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Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee


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Wat Robert E. Lee in 1858 aan The Times About Slavery geskryf het

Op 'n dag in Januarie, 'n paar jaar voor die burgeroorlog, het Robert E. Lee aan The New York Times geskryf om 'n regstelling te soek.

Die man wat die top van die Konfederale generaal sou word, het probeer om die rekord reg te stel oor die slawe op sy vrou se erf in Virginia, en oor die laaste wense van 'n sterwende slawe -eienaar.

Hy het geskryf dat die mense wat slawe was op die eiendom van sy gesin, in die destydse Alexandria County, nie 'suid verkoop' word nie, soos berig is. En hy het geïmpliseer dat hy hulle binne vyf jaar sou bevry.

Die brief is een van die vele wat deur Lee geskryf is en wat 'n bietjie lig werp op sy gedagtes oor slawerny. Geskiedkundiges het gebots - en bots steeds - oor die sterkte van sy steun aan die stelsel van dwangarbeid wat miljoene mense vir geslagte lank in slawerny gehou het.

Noudat standbeelde van Lee en ander Konfederale leiers die fokus van 'n intens verhitte nasionale debat is, is die kwessie veral relevant.

'Hy was nie 'n ideoloog vir slawerny nie,' het Eric Foner, 'n burgeroorloghistorikus, skrywer en professor in geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Columbia, oor Lee gesê. 'Maar ek dink ewe belangrik is dat hy, anders as sommige blanke suidelike inwoners, nooit teen slawerny uitgespreek het nie.

Toe Lee sy brief aan The Times skryf, was hy 'n bekwame offisier van die Amerikaanse weermag wat optree as die eksekuteur van sy skoonpa se testament. Sy vrou, Mary Anna Custis Lee, 'n afstammeling van Martha Washington, het onlangs die erfenis van haar vader, Arlington House, saam met die slawe wat daar gewoon het, geërf.

In sy testament het mev. Lee se pa, George Washington Parke Custis, gesê sy slawe moet vyf jaar na sy dood bevry word.

Maar 'n artikel wat die eerste keer deur The Boston Traveler gepubliseer is en op 30 Desember 1857 in The Times herdruk is, het beweer dat die slawe 'aan hopelose slawerny oorgedra sal word, tensy iets gedoen kan word' omdat Custis se erfgename nie wil bevry nie hulle.

Beeld

Dit het ook gesê dat Custis, terwyl hy sterf, aan sy slawe gesê het dat hulle onmiddellik bevry moet word, eerder as vyf jaar later.

Lee daag die rekening uit. In sy brief aan The Times het hy gesê dat "daar geen begeerte van die erfgename is om die uitvoering van die testament te voorkom nie". En hy het gesê dat die heer Custis, wat tydens sy laaste dae deur die hele gesin deurlopend bygewoon is, nooit gehoor is dat sy slawe onmiddellik vryheid verleen nie.

The Times het Lee se brief op 8 Januarie 1858 gepubliseer (hoewel die brief self, wat kort na Nuwejaar geskryf is, verkeerdelik uit 1857 gedateer is) en gesê dat dit 'bly' is om hieroor reggestel te word.

Die oorlog het drie jaar later gekom.

Lee het by die afskeidingslede aangesluit in April 1861. Hy het die Arlington House verlaat, en die landgoed is uiteindelik deur die Unie -soldate ingehaal. (Die dooies is begrawe op sy terrein, wat later die plek van die Arlington Nasionale Begraafplaas sou word.) In die loop van die konflik is baie slawe verhuur of ontsnap uit die eiendom.

In 1862, in ooreenstemming met die heer Custis se testament, het Lee 'n akte van vrylating ingedien om die slawe by Arlington House te bevry en op nog twee aanplantings wat mnr. Custis besit het, en meer as 150 daarvan afsonderlik genoem. En in Januarie 1863 het president Abraham Lincoln die Emancipation Proclamation uitgereik waarin hy verklaar dat alle mense wat as slawe in die opstandige state aangehou word, "is en voortaan vry is."

Van al die briewe deur Lee wat deur argivarisse en historici oor die jare versamel is, is een van die bekendste in 1856 aan sy vrou geskryf. ' as 'n instelling, is 'n morele en politieke kwaad in enige land, 'het hy geskryf.

Maar hy het bygevoeg dat slawerny "'n groter euwel vir die witman as vir die swart ras" in die Verenigde State was, en dat die "pynlike dissipline wat hulle ondergaan, noodsaaklik is vir hulle onderrig".

In die 1857 -artikel in The Times word opgemerk dat slawe se eie stemme ontbreek in die verhaal van mnr. Custis se sterwende wense. Dit het gesê dat toe hy vir sy slawe gesê het dat hulle bevry sou word, "was daar geen witman in die kamer nie, en die getuienis van negers sal nie in die hof geneem word nie."

Maar jare later, in 1866, het 'n voormalige slaaf by Arlington House, Wesley Norris, sy getuienis aan die National Anti-Slavery Standard gelewer. Mnr. Norris het gesê dat Custis inderdaad vir hom en ander in Arlington gesê het dat hulle by sy dood bevry sal word, maar dat Lee vir hulle gesê het om nog vyf jaar te bly.

Mnr. Norris het gesê dat hy, 'n suster en 'n neef in 1859 probeer ontsnap het, maar is gevang. 'Ons was stewig vasgemaak aan poste deur 'n heer Gwin, ons opsiener, wat deur genl Lee beveel is om ons tot in die middel te trek en ons elk vyftig wimpers te gee, behalwe my suster, wat maar twintig ontvang het,' het hy gesê.

En toe die opsiener wou nie die wimper toedraai nie, kom 'n konstabel op, het mnr. Norris gesê. Hy het bygevoeg dat Lee vir die konstabel gesê het dat hy 'goed moet lê'.

Dr Foner het gesê dat Lee na die oorlog nie regte vir swart burgers, soos die stemreg, ondersteun nie en dat hy grootliks swyg oor geweld wat deur wit oppergesagters tydens heropbou gepleeg is.

Die generaal het egter beswaar gemaak teen die idee om Konfederale monumente op te rig en in 1869 geskryf dat dit wyser sou wees "om nie die sere van die oorlog oop te hou nie, maar om die voorbeelde te volg van die nasies wat probeer het om die tekens van burgeroorlog uit te wis. ”


Robert E. Lee

Robert Edward Lee, gebore aan die rewolusionêre oorlogsheld Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee in Stratford Hall, Virginia, het gelyk of dit vir militêre grootheid bestem was. Ondanks finansiële ontberings wat veroorsaak het dat sy pa na die Wes -Indiese Eilande vertrek het, het die jong Robert 'n afspraak by die Amerikaanse Militêre Akademie in West Point gekry, waar hy tweede in die klas van 1829 gegradueer het. Twee jaar later trou hy met Mary Anna Randolph Custis, 'n afstammeling van George Washington se aangenome seun, John Parke Custis. Maar met al sy militêre stamboom het Lee nog nie sy voet op 'n slagveld gesit nie. In plaas daarvan dien hy sewentien jaar as 'n offisier in die Corps of Engineers, waar hy toesig hou en inspekteer oor die bou van die land se kusverdediging. Diens tydens die oorlog met Mexiko in 1846 het dit egter verander. As 'n lid van die personeel van generaal Winfield Scott onderskei Lee homself en verdien drie briefies vir dapperheid en kom uit die konflik met die rang van kolonel.

Van 1852 tot 1855 het Lee as superintendent van West Point gedien, en was hy daarom verantwoordelik vir die opvoeding van baie van die mans wat later onder hom sou dien - en diegene wat hom sou opponeer - op die slagvelde van die burgeroorlog. In 1855 verlaat hy die akademie om 'n posisie in die kavallerie in te neem en in 1859 word 'n beroep gedoen op die aanval van die afskaffingster John Brown op Harpers Ferry.

