Captain Robert E. Lee, son of the Army of Northern Virginia's commander, wrote of an interaction with his
father during the bloodiest single day of this sanguinary war, the Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg.
"As one of the Army of Northern Virginia, I occasionally saw the commander-in-chief, on the march, or passed
the headquarters close enough to recognise him and members of his staff, but as a private soldier in Jackson's corps did not
have much time, during that campaign, for visiting, and until the battle of Sharpsburg I had no opportunity of speaking to him.
On that occasion our battery had been severely handled, losing many men and horses. Having three guns disabled, we were ordered
to withdraw, and while moving back we passed General Lee and several of his staff, grouped on a little knoll near the road.
Having no definite orders where to go, our captain, seeing the commanding general, halted us and rode over to get some instructions.
Some others and myself went along to see and hear. General Lee was dismounted with some of his staff around him, a courier holding
his horse. Captain Poague, commanding our battery, the Rockbridge Artillery, saluted, reported our condition, and asked for
instructions. The General, listening patiently looked at us--his eyes passing over me without any sign of recognition--and then
ordered Captain Poague to take the most serviceable horses and men, man the uninjured gun, send the disabled part of his command
back to refit, and report to the front for duty.
As Poague turned to go, I went up to speak to my father. When he found out who I was, he congratulated me on being well and
unhurt. I then said:
"General, are you going to send us in again?"
"Yes, my son," he replied, with a smile; "you all must do what you can to help drive these people back."
"Recollections And Letters Of General Robert E. Lee",
Captain Robert E. Lee,