common rudiments of education.

Q. General, are you aware of the existence among the blacks of Virginia, anywhere within the limits of the State, of combinations, having in view the disturbance of the peace, or any improper or unlawful acts?

A. I am not; I have seen no evidence of it, and have heard of none; wherever I have been they have been quiet and orderly; not disposed to work; or, rather, not disposed to any continuous engagement to work, but just very short jobs to provide them with the immediate means of subsistence.

Q. Has the colored race generally as great love of money and property as the white race possesses?

A. I do not think it has; the blacks with whom I am acquainted look more to the present time than to the future.

Q. Does that absence of a lust of money and property arise more from the nature of the negro than from his former servile condition?

A. Well, it may be in some measure attributed to his former condition; they are an amiable, social race; they like their ease and comfort, and I think look more to their present than to their future condition.

IN CASE OF WAR, WOULD VIRGINIA JOIN OUR ENEMIES?

Q. In the event of a war between the United States and any foreign power, such as England or France, if there should be held out to the secession portion of the people of Virginia, or the other recently rebel States, a fair prospect of gaining their independence and shaking off the Government of the United States, is it or is it not your opinion that they would avail themselves of that opportunity?

A. I cannot answer with any certainty on that point; I do not know how far they might be actuated by their feelings; I have nothing whatever to base an opinion upon; so far as I know, they contemplate nothing of the kind now; what may happen in the future I cannot say.

Q. Do you not frequently hear, in your intercourse with secessionists in Virginia, expressions of a hope that such a war may break out?

A. I cannot say that I have heard it; on the contrary, I have heard persons--I do not know whether you could call them secessionists or not, I mean those people in Virginia with whom I associate--express the hope that the country may not be led into a war.

Q. In such an event, do you not think that that class of people whom I call secessionists would join the common enemy?

A. It is possible; it depends upon the feeling of the individual.

Q. If it is a fair question--you may answer or not, as you choose--what, in such an event, might be your choice?

A. I have no disposition now to do it, and I never have had.

Q. And you cannot foresee that such would be your inclination in such an event?

A. No; I can only judge from the past; I do not know what circumstances it may produce; I cannot pretend to foresee events; so far as I know the feeling of the people of Virginia, they wish for peace.

Q. During the civil war, was it not contemplated by the Government of the Confederacy to form an alliance with some foreign nation if possible?

A. I believe it was their wish to do so if they could; it was their wish to have the Confederate Government recognized as an independent government; I have no doubt that if it could have made favorable treaties it would have done so, but I know nothing of the policy of the government; I had no hand or part in it; I merely express my own opinion.

Q. The question I am about to put to you, you may answer or not, as you choose. Did you take an oath of fidelity, or allegiance, to the Confederate Government?

A. I do not recollect having done so, but it is possible that when I was commissioned I did; I do not recollect whether it was required; if it was required, I took it, or if it had been required I would have taken it; but I do not recollect whether it was or not.

Q. (By Mr. Blow.) In reference to the effect of President Johnson's policy, if it were adopted, would there be any thing like a return of the old feeling? I ask that because you used the expression "acquiescing in the result."

A. I believe it would take time for the feelings of the people to be of that cordial nature to the Government they were formerly.

Q. Do you think that their preference for that policy arises from a desire to have peace and good feeling in the country, or from the probability of their regaining political power?

PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S POLICY.

A. So far as I know the desire of the people of the South, it is for restoration of their civil government, and they look upon the policy of President Johnson as the one which would most clearly and most surely reestablish it.

CONDITION OF THE POORER CLASSES.

Q. Do you see any change among the poorer classes in Virginia, in reference to industry? Are they as much, or more, interested in developing their material interests than they were?

A. I have not observed any change; every one now has to attend to his business for his support.

Q. The poorer classes are generally hard at work, are they?

A. So far as I know, they are; I know nothing to the contrary.

Q. Is there any difference in their relations to the colored people? Is their prejudice increased or diminished?

A. I have noticed no change; so far as I do know the feelings of all the people of Virginia, they are kind to the colored people; I have never heard any blame attributed to them as to the present condition of things, or any responsibility.

Q. There are very few colored laborers employed, I suppose?

A. Those who own farms have employed, more or less, one or two colored laborers; some are so poor that they have to work themselves.