Vanweë sy reputasie as een van die beste offisiere in die Amerikaanse leër, het Abraham Lincoln Lee in April 1861 die bevel van die federale magte aangebied. dat hy nie teen sy eie mense kon veg nie. In plaas daarvan aanvaar hy 'n generaalskommissie in die nuutgestigte Konfederale Weermag. Sy eerste militêre betrokkenheid by die burgeroorlog het plaasgevind op Cheat Mountain, Virginia (nou West Virginia) op 11 September 1861. Dit was 'n oorwinning van die Unie, maar Lee se reputasie het die openbare kritiek wat daarop gevolg het, weerstaan. Hy dien as militêre adviseur vir president Jefferson Davis tot Junie 1862 toe hy bevel kry oor die gewonde generaal Joseph E. Johnston se leër op die Virginia -skiereiland.

Lee het sy bevel hernoem tot die Army of Northern Virginia, en onder sy leiding sou dit die bekendste en suksesvolste van die Konfederale leërs word. Dieselfde organisasie spog ook met van die mees inspirerende militêre figure van die Konfederasie, waaronder James Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson en die flambojante kavalier J.E.B. Stuart. Met hierdie vertroude ondergeskiktes het Lee bevel gegee oor troepe wat hul blou geklede teenstanders voortdurend met die hand hanteer het en hul generaals in die verleentheid gestel het, ongeag die kans.

Ondanks die versuim van verskeie pogings om die Konfederale hoofstad in beslag te neem, het Lee erken dat die sleutel tot uiteindelike sukses 'n oorwinning op Noordelike bodem was. In September 1862 begin hy 'n inval in Maryland met die hoop om die fokus van die oorlog van Virginia af te skuif. Maar toe 'n misplaaste versending van die invalsplan deur die bevelvoerder van die Unie, Union McGellan, ontdek word, het die verrassing verloor, en die twee leërs het die stryd teen Antietam die hoof gebied. Alhoewel sy planne nie meer 'n geheim was nie, het Lee dit tog reggekry om McClellan op 'n dooiepunt op 17 September 1862 te beveg. Na die bloedigste eendaagse oorlog van die oorlog, het Leeu noodgedwonge onder die dekmantel van die duisternis teruggetrek. Die res van 1862 word bestee aan die verdediging van die parlement van die Unie by Fredericksburg en in Mei van die daaropvolgende jaar, Chancellorsville.

Die meesterlike oorwinning op Chancellorsville het Lee groot vertroue in sy leër gegee, en die Rebel -opperhoof is weer geïnspireer om die stryd na vyandelike grond te neem. Aan die einde van Junie 1863 begin hy weer met 'n inval in die Noorde, en ontmoet die gasheer van die Unie by die kruispad Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Drie dae lank het Lee die federale leër onder George G. Meade aangeval in wat die bekendste geveg van die hele oorlog sou word. Hy was gewoond daaraan om die Yankees in die gesig van sy aggressiewe troepe te sien hardloop, en val sterk posisies van die Unie op hoë grond aan. Hierdie keer wou die Federale egter nie wyk nie. Die Konfederale oorlogspoging bereik sy hoogtepunt op 3 Julie 1863 toe Lee 'n massiewe frontaanval op Meade se sentrum beveel, onder leiding van Virginians onder genl.maj. George E. Pickett. Die aanval, bekend as Pickett se aanklag, was 'n mislukking en Lee, wat erken dat die geveg verlore was, het sy leër beveel om terug te trek. Hy neem die volle verantwoordelikheid vir die nederlaag en skryf Jefferson Davis waarin hy bedank, wat Davis geweier het om te aanvaar.

Na die gelyktydige oorwinnings van die Unie in Gettysburg en Vicksburg, Mississippi, het Ulysses S. Grant die bevel oor die federale leërs oorgeneem. In plaas daarvan om Richmond die doel van sy veldtog te maak, het Grant gekies om die magdom hulpbronne tot sy beskikking toe te spits op die vernietiging van Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. In 'n meedoënlose en bloedige veldtog het die federale juggernaut die onder-verskafde Rebel-band geknou. Ten spyte van sy vermoë om Grant bloed te laat betaal vir sy aggressiewe taktiek, was Lee gedwing om die inisiatief aan sy teëstander oor te gee, en hy besef dat die einde van die Konfederasie slegs 'n kwessie van tyd is. Teen die somer van 1864 is die Konfederate gedwing om slootoorlogvoering buite Petersburg te voer. Alhoewel president Davis in Februarie 1865 die generaal-generaal van alle konfederale magte in Februarie 1865 aangewys het, is Lee slegs twee maande later, op 9 April 1865, genoodsaak om sy vermoeide en uitgeputte leër aan Grant in Appomattox Court House oor te gee, wat die beëindiging van die Burgeroorlog.

Lee keer op parool terug huis toe en word uiteindelik die president van Washington College in Virginia (nou bekend as Washington en Lee University). Hy bly in hierdie posisie tot sy dood op 12 Oktober 1870 in Lexington, Virginia.


Inhoud

Die herehuis is gebou op bevel van George Washington Parke Custis, die stiefkleinseun en aangenome seun van George Washington en enigste kleinseun van Martha Custis Washington. Custis het 'n prominente inwoner geword van 'n gebied wat destyds bekend was as Alexandria County, destyds deel van die District of Columbia.

Arlington House is op 'n hoogtepunt gebou op 'n landgoed van 4400 ha wat Custis se pa, John Parke Custis, in 1778 gekoop het en 'Mount Washington' [6] genoem het ('Jacky' Custis is in 1781 in Yorktown oorlede nadat die Britse oorgawe). Die jonger Custis besluit om sy huis op die erf in 1802 te bou na die dood van Martha Washington en drie jaar na die dood van George Washington. Nadat hy die eiendom verkry het, het Custis dit 'Arlington' genoem na die opstal van die Custis -gesin aan die oostelike oewer van Virginia. [7]

Byna onmiddellik begin Custis met die bou van Arlington House op sy grond. Hy het George Hadfield as argitek aangestel en het 'n herehuis gebou met die eerste voorbeeld van Griekse herlewingsargitektuur in Amerika. [8] Custis het bedoel dat die herehuis dien as 'n lewende gedenkteken vir George Washington en 'n plek vir sy versameling artefakte van George Washington. Die ontwerp bevat elemente soortgelyk aan dié van George Washington se huis, Mount Vernon. [9]

Die bouwerk het in 1803 begin, elf jaar nadat L'Enfant's Plan vir die toekomstige 'Federal City' (later 'Washington City', destyds Washington DC) 'n gebied reg oorkant die Potomacrivier aangewys het as plek van die 'President's House' (later die "Executive Mansion" genoem, nou die Withuis) en die "Congress House" (nou die Verenigde State se hoofstad). Custis het die gebou op 'n prominente heuwel geleë wat uitkyk op die Georgetown-Alexandria Turnpike (op die geskatte ligging van die huidige Eisenhower Drive in die Arlington National Cemetery), die Potomacrivier en die groeiende Washington City aan die teenoorgestelde kant van die rivier. [8] Die herehuis is gebou met materiaal op die perseel, hoewel die gebou onderbreek is deur die oorlog van 1812 (en materiaaltekorte nadat die Britte die Amerikaanse hoofstad verbrand het). Die buitekant van die Custis -herehuis is in 1818 voltooi. [10]

Die noordelike en suidelike vleuels is in 1804 voltooi. Die groot middelste gedeelte en die portiek, wat 'n indrukwekkende voorkant van 43 m (140 voet) lank voorgestel het, is 13 jaar later voltooi. Die huis het twee kombuise, 'n somer en 'n winter. Die belangrikste kenmerke van die huis is die 8 massiewe pilare van die portiek, elk 1,5 meter in deursnee.

