Perhaps thinking of the deserters recently rounded up by soldiers of his division, Gen. Lafayette McLaws wrote his wife Emily on August 14 of the depression events had caused in some Confederates.
“The condition of our affairs is calculated to produce depression in the minds of those who do not calculate the advantages resulting from our reverses, but despond because we have had them, and think everything is lost because we have been unfortunate during one month.”
He meant the loss of Vicksburg and the defeat at Gettysburg in July. But Vicksburg he thought was better lost than tying the army down defending a fixed point. And Gettysburg, he now averred, despite previously blaming Longstreet, was lost because “We did not have troops enough.”
Now, however, “we are back again concentrated, are in the interior, and are increasing daily in strength and efficiency, have all our old spirit and self confidence, and know that we have fallen back, not from fear of the Yankees but because it was necessary to obtain supplies.”
“There is nothing new of the enemy,” he concluded, “but it is not thought that any thing of importance will shortly occur.”