Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Lee and Grant

Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Lee and Grant

Article excerpt

Lee and Grant

By the end of the Civil War, most Americans considered either Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant to be a hero. The reputations of the two generals, molded in part by a sectional bias that would aggrandize the achievements of one, often to the detriment of the other, would wax and wane over the next 140 years. This exhibition reassesses these two men, on whom fell the greatest responsibility for the survival or disintegration of the United States. This show is far more than a study of Lee and Grant, however. These generals have come to symbolize the two nations that fought the Civil War. Each man was a product of his region and his rearing. When we investigate the values that they championed and the decisions that they made-which literally changed the course of America's history-we better understand how secession tore the country apart. And when we examine their efforts to forge a newly united nation in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, we also discover the sectional legacies that many contemporary Americans have inherited from the southern gentry and from Yankee self-made men. The exhibition Lee and Grant will be on display from October 20, 2007, to March 31, 2008, and is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. …

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