Gaste by die huis was opvallende mense soos Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, wat in 1824 besoek het (sien: Besoek van die Marquis de Lafayette aan die Verenigde State). By Arlington het Custis geëksperimenteer met nuwe metodes vir veeteelt en ander landbou. Die eiendom bevat ook Arlington Spring, 'n piekniekplek aan die oewer van die Potomac wat Custis oorspronklik vir privaat gebruik gebou het, maar later vir die publiek oopgemaak het en dit uiteindelik as 'n kommersiële onderneming bedryf het.

Custis trou met Mary Lee Fitzhugh. Hul enigste kind wat tot volwassenheid oorleef het, was Mary Anna Randolph Custis. Robert E. Lee, wie se ma 'n neef van mev. Custis was, het Arlington gereeld besoek en Mary Anna geken toe hulle grootgeword het. Twee jaar nadat hy van West Point afgestudeer het, trou luitenant Lee met Mary Anna Custis op Arlington op 30 Junie 1831. Vir 30 jaar was Arlington House die tuiste van die Lees. Hulle spandeer 'n groot deel van hul huwelikslewe tussen die diensstasies van die Amerikaanse weermag en Arlington, waar ses van hul sewe kinders gebore is. Hulle het hierdie huis met Mary se ouers gedeel. Na hul dood is Mary se ouers begrawe, nie ver van die huis af op grond wat nou deel uitmaak van die Arlington National Cemetery.

The Custises het die landgoed Arlington uitgebrei ontwikkel. 'N Groot deel van die steil helling oos van die huis het 'n bewerkte Engelse landskapspark geword, terwyl 'n groot blomtuin met 'n boomboom suid van die huis gebou en aangeplant is. Ten weste van die Arlington-huis het lang gras en lae inheemse plante teen 'n helling afgelei na 'n natuurlike gebied van naby groeiende bome wat die Custises 'die Grove' genoem het. [11] Ongeveer 18 meter wes van die blomtuin bevat "die Grove" lang elm- en eikebome wat 'n afdak gevorm het. 'N Informele blomtuin is onder die bome aangeplant en onderhou deur die Custis -dogters. [12] Dit is nie duidelik wanneer 'die Grove' begin ontwikkel is nie, maar dit was ten minste 1853 aan die gang. [12]

By die dood van George Washington Parke Custis in 1857 het hy die landgoed Arlington vir haar leeftyd aan Mary Custis Lee oorgelaat en vandaar na die oudste seun van Lees, George Washington Custis Lee. Die landgoed het baie herstel en herorganisasie nodig gehad, en Robert E. Lee, as eksekuteur van die testament van Custis, het drie jaar verlof by die weermag geneem om die nodige landbou- en finansiële verbeterings te begin.

In April 1861 skei Virginia uit die Verenigde State. Robert E. Lee bedank op 20 April 1861 sy kommissie in die Amerikaanse weermag en sluit by die Konfederate State Army aan. [13] Met die Arlington -huis op 'n hoë grond wat uitkyk op die hoofstad, het die regering van die Verenigde State geweet dat dit die herehuis moet inneem of in 'n onhoudbare militêre posisie moet bly. [14] Alhoewel sy nie bereid was om die Arlington -huis te verlaat nie, het Mary Lee geglo dat haar landgoed binnekort deur federale soldate beset sou word en op 14 Mei vertrek om by familielede te bly, nadat sy deur haar jong neef William Orton Williams gewaarsku is en daarna as assistent vir generaal Winfield gedien het Scott. [15] [16] [17] Union Army -troepe het Arlington op 24 Mei beset en beset sonder opposisie. [18]

In Junie 1862 het die 37ste Amerikaanse kongres wetgewing uitgevaardig wat 'n eiendomsbelasting op alle grond in 'opstandige' gebiede van die Verenigde State opgelê het. [19] Die wysigings van die statuut van 1863 het vereis dat hierdie belasting persoonlik betaal moes word. [16] [20] Maar Mary Lee, wat ly aan ernstige rumatoïede artritis en agter die Konfederale lyne, kon nie die belasting persoonlik betaal nie. [20] Daar is beslag gelê op die Arlington -landgoed omdat belasting nie betaal is nie. Dit is op 11 Januarie 1864 opgeveil en die Amerikaanse regering het die eiendom vir $ 26 800 ($ 453,095 vandag) gewen. [16] [21]

Tydens die oorlog het die troepe van die Unie -leër baie van die bome op die Arlington -landgoed afgekap, veral dié noord en oos van die Arlington -huis in en naby Fort Whipple (noord van die huis) en Arlington Springs (naby die Potomacrivier). 'N Aantal groot bome het egter oorgebly, veral dié in 'n beboste gebied (nou bekend as Arlington Woods) wes van die huis. [22]

Vroeg in 1864 het die militêre begraafplase van Washington, DC en Alexandria, Virginia, vinnig gevul met oorlogsdood. Kwartiermeester -generaal van die Amerikaanse weermag, Montgomery C. Meigs, het voorgestel dat 81 ha van die Arlington -landgoed as begraafplaas gebruik word. [13] Die Amerikaanse minister van Oorlog, Edwin M. Stanton, het die oprigting van 'n militêre begraafplaas op 15 Junie 1864 goedgekeur om die Arlington National Cemetery te skep. [16] [23] Meigs was van mening dat, aangesien Lee verraad gepleeg het om te besluit om teen die Unie te veg, [24] die gebruik van die herehuis na die oorlog ontken, 'n growwe vorm van geregtigheid was. [25] Meigs het besluit dat 'n groot aantal begrafnisse naby Arlington -huis moet plaasvind om dit nie lewendig te maak nie. Beamptes sou langs die hoofblomtuin suid van die huis begrawe word, en die eerste begrafnis het hier op 17 Mei plaasgevind. [26] Meigs het beveel dat addisionele begrafnisse onmiddellik begin op die terrein van die Arlington-huis middel Junie. [26] Toe vakbondbeamptes van die vakbond in die herehuis gekla het en die begrafnisse tydelik gestaak is, het Meigs hul bevele teëgestaan ​​en binne 'n maand nog 44 dooie beamptes langs die suidelike en oostelike kant van die hoofblommetuin laat begrawe. [26]

In September 1866 is die oorskot van 2.111 Unie- en Konfederale soldate wat gesterf het tydens die Eerste Slag van Bull Run, Tweede Slag van Bull Run en langs die Rappahannockrivier begrawe op die voormalige terrein van "The Grove", suidoos van die herehuis, onder die monument vir die onbekende burgeroorlog. [13] [27]

Robert E. Lee het geen poging aangewend om sy titel aan Arlington te besoek of te herstel voor sy dood in 1870. Mary Lee is in 1873 oorlede, nadat sy die huis nog 'n paar keer besoek het, 'n paar maande voor haar dood. Sy was te ontsteld oor die toestand en wou na net 'n paar oomblikke weggaan. [27]

In April 1874 het Robert E. Lee se oudste seun, George Washington Custis Lee, 'n saak teen die Amerikaanse regering by 'n hof in Virginia ingedien om sy eiendom te herwin. [18] [28] Custis Lee was 'n generaal -majoor in die burgeroorlog en is op 6 April 1865 deur die Unie -magte gevange geneem by die Slag van Sailor's Creek (sien David Dunnels White). 'N Jurie het ten gunste van Custis Lee [29] bevind wat tot uitgebreide appèlle van beide partye gelei het. In 1882 beslis die Hooggeregshof van die Verenigde State ten gunste van Lee in Verenigde State teen Lee, 106 VS. 196. Die hof het met 'n meerderheid van 5–4 bevind dat die boedel in 1864 'onwettig gekonfiskeer' is en gelas dat dit terugbesorg moet word. [30] [31] [32] Maar Lee was minder geïnteresseerd in die verkryging van die boedel as in 'n kontantvergoeding vir die waarde daarvan. Na 'n paar maande se moeilike onderhandelinge het Lee en die federale regering 'n verkoopprys van $ 150 000 ($ 4,166,250 in 2020 dollar) afgehandel. [33] [27] Die kongres het wetgewing uitgevaardig wat die aankoop op 3 Maart 1888 befonds, Lee onderteken die titel op 31 Maart en die titeloordrag word op 14 Mei 1883 aangeteken. [33] [27]

