James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

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  stupid surprise,” 1 although only in his thirty-third year, could not forego his noonday nap.  65   While calmly awaiting the result of Jackson’s flank movement and on the alert for any chance, Lee wrote a remarkable letter to Davis, from which may be seen his appreciation of the risk that he was taking and his resource in the event of failure. “If I had with me all my command,” he wrote, “and could keep it supplied with provisions and forage, I should feel easy, but, as far as I can judge, the advantage of numbers and position is greatly in favor of the enemy.” 2 While Jackson was crushing the right of the Union Army, “Hooker with his two aides, sat on the veranda of the Chancellor House, enjoying the summer evening” 3; his first warning of the actual disaster was the flight of disordered fugitives from his Eleventh Corps. 4  66   The news from the battle-field received by the War Department and the President was meagre and unsatisfactory. Welles wrote in his Diary on May 4, “I this afternoon met the President at the War Department. He said he had a feverish anxiety to get facts; was constantly up and down, for nothing reliable came from the front. There is an impression which is very general that our Army has been successful, but that there has been great slaughter, and that still fiercer and more terrible fights are impending.” 5 When the President received the telegram announcing the withdrawal of the army to the north side of the Rappahannock, he cried out, “My God! My God! What
Note 1. Hamlin, 50. [back]
Note 2. O. R., XXV, Pt. II, 765. [back]
Note 3. J. Bigelow Jr., 301. [back]
Note 4. Authorities: O. R., XXV, Pts. I, II; W. R. Livermore, I; J. Bigelow Jr.; General Meade, I; Hamlin; B. & L., III; C. W., 1865, I; Welles’s Diary, I; Schurz, Reminiscences, II; Alexander; IV; Dabney; Lieut.-Col. Henderson; Fitzhugh Lee; Pennypacker; Bache; Smith, Milt. Hist. Soc., V. [back]
Note 5. Welles’s Diary, I, 291. [back]