Lynchburg April 9th 1871
My Dear Colonel
There is an article in the “Galaxy” for April by Imboden, entitled “Lee at Gettysburg,” which glorifies Imboden much and Lee but little. Imboden has taken occasion to say a good deal for himself, while professing to give some important facts in regard to General Lee, and the conditions of things after Gettysburg. His facts are all exaggerated, and there are some palpable untruths, as for instance those in regard to the condition of the wounded sent from Gettysburg. I can well imagine that their condition was uncomfortable enough at best, but that they had been so shamefully neglected as Imboden makes out, I know to be untrue, at least so far as Ewell’s corps was concerned.
If his statement is true, then not only the whole Medical corps had neglected their duty most shamefully, but General Lee was guilty of a great piece of barbarism in sending off men in such a condition, and without any medical attendants whatever. Some of the staff owe it to their chief and themselves to vindicate his memory from the aspersion, though I presume Imboden did not intend such a thing, but merely intended to magnify his own services and importance. I have too many controversies on my hands at present to attend to this matter, and, besides, it is about matters about which I have not much direct personal knowledge.
Your friend General Mahone has not yet responded to the inquiries contained in my letter of the 21st of March, which has now been in his hands 19 days. On reaching here from Richmond, on the 31st, I found a letter from him, dropped in the post office, that day, requesting me to hand him my number of the Historical Magazine referred to, which he said he had not seen, but he said nothing about the memoir itself. On the next day, the 1st of April, I sent the number to him, and I have since heard nothing from him, though I believe he has been here all the time. If he had no agency in the memoir, wither by prompting it, or affirming it after it was written, it seems to me that it would require but a few minutes to say so. The delay in replying to my inquiries, does not Augur that candour to be expected from a soldier. I will wait just one month patiently, if I do not receive a reply by before the end of that time, from the time my letter was delivered.
With my best regards,
J. A. Early
Colonel Walter H. Taylor
Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 8, M2009.397
Transcribed by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 July 15