In 1920 verander die Algemene Vergadering van Virginia die naam van Alexandria County na Arlington County om 'n deurlopende verwarring tussen Alexandria County en die onafhanklike stad Alexandria te beëindig. Die naam Arlington is gekies om die teenwoordigheid van die Arlington -landgoed te weerspieël. [34]

Op 4 Maart 1925 het die 68ste Amerikaanse kongres openbare resolusie 74 uitgevaardig, wat die herstel van die Lee Mansion in die Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, goedgekeur het. [35] Die oorlogsdepartement het toe begin om die Arlington -huis te herstel, en die departement van die weermag bestuur steeds meer as die helfte van die oorspronklike plantasie se 450 ha, as Arlington National Cemetery. Die oorlogsdepartement, wat verantwoordelik was vir die bestuur van die huis en terrein, het die wet egter etlike jare nadat die kongres die magtigende wetgewing uitgevaardig het, grootliks geïgnoreer. In stryd met die magtigende wetgewing, het die departement, grotendeels op aandrang van Charles Moore, die direkteur van die Amerikaanse Kommissie vir Beeldende Kunste, die herehuis ingerig en geïnterpreteer tot "die eerste helfte van die republiek". Hierdie besluit was gedeeltelik gebaseer op die gewildheid van die koloniale herlewingsbeweging wat nog in 1925 gewild was. Die herehuis is herstel na die tydperk van George Washington Parke Custis, en geen meubels wat na 1830 vervaardig is nie, is aanvaar. Hierdie benadering het Lee se rol en teenwoordigheid by Arlington ontken.

In 1955 het die 84ste Amerikaanse kongres die openbare reg 84-107 uitgevaardig, 'n gesamentlike resolusie wat die herehuis as die "Custis-Lee Mansion" aangewys het as 'n permanente gedenkteken vir Robert E. Lee. Die resolusie het die Amerikaanse minister van binnelandse sake opdrag gegee om 'n gedenkplaat op die perseel op te rig en regeringsrekords reg te stel om aan die aanwysing te voldoen, "om sodoende te verseker dat die korrekte interpretasie van sy geskiedenis toegepas word". [36] Geleidelik is die huis ingerig en geïnterpreteer volgens die tydperk van Robert E. Lee soos gespesifiseer in die oorspronklike wetgewing.

Die National Park Service het vanaf 10 Junie 1933 jurisdiksie gekry oor die gebou en ongeveer 11 ha aangrensende tuine (onderskei van die begraafplaas). [37]

In 1972 het die 92ste Amerikaanse kongres die openbare reg 92-333 uitgevaardig, 'n wet wat die openbare reg 84-107 gewysig het om die herehuis as "Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial" aan te wys. [38]

Een van die minder bekende geskiedenis oor Arlington House het betrekking op die Gray -gesin, wat gehelp het om die nalatenskap van George Washington Parke Custis sowel as die Lee -gesin te bewaar. Selina Norris Gray, die dogter van Leonard en Sally Norris, was 'n tweede-generasie Arlington-slaaf. [39] In 1831 trou Selina met Thornton Gray, 'n mede -slaaf van Arlington, en het uiteindelik agt kinders gehad wat in Arlington grootgeword het. Met die aanvang van die burgeroorlog moes die Lee -gesin hul huis ontruim voordat die troepe van die Unie gekom het en die eiendom beset het. Selfs al was Selina 'n persoonlike diensmeisie vir mev. Lee, het sy en haar gesin agtergebly, maar mev. Lee het die huissleutels aan Selina oorgelaat en die verantwoordelikheid om die skatte van die huis te beskerm. Verskeie van hierdie skatte het gekoesterde erfstukke van die familie ingesluit wat vroeër aan mev. Lee se oumagrootjie, Martha Custis Washington en president George Washington, behoort het. [39]

Binne maande nadat generaal van die Unie -leër Irvin McDowell die huis in 1861 beset het, besef Selina dat verskeie kosbare erfstukke ontbreek weens soldate wat die eiendom plunder. Toe sy agterkom dat sommige van die relikwieë in Washington ook verdwyn het, het sy dadelik 'n lys van die vermiste voorwerpe aan generaal McDowell verskaf en hom oortuig dat die belangrikheid van die versameling sy betrokkenheid vereis. Hy het eers die solder- en kelderareas beveilig om verdere diefstal te voorkom, en het toe die oorblywende Lee -erfstukke na die Patent Office in Washington, DC gestuur vir bewaring. [40] Terwyl Selina die erfgename en skatte van Arlington House bewaar, word haar kinders later erken dat sy gehelp het om die huis te herstel, asook om akkurate besonderhede te gee oor die uitleg van die huis, persoonlike verhale van die familie Lee en bewaringsbewaarders in die vroeë twintigste eeu help.

Tydens groot herstellende pogings aan die Arlington House van 1929 tot 1930, lewer die Gray -gesin nog 'n belangrike bydrae tot die geskiedenis van Arlington County en die land. Vier van die dogters van Selina en Thornton het belangrike besonderhede oor die huis en die meubels verskaf, en hul insette was noodsaaklik vir die egtheid van die projek. [40] In 2014 het die National Park Service 'n seldsame foto van Selina bekom. [41]

Arlington National Cemetery uitbreiding Redigeer

In 1995 het amptenare van die Amerikaanse ministerie van binnelandse sake en die Amerikaanse weermagdepartement 'n ooreenkoms onderteken om 'n deel van Arlington Woods, wat in afdeling geleë was, van Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, na die weermag oor te dra. 29 van die NPS by die Arlington National Cemetery tussen Arlington House en Fort Myer. [42] Die oordrag van eiendom, wat 12 hektaar (4,9 ha) NPS -grond behels het, was bedoel om die begraafplaas in staat te stel om sy ruimte vir begrafnisse te vergroot. [43] [44]

Omgewingsbewustes het hul kommer uitgespreek dat die ooreenkoms die gedeeltelike vernietiging van die oorblyfsel van 'n historiese belangrike inheemse bome tot 24 hektaar (9,7 ha) gedeeltelik tot gevolg sal hê. [45] Tog het die Kongres in September 1996 wetgewing uitgevaardig wat die oordrag magtig. [43] [46]

Op 5 Junie 2013, na die hersiening van 100 openbare opmerkings wat dit ontvang het oor 'n konsep -omgewingsbeoordeling (EA) vir die uitbreidingsprojek vir die begraafplaas, het die Amerikaanse weermagkorps van ingenieurs 'n finale EA en 'n getekende Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) vrygestel ) vir die projek. [47] [48] Die finale EA het gesê dat van die 905 bome wat verwyder moet word, 771 bome gesonde inheemse bome was met 'n deursnee tussen 6 en 41 duim. [49] [50] Die projek sou ongeveer 211 bome uit 'n gebied van minder as 2,63 hektaar (1,06 ha) verwyder wat 'n gedeelte van 'n 145 jaar oue woud bevat wat binne die eiendomsgrense van 'n historiese distrik gestaan ​​het, waar 'n nasionale register van Historiese plekke se nominasievorm vir Arlington House het in 1966 beskryf. [49] [51] Ongeveer 491 bome sou verwyder word uit 'n gebied van bome wat ongeveer 105 jaar oud was. [49] Tydens 'n openbare verhoor op 11 Julie 2013 het die National Capital Planning Commission die terrein en bouplanne vir die projek goedgekeur. [52]

