Confederate generals--a total of 425--may still outnumber books about Confederate generals, but every year the count gets closer. No Civil War student expects authors to stop producing biographies of Confederate generals; even costly, six-hundred-page monsters sell as well as collections of biographical sketches. Readers often welcome second and even third evaluations of generals. More than fifty biographers have praised, criticized, or tried to explain Robert E. Lee. Every aspect of his life has been examined; investigators have followed him from Texas to heaven and revealed their findings under such intimate titles as The Face of Lee, The Heart of Lee, The Shadow of Lee, and even The Soul of Lee. One writer called his life of the great rebel Robert E. Lee, Unionist.
For a hundred years following the Civil War, study and writing about the conflict conformed to established patterns with little deviation. Measuring potential readers, writers planned books on the Lost Cause more carefully than some Confederate generals planned campaigns. Most successful authors emphasized what had taken place in Virginia and the East; few bothered with actions and commanders between the mountains and the Mississippi, and even fewer devoted pages to either the trans-Mississippi or other less prominent parts of the Confederacy.
One of the first works published after the war exemplified this pattern. In Southern Generals, Who They Are, and What They Have Done ( 1865), reissued in 1867 as Lee and His Generals, Captain William P. Snow emphasized Virginia