Lee's Aide-De-Camp

Lee's Aide-De-Camp

Lee's Aide-De-Camp

Lee's Aide-De-Camp

Synopsis

Charles Marshall was appointed aide-de-camp to Robert E. Lee on 21 March 1862, and from then until the surrender, he stood at the general's side. A military secretary, he compiled a remarkable, intimate account of the day-to-day wartime experience of the Confederacy's most celebrated -- and enigmatic -- military figure.

Marshall's papers are of three sorts: those intended for a projected life of Lee, those intended for an account of the campaign at Gettysburg, and notes on events of the war. Collected here, these papers provide a unique firsthand look at Lee's generalship -- from the most complete account ever given of the fateful orders issued to Jeb Stuart at Gettysburg, to the only testimony from a Southern witness of the scene in McLean's house at Appomattox.

Marshall's commentary addresses some of the war's more intriguing questions. Whose idea was it to fight the second Manassas? What caused Jackson's delays in the Battles of the Seven Days? Who devised the flank march around Hooker at Chancellorsville? This book's insights into Robert E. Lee and his military strategy and its close-up report on the Confederacy's war qualify it as an indispensable part of America's historical record.

Excerpt

COLONEL CHARLES MARSHALL, the writer of these papers, was born at Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia, on October 12, 1830. His great-grandfather, Thomas Marshall, commanded the Third Virginia Regiment in the Revolutionary War. Thomas Marshall's eldest son, John Marshall, was Chief Justice of the United States and Charles Marshall's great- uncle -- he being descended from a younger brother. Charles graduated from the University of Virginia with the degree of M.A. in 1849, and for a few years was a professor at the University of Indiana. He then began to study law, and had established a practice in Baltimore when the Civil War broke out. He went at once to Virginia, but as he was in a very poor state of health he had considerable difficulty in finding a place in the Confederate Army. At the beginning of 1862, however, his health improved, and as he tells us, he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to General R. E. Lee on March 21 of that year.

Of the little group of five officers which Marshall then joined, the senior, Colonel Long, was at first Lee's military secretary, and he has given us his experiences and views of his beloved chief in Memoirs of R. E. Lee. Another, Major Taylor, wrote Four Years with GeneralLee . . .

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