Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

By Elizabeth Brown Pryor

For the two hundredth anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s delivery, a brand new portrait drawing on formerly unpublished correspondence

Robert E. Lee’s conflict correspondence is celebrated, and the following and there own letters have stumbled on their means into print, however the nice majority of his such a lot intimate messages have by no means been made public. those letters display a much more complicated and contradictory guy than the one that comes so much with ease to the mind's eye, for it's along with his family members and his acquaintances that Lee is at his so much candid, most attractive, and such a lot susceptible. over the last a number of years historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor has exposed a wealthy trove of unpublished Lee fabrics that were held in either deepest and public collections.

Her new publication, a special mixture of research, narrative, and historiography, provides dozens of those letters of their entirety, such a lot through Lee yet a couple of through family. each one letter turns into a departure element for an essay that indicates what the letter uniquely unearths approximately Lee’s time or personality. the cloth covers all elements of Lee’s life—his early years, West aspect, his paintings as an engineer, his relationships together with his childrens and his slaves, his selection to hitch the South, his concepts on army technique, and his disappointments after defeat within the Civil battle. the result's might be the main intimate photo so far of Lee, person who deftly analyzes the that means of his activities in the context of his character, his relationships, and the social tenor of his times.

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By Elizabeth Brown Pryor

For the two hundredth anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s delivery, a brand new portrait drawing on formerly unpublished correspondence

Robert E. Lee’s conflict correspondence is celebrated, and the following and there own letters have stumbled on their means into print, however the nice majority of his such a lot intimate messages have by no means been made public. those letters display a much more complicated and contradictory guy than the one that comes so much with ease to the mind's eye, for it's along with his family members and his acquaintances that Lee is at his so much candid, most attractive, and such a lot susceptible. over the last a number of years historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor has exposed a wealthy trove of unpublished Lee fabrics that were held in either deepest and public collections.

Her new publication, a special mixture of research, narrative, and historiography, provides dozens of those letters of their entirety, such a lot through Lee yet a couple of through family. each one letter turns into a departure element for an essay that indicates what the letter uniquely unearths approximately Lee’s time or personality. the cloth covers all elements of Lee’s life—his early years, West aspect, his paintings as an engineer, his relationships together with his childrens and his slaves, his selection to hitch the South, his concepts on army technique, and his disappointments after defeat within the Civil battle. the result's might be the main intimate photo so far of Lee, person who deftly analyzes the that means of his activities in the context of his character, his relationships, and the social tenor of his times.

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Recumbent statue of Lee, by means of EdwardValentine. ARLINGTON apartment, THE ROBERT E. LEE MEMORIAL, nationwide PARK provider Acknowledgments one of many PLEASURES of penning this ebook used to be the mammoth help I got from specialist colleagues and from neighbors. i'm specifically indebted to the Lee descendants, who shared with me their papers, their insights, and their enthusiasm. a number of of them, particularly Robert E. L. deButts Jr. , Susan Vogel, and Anne Carter Zimmer, have themselves performed very important learn on their family members.

REL to MCL(d), n. d. [November 1862], quoted in Lee Jr. , memories, p. eighty. five. Sneden Diary, September eleven, 1862, Sneden Papers, VHS. 6. Ibid. ; and WHFL to “My darling wife,” Camp close to Richmond, July eleven, 1862, DE-LC. 7. at the similar Federal retreat Shirley used to be plundered of its cattle, wagon wheels have been lower during the spokes to render them dead, and wheat cradles destroyed in order that the big ripening crop within the fields couldn't be harvested. merely the charity of the Carter girls, who for my part nursed wounded Yankees on their estate, kept the beautiful condo from the torch.

He additionally had a bent to overreach, to push himself and people round him to meet approximately unachievable expectancies, even if it used to be hurling himself around the inky Pedregal or difficult that his untalented daughters learn how to sing. Cartographer Jedediah Hotchkiss heard him provide this rationalization a couple of weeks after the occasions: “He stated our military had no longer been defeated, yet have been requested to do an most unlikely factor and had no longer performed it. ”42 there's additionally one other trait that looks to have come into play.

Lee,” Warrenton, April 7, 1818, GBL-VHS. forty-one. Henry Lee IV to Mrs. A. H. Lee, Westmnd, April 7, 1818, GBL-VHS. forty two. Causten Narrative, VHS. forty three. Henry Lee IV to Mrs. A. H. Lee, Westmnd, April 7, 1818, GBL-VHS; Causten Narrative, VHS; James H. Causten to Ann Hill Lee, Baltimore, April eleven, 1818, replica in VHS; additionally Charles C. Jones Jr. , recollections of the final Days, dying and Burial of normal Henry Lee (Albany, N. Y. : Joel Munsell, 1870), pp. 18–20, 23–31; and “Mrs. Greene,” “General Harry Lee’s Funeral at Cumberland Island Georgia, March 1818,” in CL-LC.

Even if the feedback was once justified, Davis’s eye for expertise used to be extraordinary. Of the forty-three officials who served in Texas, a powerful 16 may turn into generals through the Civil struggle, ten of them for the South. four With this kind of focus of skill, the regiments began on an confident footing. “I used to be younger and buoyant in spirit,” remembered John Bell Hood, who used to be a lieutenant on Lee’s employees; “my males have been fastened and all longing for a chase in addition to a fray. ”5 the hot devices had provoked a noisy debate in the govt, and Davis was once nervous that no element be passed over that might make sure their good fortune.

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