Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Verdict of the Newspapers

How long did it take for Lee to make good his escape?

Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia were in peril until July 17–18, when they slipped over the Potomac. From then on, they were reasonably safe.

Lee initially wrote Jefferson Davis that he was not the least bit discouraged, but a week later he wrote again, this time offering to resign. He was too old for his post, and the Confederacy needed a younger commander, he said. Jefferson Davis quickly wrote back with his refusal. The country could not spare Lee, he said.


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