Q. Can capitalists and workingmen from the North go into any portion of Virginia with which you are familiar and go to work among the people?

A. I do not know of any thing to prevent them. Their peace and pleasure there would depend very much on their conduct. If they confined themselves to their own business and did not interfere to provoke controversies with their neighbors, I do not believe they would be molested.

Q. There is no desire to keep out capital?

A. Not that I know of. On the contrary, they are very anxious to get capital into the State.

Q. You see nothing of a disposition to prevent such a thing?

A. I have seen nothing, and do not know of any thing, as I said before; the manner in which they would be received would depend entirely upon the individuals themselves; they might make themselves obnoxious, as you can understand.

Q. (By Mr. Howard.) Is there not a general dislike of Northern men among secessionists?

A. I suppose they would prefer not to associate with them; I do not know that they would select them as associates.

Q. Do they avoid and ostracize them socially?

A. They might avoid them; they would not select them as associates unless there was some reason; I do not know that they would associate with them unless they became acquainted; I think it probable they would not admit them into their social circles.

THE POSITION OF THE COLORED RACE.

Q. (By Mr. Blow.) What is the position of the colored men in Virginia with reference to persons they work for? Do you think they would prefer to work for Northern or Southern men?

A. I think it very probable they would prefer the Northern man, although I have no facts to go upon.

Q. That having been stated very frequently in reference to the cotton States, does it result from a bad treatment on the part of the resident population, or from the idea that they will be more fairly treated by the new-comers? What is your observation in that respect in regard to Virginia?

A. I have no means of forming an opinion; I do not know any case in Virginia; I know of numbers of the blacks engaging with their old masters, and I know of many to prefer to go off and look for new homes; whether it is from any dislike of their former masters, or from any desire to change, or they feel more free and independent, I don't know.

THE MATERIAL INTERESTS OF VIRGINIA.

Q. What is your opinion in regard to the material interests of Virginia; do you think they will be equal to what they were before the rebellion under the changed aspect of affairs?

A. It will take a long time for them to reach their former standard; I think that after some years they will reach it, and I hope exceed it; but it cannot be immediately, in my opinion.

Q. It will take a number of years?

A. It will take a number of years, I think.

Q. On the whole, the condition of things in Virginia is hopeful both in regard to its material interests and the future peace of the country?

A. I have heard great hopes expressed, and there is great cheerfulness and willingness to labor.

Q. Suppose this policy of President Johnson should be all you anticipate, and that you should also realize all that you expect in the improvement of the material interests, do you think that the result of that will be the gradual restoration of the old feeling?

A. That will be the natural result, I think; and I see no other way in which that result can be brought about.

Q. There is a fear in the public mind that the friends of the policy in the South adopt it because they see in it the means of repairing the political position which they lost in the recent contest. Do you think that that is the main idea with them, or that they merely look to it, as you say, as the best means of restoring civil government and the peace and prosperity of their respective States?

A. As to the first point you make, I do not know that I ever heard any person speak upon it; I never heard the points separated; I have heard them speak generally as to the effect of the policy of President Johnson; the feeling is, so far as I know now, that there is not that equality extended to the Southern States which is enjoyed by the North.

Q. You do not feel down there that, while you accept the result, we are as generous as we ought to be under the circumstances?

A. They think that the North can afford to be generous.

Q. That is the feeling down there?

A. Yes; and they think it is the best policy; those who reflect upon the subject and are able to judge.

Q. I understand it to be your opinion that generosity and liberality toward the entire South would be the surest means of regaining their good opinion?

A. Yes, and the speediest.

Q. (By Mr. Howard.) I understand you to say generally that you had no apprehension of any combination among the leading secessionists to renew the war, or any thing of the kind?  A. I have no reason in the world to think so.

Q. Have you heard that subject talked over among any of the politicians?

A. No, sir; I have not; I have not heard that matter even suggested.

Q. Let me put another hypothetical state of things. Suppose the executive government of the United States should be held by a President who, like Mr. Buchanan, rejected the right of coercion, so called, and suppose a Congress should exist here entertaining the same political opinions, thus presenting to the once rebel States the opportunity to again secede from the Union, would they, or not, in your opinion, avail themselves of that opportunity, or some of them?

A. I suppose it would depend: upon the circumstances existing at the time; if their feelings should remain embittered, and their affections alienated from the rest of the States, I think it very probable they might do so, provided they thought it was to their interests.

