Memoirs of Robert E. Lee: His Military and Personal History – Armistead Lindsay Long
This book is an interesting addition to the voluminous biographical literature of the war that has been made in the Memoirs of Robert E. Lee. General A. L. Long of the Confederate Army was a friend and fellow-soldier of Lee. This large volume has been written under great difficulties, the author having lost his sight; but, like some more eminent American historians who have worked under similar disadvantages, he has not slighted his task, but has made diligent use of a great body of material. The work is not autobiographical, of course, but makes large use of the words and records of General Lee. Its value rests in its full, clear, and enthusiastic presentation of the character and career of one of the most remarkable men of a great epoch. Included are also the full official Reports of Gen. Lee with copious selections from his confidential letters, dispatches, and official communications never before published—the only official record of the closing years of the war.
Memoirs of Robert E. Lee: His Military and Personal History.
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Biography of Robert E. Lee (from Wikipedia):
Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. The son of Revolutionary War officer Henry „Light Horse Harry“ Lee III, Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican–American War, and served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.
When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his personal desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies. Lee’s strategic foresight was more questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat. Lee’s aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies; other Confederate forces swiftly capitulated after his surrender. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides.
After the war, as President of what is now Washington and Lee University, Lee supported President Andrew Johnson’s program of Reconstruction and intersectional friendship, while opposing the Radical Republican proposals to give freed slaves the vote and take the vote away from ex-Confederates. He urged them to rethink their position between the North and the South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the nation’s political life. Lee became the great Southern hero of the War, a postwar icon of the „Lost Cause of the Confederacy“ to some. But his popularity grew even in the North, especially after his death in 1870. Barracks at West Point built in 1962 are named after him.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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