By John Esten Cooke
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Extra info for A life of Gen. Robert E. Lee
Prompt action was thus necessary on the part of the sagacious soldier commanding the army at Richmond, and directing operations throughout the theatre of action in Virginia. The officer in question was General Joseph E. Johnston, a Virginian by birth, who had first held General Patterson in check in the Shenandoah Valley, and then hastened to the assistance of General Beauregard at Manassas, where, in right of his superior rank, he took command. Before the enemy's design to advance up the Peninsula had been developed, Johnston had made a masterly retreat from Manassas.
Physically and intellectually he was "at his best," and in the bloom of manhood. His figure was erect, and he bore himself with the brief, somewhat stiff air of command derived from his military education and service in the army. This air of the professional soldier, which characterized generally the graduates of West Point, was replaced afterward by a grave dignity, the result of high command and great responsibilities. In April, 1861, however, he was rather the ordinary army officer in bearing than the commander-in-chief.
Yes, bishop--very often," he said, in reply to the last words uttered by the bishop. A brief conversation followed, Bishop Meade making inquiries in reference to Mrs. Lee, who was his own relative, and other members of the family. " It now became necessary to terminate an interview which, in the feeble condition of the aged man, could not be prolonged. Much exhausted, and laboring under deep emotion, Bishop Meade shook the general by the hand, and said: "Heaven bless you! Heaven bless you! " These were the last words uttered during the interview.
A life of Gen. Robert E. Lee by John Esten Cooke