Robert E. Lee: A Biography

By Emory M. Thomas

The lifetime of Robert E. Lee is a narrative of triumph - triumph in clearing his relatives identify, triumph in marrying thoroughly, overcome the strong Mississippi in his paintings as an engineer, and overcome all different army males to develop into the towering determine who commanded the accomplice military within the American Civil struggle. yet overdue in existence Lee wrote what could be his so much revealing word. He confessed that he "was consistently in need of something." This from maybe the South's maximum hero, the fellow whose demeanor and presence in warfare have been adequate to motivate hundreds of thousands to march to near-certain demise. during this probing and private biography, Emory Thomas's thorough exam of Lee's existence unearths greater than the fellow did himself, permitting us to discover that means in Lee's successes and screw ups. From his struggles as a adolescence along with his father's humiliation, to his challenging marriage right into a right and renowned kin, and his energetic relationships with younger lady associates and kinfolk, Lee - the doubtful scion, expert engineer, consummate warrior, and faculty president - used to be truly an enigmatic individual of latent passions. He lived in limbo among the self-discipline to which he aspired and the liberty for which he longed.

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Whilst the fatherless Lee kin discovered of Harry Lee’s demise in 1818, Robert used to be probably within the means of attending college at japanese View in Fauquier County, Virginia. Boys within the Carter kinfolk, Ann Lee’s family, frequently studied with a schoolmaster there; the women frequently went to Shirley, Ann Lee’s early life domestic. each time Robert, his older brother Smith, and oldest brother Carter have been at domestic in Alexandria, they frolicked taking good care of their mom. Ann Lee used to be usually ailing. She most likely suffered from tuberculosis; the sickness ebbed and flowed in the course of her forties and early fifties and finally killed her.

Yet by way of the ground of web page 3 the daddy used to be lapsing back into preachment. “I used to be a lot pleased,” he proclaimed, “with the nice order of your room & the fit & chuffed visual appeal of all of you. i'm hoping it is going to proceed. Cleanliness, temperance & order is [sic] very promotive of well-being & cheerfulness. ” Then Lee wrote of a trip from the daddy of his brother-in-law William Louis Marshall. The previous (seventy-nine) guy loved himself and the dinner. “But although I had ready for him my oldest & top wine, he wouldn't flavor a drop.

4 of Elizabeth Mackay’s kids have been daughters ranging in age among fourteen and twenty. and since he was once a chum of the Mackays, Lee made acquaintances with many Savannahians, so much of whom have been vigorous younger ladies. nine the subsequent lesson Lee discovered used to be that Cockspur Island was once no longer Savannah. Named for a plant with lengthy, nasty thorns, Cockspur used to be simply slightly an island. In 1829 it was once primarily marsh—roughly a mile lengthy and approximately thirds of a mile wide—most of which flooded at excessive tide and all of which flooded in the course of storms.

Lee to Joseph Totten, West aspect, March 15, 1853, Superintendent’s Letter booklet, USMA; Freeman, Lee, I, 329. four. Freeman, Lee, I, 347–48; Morrison, “Best School,” 114–25. five. Lee to Joseph Totten, West element, January nine, 1854, Superintendent’s Letter ebook, USMA; Freeman, Lee, I, 332. 6. Lee to Joseph Totten, West aspect, October nine, 1852, October eight, 1853, October 7, 1854; March four, 1853, Superintendent’s Letter e-book, USMA; Freeman, Lee I, 326–27; Ambrose, accountability, Honor, state, 141–42. 7. Rosters of educational and armed forces employees individuals and the corps of cadets in Senate government files, thirty third Congress, 2d consultation, vol.

Davis rejected Lee’s choice for Beauregard, yet most likely chosen Johnston at Lee’s behest. whilst Mary Chesnut, who used to be greatly the confidante of vital accomplice officers, heard of Johnston’s appointment, she famous in her diary, “General Lee had this performed. ”27 among conversations with the President, Lee visited his new domestic for the 1st time. Mary Lee had rented a home on Leigh highway among moment and 3rd Streets (later numbered 210 East Leigh highway) in overdue October. There she was once dwelling with Agnes and Mary between borrowed furniture.

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