Lee after the War

Lee after the War

Lee after the War

Lee after the War

Excerpt

My home is on the Washington and University campus. Close by is the Chapel, a small building of dubious aesthetic distinction. Yet visitors come there daily, in good weather and bad. Bus loads of children arrive and enter quietly. This is a shrine. Robert E. is buried here.

His life has been recorded so minutely and his career praised so lavishly that one feels he should explain why he has dared to write another Lee book. Hasn't his story been told, often and well?

It is not the story of Lee, but the meaning of Lee, that I am writing about. Do not expect to find in this little book much that Douglas Southall Freeman omitted from his four huge volumes. Still, the world (and especially the American South) is a very different place from the one in which Freeman wrote thirty years ago. Lee's battle plans for Gettysburg have not changed, but we have. What does Lee mean for us in a world of missiles and astronauts?

Plainly, my study is more impressionistic than scientific. I cannot examine Lee clinically: I am enthralled by him. At the same time, I have tried to use the most accurate in-

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