Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Chapter VI: The Winter of 1863-4: The Wilderness

The Document

I shall not attempt to describe any part of this campaign except in a very general way. It has been well written up by both sides, and what was done by the Army of Northern Virginia we all know. I saw my father only once or twice, to speak to him, during the thirty odd days from the Wilderness to Petersburg, but, in common with all his soldiers, I felt that he was ever near, that he could be entirely trusted with the care of us, that he would not fail us, that it would all end well. The feeling of trust that we had in him was simply sublime. When I say "we," I mean the men of my age and standing, officers and privates alike. Older heads may have begun to see the "beginning of the end" when they saw that slaughter and defeat did not deter our enemy, but made him the more determined in his "hammering" process; but it never occurred to me, and to thousands and thousands like me, that there was any occasion for uneasiness. We firmly believed that "Marse Robert," as his soldiers lovingly called him, would bring us out of this trouble all right.

Next: Spottsylvania Court House

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How to cite this article

Lee, Robert E. jr., The Recollections & Letters of Robert E. Lee,, webpage created by Rickard, J (8 June 2006),

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