Q. Do you not think that at the present time there is a deep-seated feeling of dislike toward the Government of the United States on the part of the secessionists?

A. I do not know that there is any deep-seated dislike; I think it is probable there may be some animosity still existing among the people of the South.

Q. Is there not a deep-seated feeling of disappointment and chagrin at the result of the war?

A. I think that at the time they were disappointed at the result of the war.

Q. Do you mean to be understood as saying that there is not a condition of discontent against the Government of the United States among the secessionists generally?

A. I know none.

Q. Are you prepared to say that they respect the Government of the United States, and the loyal people of the United States, so much at the present time as to perform their duties as citizens of the United States, and of the States, faithfully and well?

A. I believe that they will perform all the duties that they are required to perform; I think that is the general feeling so far as I know.

Q. Do you think it would be practicable to convict a man in Virginia of treason for having taken part in this rebellion against the Government by a Virginian jury without packing it with direct reference to a verdict of guilty?

A. On that point I have no knowledge, and I do not know what they would consider treason against the United States--if you refer to past acts.

Mr. Howard: Yes, sir.

Witness: I have no knowledge what their views on that subject in the past are.

Q. You understand my question. Suppose a jury was impanelled in your own neighborhood, taken by lot, would it be possible to convict, for instance, Jefferson Davis, for having levied war upon the United States, and thus having committed the crime of treason?

A. I think it is very probable that they would not consider he had committed treason.

THEIR VIEWS OF TREASON.

Q. Suppose the jury should be clearly and plainly instructed by the Court that such an act of war upon the part of Mr. Davis or any other leading man constituted the crime of treason under the Constitution of the United States, would the jury be likely to heed that instruction, and, if the facts were plainly in proof before them, convict the offender?

A. I do not know, sir, what they would do on that question.

Q. They do not generally suppose that it was treason against the United States, do they?

A. I do not think that they so consider it.

Q. In what light would they view it? What would be their excuse or justification? How would they escape, in their own mind? I refer to the past--I am referring to the past and the feelings they would have?

 A. So far as I know, they look upon the action of the State in withdrawing itself from the Government of the United States as carrying the individuals of the State along with it; that the State was responsible for the act, not the individuals, and that the ordinance of secession, so called, or those acts of the State which recognized a condition of war between the State and the General Government stood as their justification for their bearing arms against the Government of the United States; yes, sir, I think they would consider the act of the State as legitimate; that they were merely using the reserved rights, which they had a right to do.

Q. State, if you please--and if you are disinclined to answer the question you need not do so--what your own personal views on that question are?

A. That was my view; that the act of Virginia in withdrawing herself from the United States carried me along as a citizen of Virginia, and that her laws and her acts were binding on me.

Q. And that you felt to be your justification in taking the course you did?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I have been told, general, that you have remarked to some of your friends, in conversation, that you were rather wheedled or cheated into that course by politicians?

A. I do not recollect ever making any such remark; I do not think I ever made it.

Q. If there be any other matter about which you wish to speak on this occasion, do so, freely.

A. Only in reference to that last question you put to me. I may have said and may have believed that the positions of the two sections which they held to each other was brought about by the politicians of the country; that the great masses of the people, if they understood the real question, would have avoided it; but not that I had been individually wheedled by the politicians.

Q. That is probably the origin of the whole thing.

A. I may have said that, but I do not even recollect that; but I did believe at the time that it was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided if forbearance and wisdom had been practised on both sides.

Q. You say that you do not recollect having sworn allegiance and fidelity to the Confederate Government?

A. I do not recollect it, nor do I know it was ever required. I was regularly commissioned in the army of the Confederate States, but I do not really recollect that that oath was required. If it was required, I have no doubt I took it; or, if it had been required, I would have taken it.

Q. Is there any other matter which you desire to state to the committee?

A. No, sir; I am ready to answer any question which you think proper to put to me.

NEGRO CITIZENSHIP.

Q. How would an amendment to the Constitution be received by the secessionists, or by the people at large, allowing the colored people, or certain classes of them, to exercise the right of voting at elections?

A. I think, so far as I can form an opinion, in such an event they would object.

Q. They would object to such an amendment?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Suppose an amendment should nevertheless be adopted, conferring on the blacks the right of suffrage, would that, in your opinion, lead to scenes of violence or breaches of the peace between the two races in Virginia?