Studies, skade en herstelwerk Redigeer

Van 2003 tot 2007 het die National Park Service 'n argeologiese opgrawing gedoen van twee buitegeboue wat eens die slawekwartiere van Arlington House gehou het. [53] In 2009 het die Parkdiens verslae gepubliseer wat die geskiedenis van die slawekwartiere en die bevindings van die opgrawings beskryf, asook voorstelle vir die herstel van die kwartale. [54]

Van 2007 tot 2013 ondergaan Arlington House sy eerste opknapping sedert 1925. [55] Gedurende daardie tydperk het die National Park Services die meubels van die huis op die Friendship Hill National Historic Site naby Point Marion, Pennsylvania, vertoon. [56] Die Park Service het 'n herwydingseremonie gehou nadat die opknapping voltooi is en die meubels aan die huis terugbesorg is. [57]

Arlington House het aansienlike skade opgedoen tydens die aardbewing in Virginia in 2011, wat die sluiting van die agterste sale en boonste verdieping vereis het in afwagting van 'n argitektoniese beoordeling. [58] Op 17 Julie 2014 het filantroop David Rubenstein $ 12,5 miljoen aan die National Park Foundation (die arm van die National Park Service wat fondse insamel deur private bydraes) geskenk om die Arlington House, sy buitegeboue en terreine te rehabiliteer. Die projek van 30 maande is bedoel om die herehuis, geboue en gronde te herstel soos dit in 1860 gelyk het. Amptenare van die National Park Service het gesê dat hulle waarskynlik Arlington House en die slawekwartiere in 2016 vir 'n paar maande sal sluit, waartydens die meeste werk gedoen sal word. [59]

In 1919 is 'n replika gebou vir die kortstondige Lanier Universiteit in Atlanta, ontwerp deur argitek A. Ten Eyck Brown. Dit staan ​​nog steeds op 1140 University Drive NE, en huisves die Ben H. Zimmerman Religious School en die Canterbury School. [60] Arlington Hall, 'n replika van twee derdes van Arlington House, is in 1939 in Robert E. Lee Park in Dallas, Texas, gebou. [61]

Die fasade van die Ou Administrasiegebou in die Arlington Nasionale Begraafplaas lyk soos dié van die Arlington House. Die gebou is 150 meter wes van Arlington House. [62]


Robert E. Lee koekgeskiedenis en resep

Ook genoem generaal Robert E. Lee Cake. Een van die bekendste suid -Amerikaanse koeke van alle tye. Om hierdie koek te maak, is beslis 'n liefdevolle taak, want dit is nie eenvoudig nie. Daar is baie resepte en baie weergawes in ou suidelike kookboeke (hierdie koek was uiters gewild in die negentiende eeu). Dit lyk asof geen twee owerhede saamstem oor die eierinhoud van die koek nie (wat wissel van agt tot tien eiers). Die versiersel wissel ook met elke resep.

Daar word tradisioneel geglo dat die Robert E. Lee Cake die gunsteling was van die generaal van die burgeroorlog wat die konfederale troepe in die burgeroorlog gelei het, hoewel dit moeilik is om te bevestig. Die meeste bronne dateer die eerste geskrewe weergawe van Robert E. Lee Cake tot 1879, en generaal Lee sterf in 1870. 'n Verwysing in die boek The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book (1997) deur Anne Carter Zimmer, dui daarop dat 'n resep want sitruslaagkoek was bekend in die Lee-familie, maar nooit neergeskryf nie.

Hierdie koek, 'n lemoen- en suurlemoenkoek, is waarskynlik gemaak ter ere van Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), opperbevelhebber van die Virginia-magte tydens die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog. Vir sommige Suid-Afrikaners is hy 'n byna godagtige figuur, en vir ander is hy 'n paradoks.

Na die oorlog is Lee amper as 'n verraaier verhoor, maar sy burgerregte is net opgeskort.

1879 In die kookboek, huishouding in ou Virginia -bydraes van tweehonderd -en -vyftig bekende huisvroue in Virginia, onderskei deur hul vaardigheid in die kookkuns en ander takke van die binnelandse ekonomie, onder redaksie van Marion Cabell Tyree:

Robert E. Lee Cake
Twaalf eiers, hul volle gewig in suiker, 'n halwe gewig in meel. Bak dit in panne met die dikte van jelliekoeke. Take two pounds of nice “A” sugar, squeeze into it the juice of five oranges and three lemons together with the pulp stir it in the sugar until perfectly smooth then spread it on the cakes, as you would do jelly, putting one above another till the whole of the sugar is used up. Spread a layer of it on top and on sides. – Mrs. G.


Gen. Robert Lee Cake

10 eggs.
1 pound sugar.
1/2 pound flour.
Rind of 1 lemon, and juice of 1/2 lemon.

Make exactly like sponge cake, and bake in jelly-cake tins. Then take the whites of two eggs beat to a froth, and add one pound sugar, the grated rind and juice of one orange, or juice of half a lemon. Spread it on the cakes before they are perfectly cold, and place one layer on another. This quantity makes two cakes. – Mrs. I. H.

1890 – The General Assembly of Virginia passed a law to designate Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19th) as a public holiday.

1904 – The legislature added the birthday of Stonewall Jackson to the holiday, and Lee-Jackson Day was born.

1984 – President Ronald Reagan declared the day in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Virginia, who since 1978 had celebrated King’s Birthday in conjunction with New Years Day, made the change and simply tacked him onto Lee-Jackson Day. Thus Lee-Jackson-King Day was born.

2000 – Virginia Governor, Jim Gilmore, proposed splitting Lee-Jackson-King Day into two separate holidays, with Lee-Jackson Day to be celebrated the Friday before what would become Martin Luther King Day. The measure was approved and the two holidays are now celebrated separately. Virginians still observe Robert E. Lee Day by partying and making this famous cake.


Robert E. Lee’s Tactics During the Civil War

Although Lee’s purported “tactical genius” was trumped by Grant’s “superior talent in grand strategy,” Lee is famed for his tactical management of battles. He was the tactical victory in several 1862–63 battles and generally performed well on the tactical defensive against Grant in 1864. However, Robert E Lee Tactics proved fatally defective. His tactical defects were that he was too aggressive on the field, he frequently failed to take charge of the battlefield, his battle plans were too complex or simply ineffective, and his orders were too vague or discretionary.

Problems with Robert E Lee’s Tactics

The first problem was that Robert E Lee’s tactics, like his strategy, were too aggressive. Bevin Alexander pointed out that in 1862 alone Lee had “an obsession with seeking battle to retrieve a strategic advantage when it had gone awry or he thought it had.” Thus, at Beaver Dam Creek (Gaines’ Mill), Frayser’s Farm (Glendale), Malvern Hill, and Antietam, he resorted to “desperate, stand-up, head-on battle” that resulted in great losses. “This fixation was Lee’s fatal flaw. It and Lee’s limited strategic vision cost the Confederacy the war.” Elsewhere Alexander concluded, “Lee never understood the revolution that the Minié ball had brought to battle tactics. . . . This tendency to move to direct confrontation, regardless of the prospects of the losses that would be sustained, guaranteed Lee’s failure as an offensive commander.”

