Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 134
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 134
 
 
capable commander, but Lee at once began to show that genius for leadership which distinguished him throughout the war. Furthermore, he had none of the arrogance that sometimes accompanies great military parts. He got on well with everybody and it was especially important that complete harmony should exist between himself and Jefferson Davis and Jackson. Johnston had quarreled with his President and their correspondence bristled with controversy; but no one could quarrel with Lee who, in his magnanimity and deference to his fellow workers, resembled Lincoln. When Stonewall Jackson, who had been eager for reënforcement, heard of Lee’s appointment, he said to a friend, “Well, Madam, I am reinforced at last.” 1  80
  Lee had a talent for organization equal to that of McClellan. In reading the orders, the despatches, the history of the army at this time, one seems to feel that he infused a new energy into the management of affairs. Making a careful survey of the position of his army, he directed that it be at once strongly fortified. He had some difficulty in overcoming the aversion to manual labor which obtained among the Southern soldiers, but his constant personal superintendence and his pleasing authoritative manner accomplished wonders; soon his defensive works were well under way. At the same time he was becoming better acquainted with his officers and winning their respect, for he was unremitting in industry and rode over his lines nearly every day. He decided that an assault upon McClellan’s left wing, the corps on the south side of the river, was “injudicious if not impracticable”; it would be, to use Davis’s words, “putting the breasts of our men in antagonism to the enemy’s heaps of earth.” On the other hand information gained by his cavalry and a personal reconnaissance of the Union position north
 
Note 1. This was previously when Lee was appointed military adviser to Davis. [back]
 

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