A. I think it would excite unfriendly feelings between the two races; I cannot pretend to say to what extent it would go, but that would be the result.

Q. Are you acquainted with the proposed amendment now pending in the Senate of the United States?

A. No, sir, I am not; I scarcely ever read a paper. [The substance of the proposed amendment was here explained to the witness by Mr. Conkling.] So far as I can see, I do not think that the State of Virginia would object to it.

Q. Would she consent, under any circumstances, to allow the black people to vote, even if she were to gain a large number of representatives in Congress?

A. That would depend upon her interests; if she had the right of determining that, I do not see why she would object; if it were to her interest to admit these people to vote, that might overrule any other objection that she had to it.

Q. What, in your opinion, would be the practical result? Do you think that Virginia would consent to allow the negro to vote?

A. I think that at present she would accept the smaller representation; I do not know what the future may develop; if it should be plain to her that these persons will vote properly and understandingly, she might admit them to vote.

Q. (By Mr. Blow.) Do you not think it would turn a good deal, in the cotton States, upon the value of the labor of the black people? Upon the amount which they produce?

A. In a good many States in the South, and in a good many counties in Virginia, if the black people were allowed to vote, it would, I think, exclude proper representation--that is, proper, intelligent people would not be elected, and, rather than suffer that injury, they would not let them vote at all.

Q. Do you not think that the question as to whether any Southern State would allow the colored people the right of suffrage in order to increase representation would depend a good deal on the amount which the colored people might contribute to the wealth of the State, in order to secure two things--first, the larger representation, and, second, the influence desired from those persons voting?

A. I think they would determine the question more in reference to their opinion as to the manner in which those votes would be exercised, whether they consider those people qualified to vote; my own opinion is, that at this time they cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the right of suffrage would open the door to a good deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways; what the future may prove, how intelligent they may become, with what eyes they may look upon the interests of the State in which they may reside, I cannot say more than you can.

The above extract presents the main portion of General Lee's testimony, and is certainly an admirable exposition of the clear good sense and frankness of the individual. Once or twice there is obviously an under-current of dry satire, as in his replies upon the subject of the Confederate bonds. When asked whether he remembered at what time these bonds were made payable, he replied that his "general recollection was, that they were made payable six months after a declaration of peace." The correction was at once made by his interrogator in the words "six months after _the ratification of a treaty of peace_" etc. "I think they ran that way," replied General Lee. "So that," retorted his interrogator, "the bonds are not yet due by their terms?" General Lee's reply was, "I suppose, _unless it is considered that there is a peace now, they are not due_."

This seems to have put an abrupt termination to the examination on that point. To the question whether he had taken an oath of allegiance to the Confederate Government, he replied: "I do not recollect having done so, but it is possible that when I was commissioned I did; I do not recollect whether it was required; if it was required, I took it, or if it had been required, I would have taken it."

If this reply of General Lee be attentively weighed by the reader, some conception may be formed of the bitter pang which he must have experienced in sending in, as he did, to the Federal Government, his application for pardon. The fact cannot be concealed that this proceeding on the part of General Lee was a subject of deep regret to the Southern people; but there can be no question that his motive was disinterested and noble, and that he presented, in so doing, the most remarkable evidence of the true greatness of his character. He had no personal advantage to expect from a pardon; cared absolutely nothing whether he were "pardoned" or not; and to one so proud, and so thoroughly convinced of the justice of the cause in which he had fought, to appear as a supplicant must have been inexpressibly painful. He, nevertheless, took this mortifying step--actuated entirely by that sense of duty which remained with him to the last, overmastering every other sentiment of his nature. He seems in this, as in many other things, to have felt the immense import of his example. The old soldiers of his army, and thousands of civilians, were obliged to apply for amnesty, or remain under civic disability. Brave men, with families depending upon them, had been driven to this painful course, and General Lee seems to have felt that duty to his old comrades demanded that he, too, should swallow this bitter draught, and share their humiliation as he had shared their dangers and their glory. If this be not the explanation of the motives controlling General Lee's action, the writer is unable to account for the course which he pursued. That it is the sole explanation, the writer no more doubts than he doubts the fact of his own existence.

 

 

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