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From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania

As the Texan Brigade of Longstreet's Corps


They said Hancock's Corps was doubled up, and being torn to pieces and they thought we would "bag the whole business."

=The Love that Lee Inspired in the Men He Led=

All this was very nice and we were expressing our delight in the usual way. Just then, an officer rode up who told us a bit of news, that made us feel more like tears than cheers, and put every fellow's heart into his mouth. He said that just before, General Lee had come in an ace of being captured. A body of the enemy had pushed through a gap in our line and unexpectedly come right upon the old General, who was quietly sitting upon his horse. That, these fellows could with perfect ease have taken, or shot him, but that he had quietly ridden off, and the enemy not knowing who it was, made no special effort to molest him.

I wish you could have seen the appalled look that fell on the faces of the men, as they listened to this. Although the danger was past an hour ago, they were as pale and startled and shocked as if it were enacting then. The bare idea of anything happening to General Lee was enough to make a man sick, and I assure you it took all the starch out of us for a few minutes.

I don't know how it was, but somehow, it never occurred to us that anything _could_ happen to General Lee. Of course, we knew that he was often exposed, like the rest of us. We had seen him often enough under hot fire. And, by the way, I believe that the one only thing General Lee ever did, that the men in this army thought he _ought not to do_, was going under fire. We thought him perfect in motive, deed and judgment; he could do no wrong, could make no mistake, but this,--that he was too careless in the way he went about a battlefield. Three different times, during these very fights, at points of danger, he was urged to leave the spot, as it was "not the place for him." At last he said, "I wish I knew _where my place is_ on the battlefield; wherever I go some one tells me _that_ is not the place for me."

But, he would go! He wanted to see things for himself, and he wished his men to know, that he was looking after them, both seeing that they did their duty, and _caring_ for them. And certainly, the sight of his beloved face was like the sun to his men for cheer and encouragement. Every man thought less of personal danger, and no man thought of _failure_ after he had seen General Lee riding along the lines. Nobody will ever quite understand what that old man was to us, his soldiers! What absolute confidence we felt in him! What love and devotion we had, what enthusiastic admiration, what filial affection, we cherished for him. We loved him like a father, and thought about him as a devout old Roman thought of the God of War. Anything happen to him! It would have _broken our hearts_, for one thing, and, we could no more think of the "Army of Northern Virginia" without General Lee, at its head, than we could picture the day without the sun shining in the heavens.

An incident illustrating this feeling was taking place up in the front just about the time we were hearing the news of the General's narrow escape.

As the Texan Brigade of Longstreet's Corps, just come up, dashed upon the heavy ranks of the Federals, they passed General Lee with a rousing cheer. The old General, anxious and excited by the critical moment, thrilling with sympathy in their gallant bearing, started to ride in, with them, to the charge. It was told me the next day by some of the Texans, who witnessed it, that the instant the men, unaware of his presence


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