Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

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"We had now reached the latter days of October. The lateness of theseason and the condition of the roads precluded the idea of earnest,aggressive operations, and the campaign in western Virginia wasvirtually concluded.

"Judged from its results, it must be confessed that this series ofoperations was a failure. At its conclusion, a large portion of theState was in possession of the Federals, including the rich valleysof the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, and so remained until the close ofthe war. For this, however, General Lee cannot reasonably be heldaccountable. Disaster had befallen the Confederate arms, and the worsthad been accomplished before he had reached the theatre of operations;the Alleghanies there constituted the dividing line between the hostileforces, and in this network of mountains, sterile and renderedabsolutely impracticable by a prolonged season of rain, Nature hadprovided an insurmountable barrier to operations in this transmontanecountry.... It was doubtless because of similar embarrassments thatthe Federal general retired, in the face of inferior numbers, to apoint near his base of supplies."


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