Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Excerpt

It is to be hoped that within the next ten years something approaching the ideal Life of Robert E. Lee will be written. Hitherto there have been elaborate eulogies, extensive records of military and personal activity, and analyses of character. But it is a disgrace to American historiography that there is as yet no full, complete, accurate, and impartial study of the man, not only as a soldier, but as one of the greatest spiritual leaders the world has ever seen. The book should be modeled on Henderson "Stonewall Jackson", but would necessarily be as much larger in scope as Lee's life and thought were on a larger scale than Jackson's.

Among the materials for such a future biography of Lee the volume of "Recollections and Letters of General Lee", by his son, first published in 1904, and now reprinted, will occupy a very important place. First, of course, must stand the "Official Records", containing as they do all the documents bearing upon Lee's military career through the critical period of his life. Next to these perhaps must be placed the Lives by J. W. Jones and Colonel Long, since these also cover the period of military activity and contain the recollections of those who were close to the General during this period.

But Captain Lee's Recollections have a peculiar and personal value which can hardly be replaced or superseded by any other book, and those who have been led by historical study to have a personal affection for the . . .

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