Although sometimes creative (particularly when Stonewall Jackson was involved), too often those tactics failed to adequately consider the advantages new weaponry gave to defensive forces. Rifled muskets (ones with grooves rifled in their bores to spin bullets for accuracy) and bullets which expanded in the bores to follow the grooves (Minié balls) greatly increased the accuracy and range of infantry firepower (from 100 yards to between 400 and 1,000 yards), thereby providing the defense with an unprecedented advantage. Fuller called the Civil War “the war of the rifle bullet,” and rifle bullets (primarily Minié balls) accounted for 9 0 percent of the about 214,000 battlefield deaths and 469,000 wounded during the war. This advanced weaponry made assaults increasingly difficult.

Despite the fact that seven of eight Civil War frontal assaults failed, Lee just kept attacking. Battles in which Lee damaged his army with overly aggressive tactics include the Seven Days’ (particularly Mechanicsville, Gaines’ Mill, and Malvern Hill), Second Manassas, Chantilly, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, the Wilderness, and Fort Stedman. Archer Jones pointed to Lee’s periodic misplaced elation when he refused to “quit while he was ahead,” and cited Malvern Hill, Chantilly, the end of Chancellorsville, and Pickett’s Charge as examples.

The North had more advanced weaponry and had it earlier in the war. Its Model 1861 Springfield rifle, with an effective range of 200–400 yards, could kill at a distance of 1,000 yards or more. Most infantrymen (especially Federals) had rifles by sometime in 1862, Union cavalry had breech-loading (instead of muzzle-loading guns) repeating rifles by 1863, and even some Union infantry had these “repeaters” (primarily Spencer rifles) in 1864 and 1865.

Demonstrating this trend, Rhode Islander Elisha Hunt Rhodes experienced an improvement in weaponry during the war. In June 1861 he was first issued one of many muskets that he described as “old-fashioned smooth bore flintlock guns altered over to percussion locks.” Late the following month, when other Rhode Islanders’ enlistments expired after First Bull Run, Rhodes’ unit members traded their smoothbore weapons for Springfield rifles. Three years later, in July 1864 in the Shenandoah Valley, Captain Rhodes wrote: “I have forty of my men armed with Spencer Repeating rifles that will hold seven cartridges at one loading. I have borrowed these guns from the 37th Mass. who are armed with them and have used them for some time.”

Appreciation of the great reliance upon rifles by both sides in the conflict can be gleaned from the following estimates provided by Paddy Griffith in his thought-provoking Battle Tactics of the Civil War. He estimated that the Confederate Government procured 183,000 smoothbore muskets and 439,000 rifles and that the Union obtained 510,000 smoothbores and an astounding 3,253,000 rifles, including 303,000 breechloaders and 100,000 repeaters. The increased effectiveness of breechloaders, rather than muzzleloaders, was demonstrated by Union cavalry on the first day at Gettysburg (July 1, 1863) and by Union defenders on the second day at Chickamauga just two months later.

Musketry and the new lethal force of rifle power accounted for as many as 80 percent of the Civil War’s battlefield casualties. The improved arms gave the defense a tremendous advantage against exposed attacking infantry or cavalry. Use of trenches from 1863 on further increased the relative effectiveness of infantry defenders’ firepower. Similar improvements in artillery ranges and accuracy also aided the defense. Rhodes, for instance, wrote on February 14, 1862: “The 4th Battery ‘C’ 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery came over [to Washington, D.C.] from Virginia this morning and exchanged their brass guns for steel rifle cannon.” The old smooth-bore cannons had ranges of 1,000 to 1,600 yards while the new rifled artillery had ranges of 4,000 to 6,000 yards.

Despite these significant new advantages held by the defense, during battle after battle, Lee frontally attacked and counterattacked with his splendid and irreplaceable troops. Military historian Bevin Alexander asserted that Lee’s obsession with seeking battle and his limited strategic vision lost the war. The short-term results of Lee’s overly aggressive tactics were his troops’ injury, death, and capture the long-term results were dissipation of the South’s finite resources and loss of the war.

Lee was not alone in failing to adequately compensate for the new effectiveness of defensive firepower, but, as the leading general of a numerically inferior army for almost three years, he could not afford to make that mistake. In fact, Lee lost 20.2 percent of his soldiers in battle while imposing only 15.4 percent losses on his opponents. This negative difference in percentage of casualties (4.8 percent) was exceeded among Confederate generals only by Lee’s protégé Hood (19.2 percent casualties minus 13.7 percent difference) and by Pemberton, who surrendered his army at Vicksburg. For example, neither Joseph Johnston (10.5 percent casualties minus 1.7 percent difference), Bragg (19.5 percent casualties minus 4.1 percent difference) nor Beauregard (16.1 percent casualties minus 3.3 percent difference) sacrificed such percentages of their men in unjustified frontal assaults as did Lee. Lee’s statistics substantially improved when he generally went on the defensive—finally and much too late—after the Battle of the Wilderness in early May 1864.

In addition to his aggressiveness, Lee had other tactical problems. His second problem was his failure to take charge on the battlefield. Lee explained his approach to a Prussian military observer at Gettysburg: “I think and work with all my powers to bring my troops to the right place at the right time then I have done my duty. As soon as I order them into battle, I leave my army in the hands of God.” To interfere later, he said, “does more harm than good.” “What Lee achieved in boldness of plan and combat aggressiveness he diminished through ineffective command and control.”

The third problem with Robert E Lee’s tactics was his propensity to devise battle plans which either required impossible coordination and timing or which dissipated his limited strength through consecutive, instead of concurrent, attacks. For example, the Seven Days’ Battle was a series of disasters in which Lee relied upon unrealistic coordination and timing that resulted in Confederate failures and extreme losses. Again, the second and third days at Gettysburg featured three uncoordinated attacks on the Union line by separate portions of Lee’s forces when a simultaneous assault might have resulted in an important Confederate breakthrough or seizure of high ground.

Lee’s fourth tactical problem was that his orders often were too vague or discretionary, an issue discussed more fully below. The pre- Gettysburg orders to Stuart and the Gettysburg Day One orders to Ewell are examples of this problem. In Philip Katcher’s words, “Lee’s failure adequately to order his generals to perform specific actions or discipline them if they failed was probably his greatest character defect. . . . One of his staunchest defenders [Fitzhugh Lee] agreed: ‘He had a reluctance to oppose the wishes of others or to order them to do anything that would be disagreeable and to which they would not consent.[’]” Almost a century ago, George Bruce concluded, “Every order and act of Lee has been defended by his staff officers and eulogists with a fervency that excites suspicion that, even in their own minds, there was need of defense to make good the position they claim for him among the world’s great commanders.”


About the author

Helen Andrews is a senior editor at The American Conservative, en die skrywer van BOOMERS: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster (Sentinel, January 2021). She has worked at the Washington Eksaminator en National Review, and as a think tank researcher at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Yale University. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, First Things, The Claremont Review of Books, Hedgehog Review, and many others. You can follow her on Twitter at @herandrews.


Robert E. Lee Jr.: The Legend’s Last Son Followed the Family to War

In a modern painting entitled "Chance Meeting," artist Dan Nance portrays an encounter between General Robert E. Lee and his youngest son and namesake on the Second Manassas Battlefield. (Painting by Dan Nance)

Colin Woodward
August 2019

After serving as a junior officer, ‘Rob’ Lee wrote a renowned chronicle of his father’s life

EkT WASN’T EASY LIVING in the shadow of the Confederacy’s greatest general, but Robert E. Lee Jr. had an interesting and accomplished Civil War career. He fought in the artillery and cavalry and rose to the rank of lieutenant. He later became one of his father’s greatest chroniclers through the publication of Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee in 1904.

Robert Edward Lee Jr. was the sixth of his parents’ seven children. The youngest of three boys, he was born October 27, 1843, atArlington Plantation, the home of his mother, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted grandson of George Washington. Rob’s other grandfather was Revolutionary War cavalryman “Light Horse” Harry Lee.

