Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 220
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 220
ability and nerve. Meade’s account of him at this time explains the whole episode. “General Hooker has disappointed all his friends by failing to show his fighting qualities at the pinch,” Meade wrote to his wife on May 8. “He was more cautious and took to digging quicker than even McClellan, thus proving that a man may talk very big when he has no responsibility, but that it is quite a different thing, acting when you are responsible and talking when others are. Who would have believed a few days ago that Hooker would withdraw his army, in opposition to the opinion of a majority of his corps commanders? … Poor Hooker himself, after he had determined to withdraw, said to me, in the most desponding manner, that he was ready to turn over to me the Army of the Potomac; that he had enough of it and almost wished he had never been born.” 1  64
  But when all is said Chancellorsville remains a brilliant victory for Lee. To have overcome with his hungry ill-clad troops an army double their number and abundantly supplied could only be the work of one who mastered men by his intellectual and moral greatness. Sound reasoning, ceaseless vigilance and unusual self-sacrifice were conspicuous on the Confederate side; not on the Union. Jackson, on the night before his flanking march, lay down to sleep at the foot of a pine tree and was covered by his adjutant with the cape of his overcoat; but when the adjutant fell asleep the general arose, spread the cape over him and slept without covering, awakening chilled and with a cold. Then declining a family breakfast that was being prepared for him, he gave his whole attention to pushing forward his troops. 2 Howard, on the eve of a “ridiculous and
Note 1. General Meade, I, 372, 373. [back]
Note 2. Dabney, 675, 677. [back]


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