THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT
Davis's friends, and one of the historians of the
time states that on the final passage of the bill
fourteen of the President's friends voted against
it, and that Mrs. Davis declared that had she
been in the President's place, before she would
have submitted to the humiliation of being de-
prived of her rights in this matter she would have
been hanged. Another difficulty, however, stood
in the way. Lee himself had declared that he
would not accept the position in opposition to
Mr. Davis, but only at his hands. The phrase
in his first general order to his armies is signifi-
cant of his point of view:
HEAD-QUARTERS CONFEDERATE ARMY,
February 9, 1865.
General Order No. 1. In obedience to General
Order No. 3 . . . I assume command of the mili-
tary forces of the Confederate States....
Longstreet declares his astonishment at Lee's
failure to exercise the enormous powers now vested
in him. But it was too late now for any exercise
of power to have changed the issue.
Fortunately for Lee, the relations between him
and the President of the Confederacy were ever
of the most cordial kind. They had known each
McCabe's "Life of General Ri. E. Lee."