From the 5 December 1903 issue of The New York Times.

Lord Wolseley and Gen. Lee.

Lord Wolseley, in the second volume of his autobiography, “The Story of a Soldier’s Life,” which Charles Scribner’s Sons will publish next week, speaks of his visit to the United States at the time of the civil war. He had frequent interviews with Gen. Robert E. Lee at the headquarters of the Confederate Army, and expressed much admiration for him. He says of him: “He was the ablest General and, to me, seemed the greatest man I ever conversed with: and yet I have had the privilege of meeting Von Miltke and Prince Bismarck, and, at least upon one occasion, had a very long and intensely interesting conversation with the later.” Lord Wolseley continues:

Gen. Lee was one of the few men who ever seriously impressed and awed me with their natural, their inherent greatness. Forty years have come and gone since our meeting, yet the majesty of his manly bearing, the genial, winning grace, the sweetness of his smile, and the impressive dignity of his old-fashioned style of address come back to me among the most cherished of my recollections, * * * He spoke of the future with confidence—it was just after the battle of Antietam—although one could clearly see he was of no very sanguine temperament. He deplored the bitterness introduced into the struggle and also the treatment of the Southern folk who fell into hostile hands. But there was no rancor in his tone when he referred to the Northern Government, not even when he described how they had designedly destroyed his house at Arlington Heights, the property on the Potomac he had inherited from Gen. Washington. He had merely “gone with his State “—Virginia—the prevailing principles that had influenced most of the soldiers I spoke with during my visit to the South. He was, indeed, a beautiful character, and of him might truthfully be written, “In righteousness he did judge and make war.”

Further on Lord Wolseley says that had it not been for Jefferson Davis the Confederacy would not have lost its cause in 1862. He writes:

As a close student of war all my life, and especially of this Confederate war, and with a full knowledge of the battles fought during its progress, and regarding this question as a simple military and naval problem, I believe that, had the ports of the Southern States been kept open to the markets of the world by the action of any great naval power, the Confederacy must have secured their independence.