Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 31, 1861 (Saturday): Lee Encourages Wise

Colonel Albert G. Jenkins 

                                                VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VA., August 31, 1861.
General Henry A. Wise
     Comdg. Wise’s Legion, Dogwood Gap, West of Lewisburg, Va.:
  General: I have just received and read with much interest your report of the 28th instant.  The troops under your command deserve great commendation for the alacrity and cheerfulness they exhibited in the trying march they underwent to Gauley River and the promptitude with which they performed their duty.  I regret the loss sustained by Colonel Jenkins’ cavalry, by apparently incautiously advancing into an ambuscade.  The behavior of Captain Brock on the occasion was praiseworthy.  Danger is so sharp that its frequent presence will inspire coolness and self-possession in the men, and ultimate benefit will result from it.  Yet they ought not to be exposed unnecessarily.  I am much gratified at General Floyd’s success in dispersing and punishing the regiment of the enemy beyond the Gauley and feel assured that by your united efforts you will be able to drive back to Ohio his whole force.  A re-enforcement of two regiments (one from North Carolina and one from Georgia) is on the march to Lewisburg.
    I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
                                                                                    R. E. LEE,
                                                                        General, Commanding

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 5 Page 824

Lee would march to Gettysburg in 1863 with Jenkins cavalry to his front and no doubt remembered their troubles in western Virginia in 1861.  Here Lee goes out of his way to praise Wise and Floyd, and expresses the hope they will be successful in their united efforts.  If he did believe that, it would be contrary of all available evidence. 

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