Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Chapter III: Letters to Wife and Daughters: Quotation from Colonel Taylor's book

The Document

Colonel Taylor, in his "Four Years with General Lee," says:

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

"Judged from its results, it must be confessed that this series of operations was a failure. At its conclusion, a large portion of the State was in possession of the Federals, including the rich valleys of the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, and so remained until the close of the war. For this, however, General Lee cannot reasonably be held accountable. Disaster had befallen the Confederate arms, and the worst had been accomplished before he had reached the theatre of operations; the Alleghanies there constituted the dividing line between the hostile forces, and in this network of mountains, sterile and rendered absolutely impracticable by a prolonged season of rain, Nature had provided an insurmountable barrier to operations in this transmontane country.... It was doubtless because of similar embarrassments that the Federal general retired, in the face of inferior numbers, to a point near his base of supplies."

Next: From Professor Wm. P. Trent

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How to cite this article

Lee, Robert E. jr., The Recollections & Letters of Robert E. Lee, http://www.historyofwar.org/sources/acw/lee_letters/chapter03c.html, webpage created by Rickard, J (8 June 2006),

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