Edward Alfred Pollard was a Southern historian. Among the many interesting descriptions of the Civil War was this position on Lee's policies when he invaded Pennsylvania.
August Glen-James, editor
The effect of his moderate warfare on such a people was to irritate them without intimidating them. . . .
Before turning to the bloody page of Gettysburg, the curiosity of the reader naturally inquires into the conduct of the Confederate army on the long march which had at last penetrated the fretful fields of Pennsylvania. Considering what the country and homes of the Confederacy had suffered from the ferocity of the enemy, it might have been supposed that Lee’s army would have improved their grand opportunity in Pennsylvania, not indeed by an imitation of the enemy’s outrages in the South, but by that eminently justifiable retaliation which, while it scorns to mete out in kind the enemy’s crime, in arson, pillage and innocent blood, insists upon doing him some commensurate injury by severe acts of war, done with deliberation and under the authority of superiors. Such expectations were disappointed.
Every just and intelligent reader of the records of this war must wonder that General Lee gave a protection to the citizens of Pennsylvania which had never been accorded to our own people; that, while an obtuseness that is inexplicable, he confounded two very different classes of retaliation; and that, while forbidding the irregular pillage of the country, and threatening marauders with death (which admirable orders were heartily approved by all people in the South), he also restrained his army from laying waste the country in line of battle, or destroying the enemy’s subsistence. Such tenderness, the effect of a weak and stained chivalry, or more probably that of deference to European opinion, is another of the many instances which the war has furnished of the simplicity and sentimental facility of the South.
General Lee attempted conciliation of a people who were little capable of it, but were always ready to take counsel of their fears. The effect of his moderate warfare on such a people was to irritate them without intimidating them; in fact, to compose their alarms and to dissuade them from what had been imagined as the horrors of invasion. In this respect, his movement into Pennsylvania gave to the enemy a certain moral comfort, and encouraged the prosecution of the war.