Robert E. Lee Jr. poses as a toddler with his mother, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee. (Virginia Museum of History and Culture)

The family’s military tradition had its challenges. As a Regular Army officer, the elder Lee was gone for long periods conducting engineering work on military defenses in Virginia, New York, Maryland, and Georgia. When the Mexican War broke out, Captain Lee served as an engineer in Winfield Scott’s forces. In Recollections and Letters, Rob said his earliest memory of his father was of him returning home from Mexico after an absence of nearly two years. According to Rob, his father didn’t recognize him and kissed Rob’s playmate by accident. It would not be the last time Rob’s father failed to recognize his son.

As was true of the other Lee children, Rob received an excellent education. He first attended school in Baltimore, while his father was serving at Fort Carroll. When Robert E. Lee moved to West Point, N.Y., in 1852 to serve as superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, Rob followed. Rob remembered his father helping him with Latin and teaching him how to ride a horse. But Rob wrote, “I saw but little of my father after we left West Point” in 1855, when the senior Lee was ordered to St. Louis in preparation for his next assignment out West, chasing Comanche warriors across the hot and arid Texas plains.

Despite his father’s absences, “it was impossible to disobey him,” Rob recalled. “My mother I could sometimes circumvent and at times took liberties with her orders…but exact obedience to every mandate of my father was a part of my life and being.” From November 1857 to February 1860, Robert E. Lee returned to Arlington to settle the estate of George Washington Parke Custis. Young Rob had another couple of years to enjoy with his father.

In contrast to his father and brothers, Rob was not interested in pursuing a military education. He attended the University of Virginia, which in the prewar period was a raucous, all-male institution where students drank, shot pistols, and broke things. Rob might have been

Robert Jr. grew up at Arlington Plantation while his father was stationed at army posts for long periods. This June 28, 1864, photo shows Union troops occupying the Lee home. (Library of Congress)

full of youthful energy, but like his father, he was also religious. In May 1860, he underwent a spiritual conversion. “How are you getting along with your God,” he wrote his sister Mildred in January 1861. “O! my sister,” he said, “neglect not him. I have suffered much from neglecting him.”

When the Civil War broke out, Rob—not yet 18 years old—was an eager volunteer. In the spring of 1861, young men from the University of Virginia organized military companies, and Rob became a commissioned officer in the “Southern Guard.” He marched with this unit all the way to Winchester before Governor John Wise ordered the students back to Charlottesville. In December 1861, Rob wrote there were only 50 students left at the university—down from 650 the previous year—because so many had enlisted in the Confederate Army.

Rob grew up in a thriving slaveholding society, and his racial views reflected that reality. In January 1862, a few months before he reenlisted, Rob visited White House plantation, the home of his brother William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, better known as “Rooney.” Rob wrote to Mildred that “the most delightful thing about the place is the set of negroes. They are the real old Virginny kind, as polite as possible devoted to their master & mistress, who are devoted to them & who do every thing for them.”

Robert Jr.’s older brothers, Maj. Gen. William Henry Fitzhugh “Rooney” Lee, left, and Maj. Gen. Custis Lee also served in the Army of Northern Virginia. Both were captured by Union troops. (From left: Library of Congress Heritage Auctions)

On March 28, 1862, Rob joined the Rockbridge Artillery as a private, and with that unit experienced his first fighting in the Shenandoah Valley. During the first few weeks of his service, the Confederate Army was in a difficult moment of transition. In April, the Confederate Congress passed a controversial conscription act, the first in American history. The act drafted men from the ages of 18 to 35 and kept them for three years or until the end of the war. The act led to the reorganization and consolidation of regiments. “The whole army seems very much dissatisfied,” Rob wrote to his father on April 23. He noted there were “a good many desertions among the militia & the valley men who refuse to leave their homes behind them.” Rob himself was not discouraged, and he looked down on those men of wavering patriotism.

In May at Front Royal, Va., Confederates routed a much smaller force of Federals under Colonel John Reese Kenly. Rob wrote of overrunning Federal camps and the men helping themselves to bacon, sugar, coffee, and other luxuries. We “got all kinds of sweetmeats,” Rob wrote his father, “the most delicious canned fruit of all Kinds ginger cakes by the barrels sugar candy & all Kinds of ‘nick nacks.’” Rob said he made a “hearty meal” of “bread & butter ginger cakes & sugar wh[ich] helped me out, for I was nearly starved.” The young artilleryman said the Confederate damage amounted to $100,000.

Victory did not erase the harsh realities of war. Rob saw one of his friends badly wounded in the face at Front Royal. As for himself, he was exhausted. “I think I have been through as hard a time as I ever will see in this war,” he told his father. “For twenty four days we have been marching & this is the fourth day we have rested Through rain mud water woods up & down mountains & for two weeks half starved.” The hard fighting, though, energized him. “I am now as hearty as a buck feeling better than I ever did in my life,” he reassured his father.

Rob did not see General Lee again until the Seven Days Battles. By then, his father had been put in command of the Army of Northern Virginia and was fighting to drive Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac from the outskirts of Richmond. Rob remembered that by then, “short rations, the bad water, and the great heat, had begun to tell on us, and I was pretty well worn out.”

At the Second Battle of Manassas, Rob, serving as the “No. 1” man in charge of ramming artillery rounds down his cannon’s barrel, was again in the thick of combat. “My face and hands were blackened with powder-sweat,” he recalled, “and the few garments I had on were ragged and stained with the red soil of that section.” Rob encountered his father on the battlefield and managed to get his attention. “Well, my man, what can I do for you?” he remembered his father saying. “Why, General don’t you know me?” Rob replied. Once his father realized who he was talking to, he was “much amused at my appearance and most glad to see that I was safe and well.”

After the war Robert Jr. settled at Romancoke, a plantation on the Pamunkey River, but struggled as a farmer and missed his family in Lexington. (Robert E. Lee and the Southern Confederacy, 1807-1870. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1897)

Shortly after Second Manassas, the Army of Northern Virginia headed north toward the Potomac River and Maryland. During the busy days of marching, Rob recalled he “occasionally saw the commander-in-chief, on the march, or passed the headquarters close enough to recognise him and members of his staff, but as a private soldier in Jackson’s corps did not have much time…for visiting …. ”

His next opportunity to talk to his father came on September 17, the day of the notorious Battle of Sharpsburg. During that bloody fight, when 23,000 men became casualties, Rob remembered that “our battery had been severely handled, losing many men and horses. Having three guns disabled, we were ordered to withdraw, and while moving back we passed General Lee and several of his staff, grouped on a little knoll near the road …. Captain Poague, commanding our battery, the Rockbridge Artillery, saluted, reported our condition, and asked for instructions.”

The general listened to Poague’s report and told him to take his damaged guns to the rear, but to prepare his remaining cannon for more action. As he talked to Poague, Lee’s eyes drifted over the battle-worn men on the battery, once again apparently not recognizing his youngest son. Rob recalled that he approached his father, said hello, then asked, “General, are you going to send us in again?” Replied the commander, “Yes, my son, you all must do what you can to help drive these people back.”

By the fall of 1862, Rob, his father, and his brother and cavalry officer Rooney had survived several bloody campaigns, but the family suffered loss all the same. In October, his sister Annie died of disease in North Carolina, where she had fled to escape the ravages of war in Virginia. “I shall never see her any more in this world,” Rob wrote of Annie.

As much as possible, the family tried to stay together. Rooney was promoted from colonel of the 9th Virginia Cavalry to brigadier general and leadership of North Carolina and Virginia troopers. Rob became a lieutenant and one of Rooney’s staff officers and remained optimistic about the Confederacy’s future. “I think we’ll whip old Burnside badly when we meet him,” he wrote in late November 1862. Events proved him correct. Lee’s forces soundly defeated Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside in December at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Months of relative inactivity followed. Rob fought at Chancellorsville on May 1-3, 1863, but he did not march north with the Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg Campaign. That might have been because Rooney was wounded at Brandy Station on June 9 and captured soon thereafter and sent to a Northern prison, where he languished for months. With his brother out of the army, Rob worked for a while with the Ordnance Department in Richmond.

