By John Esten Cooke

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Thus the whole Federal programme in Virginia was thrown into confusion. General Banks, after the fight at Kernstown, was kept in the Valley. After Jackson's second attack upon him, when General Banks was driven across the Potomac and Washington threatened, General McDowell was directed to send half his army to operate against Jackson. Thus General McClellan, waiting at Richmond for McDowell to join him, did not move; with a portion of his army on one side of the 53 stream, and the remainder on the other side, he remained inactive, hesitating and unwilling, as any good soldier would have been, to commence the decisive assault.

General McClellan, if permitted by the Confederates to carry out his plan of operations, would soon be in command of about two hundred thousand men, and with this force it was anticipated he would certainly be able to capture Richmond. Such was the Federal programme of the war in Virginia. It promised great results, and ought, it would seem, to have succeeded. The Confederate forces in Virginia did not number in all one hundred thousand men; and it is now apparent that, without the able strategy of Johnston, Lee, and Jackson, General McClellan would have been in possession of Richmond before the summer.

Of all the prominent personages of his epoch. Lee was, perhaps, the most temperate. He rarely drank even so much as a single glass of wine, and it was a matter of general notoriety in the army afterward, that he cared not what he ate. The ruddy appearance which characterized him from first to last was the result of the most perfectly-developed physical health, which no species of indulgence had ever impaired. He used no tobacco then or afterward, in any shape--that seductive weed which has been called "the soldier's comfort"--and seemed, indeed, superior to all those small vices which assail men of his profession.

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A life of Gen. Robert E. Lee by John Esten Cooke


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