Confederate Generals are Passing Away. 191
his commission did not reach him before the evacuation, and although he commanded a corps for some time, and on the retreat was put by General Lee in command of one wing of the army, he always wrote " major-general " as his real rank. The same practically was true of General Fitzhugh Lee, who commanded the cavalry corps after General Hampton was sent south.
The "full generals " have all long since crossed the river, and of the lieutenant-generals, only General S. D. Lee, General S. B. Buckner, General A. P. Stewart and General Joseph Wheeler re- main.
And alas! the major-generals, the brigadiers, the other officers of the "field and staff," and the rank and rile of the Confederate armies are stepping out of the ranks so rapidly, that soon there will be none left to answer roll call down here.
3. I do not wish to enter into the " Gettysburg controversy " just now; I sympathize with Mrs. Longstreet in her desire to vindicate the fame of her heroic husband, and with General Fitz Lee in quot- ing the old Latin maxim, " Nothing except good about the dead."
But we cannot afford to allow the truth of history to be sacrificed to these sentiments, and especially we cannot afford to let our great commander, Robert Edward Lee, rest under the charge that he lost the battle of Gettysburg by stupendous blunders, which his "Old War Horse" saw, pointed out and remonstrated with him against at the time.
Anyone desirous of studying fully the Gettysburg campaign and battle, will find the facts very fully set forth in the Southern Histori- cal Society Papers, especially in the papers of General J. A. Early, General James Longstreet, General Fitzhugh Lee, General Walter H. Taylor, Colonel William Allan, General A. L. Long, General E. P. Alexander General J. B. Hood, General Henry Heth and others, and in the official reports of nearly all of the prominent officers en- gaged.
Meantime, it ought to be said that the charge, so freely made, that the censure of General Longstreet originated with those who op- posed his political course, is utterly unsustained by the facts.
The charge that Lee lost the battle of Gettysburg by obstinately refusing to take Longstreet's advice was first published by Swinton, in his book, Army of the Potomac, which appeared in 1866, and the author gave General Longstreet as his authority for his statements. Soon after General Lee's death, there was published in the papers