Rob was not depressed by the news of his father’s July defeat at Gettysburg. Later that month, he told his mother that “the men & officers are in very good spirits & very desirous of establishing their fame firmly, which they think has been a little shaken at Gettysburg.” By then, Rob had rejoined the cavalry, serving in Colonel John R. Chambliss’ 13th Virginia Cavalry, and he defended his fellow horsemen against accusations that the cavalry “never does anything.” “Truth is we do all the hard work of the Army,” he said, noting there was “freedom in this branch which is delightful.”

Rob remembered that at the time of the 1864 Overland Campaign, morale was still high in the Army of Northern Virginia. He wrote, “it never occurred to me, and to thousands and thousands like me, that there was any occasion for uneasiness.” The men of the Army of Northern Virginia “firmly believed that ‘Marse Robert’…would bring us out of this trouble all right.” Rob was wounded at the May fighting near Spotsylvania, but he recovered and rejoined his command. In a July 1864 letter to his sister Agnes, he wrote of soldiers getting plenty to eat, and he was impatient to “turn our horses out on the fine grass in Maryland & Pennsylvania.”

Charlotte “Lottie” Taylor Haxall married Robert Jr. in November 1871 but died of tuberculosis in September 1872. (Beaux and Brains of the 60’s, G.W. Dillingham Co, 1909)

During the Petersburg siege, on August 15, 1864, he was wounded slightly in the arm at the Second Battle of Deep Bottom. The wound took Rob out of action for three weeks.

By 1865, Rob’s outlook had grown darker and he was pessimistic about his future. “I don’t know whether I shall ever see you again,” he told his sister, Mildred. But he could still be funny, warning Agnes in March: “Don’t let Sheridan get my trunk,” referring to Union Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan.

In the final days of the war, Rob had a horse shot from under him, an event he remembered happening on April 2 or 3. Thankfully for him, he was cut off from the rest of the army. He said he was “surprised” when he heard of the news of the surrender. He rejoined his command and accompanied the remnants of the Jefferson Davis government to Greensboro, N.C. That was as far as he made it. He eventually returned to Richmond and was paroled in May 1865.

With the South devastated, Rob tried his hand at farming. He settled in King William County, Va., roughly 40 miles east of Richmond. As the owner of “Romancoke,” he ran a small plantation on the Pamunkey River. The estate was left to Rob in 1857 by his grandfather, George Washington Parke Custis. At Romancoke, Rob—far from his family in Lexington—found himself a lonely bachelor and struggling farmer.

Unlike his oldest brother Custis, who became president of Washington and Lee University, and Rooney, who later became a U.S. congressman, Rob kept a low profile after the war and his racial views had not progressed beyond condescending references to African Americans. In February 1866, he told a sister about “Old Coon,” a black woman helping him keep house. A year later, he dismissed the plight of the freed people of the South, saying, they were “stirred up by baptizing & politics,” but added “that theory would never be demonstrated by Cuffee.”

He still received advice from his father. “You must have a nice wife,” the elder Lee told him in August 1867. “I do not like you being so

lonely. I fear you will fall in love with celibacy.” General Lee traveled to Romancoke several times to see his bachelor son. Rob apparently cared little about entertaining, and after one trip General Lee decided his son needed a proper set of silverware. The general last visited Rob in the spring of 1870.

The news of his father’s death on October 12, 1870, hit Rob hard. After the general’s death, he lamented his own “selfishness & weakness” and praised his father for the “example of true manliness he set me all through his life.” In contrast, he felt he had “done so little for him.”

Rob’s uncertain finances, the shabbiness of his estate, and the fact that he was far from family and city life slowed his prospects of finding a wife. After a long courtship, in November 1871 he married 23-year-old Charlotte Taylor Haxall, but the marriage to “Lottie,” as she was known, proved brief. She died of tuberculosis on September 22, 1872. “I try to believe that all is for the best,” he wrote after her death, “but it is very hard—hard to believe, harder still to feel so.” A year later, Rob lost his mother, who had suffered from debilitating ill health. A few weeks before her death, Rob’s sister, Agnes, had also died.

In 1875, Rob departed for England with his sister Mildred. He stayed there for a year. Rob eventually moved from Romancoke to Washington, D.C., where he worked in the insurance business. In March 1894, Rob married Juliet Carter, the daughter of Colonel Thomas H. Carter, a Virginian who had served in the Army of Northern Virginia’s artillery.

Rob and Juliet had two daughters, Anne Carter (1897-1978) and Mary Custis (1900-1994). In 1904, Rob published Herinneringe en briewe van generaal Robert E. Lee. The book included transcriptions of his father’s letters, recollections of his spoken words, and anecdotes drawn from Rob’s memories of those of his older siblings. The book was well received and remains essential reading for Lee scholars.

Robert Jr. eventually moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked in the insurance business and married a second time. In 1904, Robert Jr. published Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee. (Virginia Museum of History and Culture)

Rob died on October 14, 1914, and he is buried with his family in the Lee crypt in Lexington. Robert E. Lee biographer J. William Jones wrote of him, “No braver or more chivalric man ever lived, and his death is lamented by his surviving comrades of the war, and by a host of friends.”

In many ways, Robert E. Lee Jr. was a typical Confederate soldier. He was an unmarried enlisted man in his 20s who fought in the ranks and a defender of the racial status quo. He survived the war, though he saw many of his friends and comrades killed.

In other ways, his life was atypical in that he was the son of the Confederacy’s greatest warrior and a member of one of the South’s most celebrated and elite families. An unsuccessful farmer after the war, the ex-Rebel moved, ironically, to the federal capital of Washington, D.C., to seek better financial opportunities.

Rob’s career may have been humble compared with others of his generation, but his letters provide an important link between the pre- and postwar South, and he was the liveliest and funniest writer of any member of his family. Syne Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee remains an important source on his famous father.

Colin Woodward is the author of Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army During the Civil War. He lives in Richmond,
where he is host of the history and pop culture podcast “American Rambler.” He is revising a book on country singer Johnny Cash.


Unlocking History: Treasures Of Robert E. Lee Discovered

Stumbling across long-forgotten steamer trunks crammed with family memorabilia can excite the history buff in anyone. But when the trunks belong to Mary Custis Lee, the eldest daughter of General Robert E. Lee, and contain a treasure trove of documents and artifacts about her father and other members of her illustrious family spanning more than two centuries, that’s when historians take notice. And now, this collection is open to the public.

The discovery occurred in 2002, as Robert E. L. deButts, Jr., the great-great-grandson of Robert E. Lee, conducted family research. A commercial and securities lawyer in New York who bears a striking resemblance to the formidable general with his flinty eyes and broad expanse of forehead, deButts had queried Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust in Alexandria, Virginia, to see if they retained any financial records of his great-grandaunt, Mary Custis Lee. After the Civil War ended, Mary spent much of her life traveling abroad, and used the bank as a permanent address. As the officers of the family-owned bank checked their inventory, they decided to look in their rarely used “silver vault,” which safeguards items too large for safe-deposit boxes. A pair of dusty wooden steamer trunks caught their eye, the larger one bearing a piece of tin patching and the unmistakable stenciled letters, “M. Lee. ”

DeButts came south immediately and together they unlocked the trunks, unopened at least since Mary Custis’ death 84 years before, and discovered more than 4,000 yellowed letters, postcards, documents, photographs, and artifacts. DeButts brought the contents to the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, which houses the nation’s largest collection of Lee papers, and started sorting. Turns out, says Lee Shepard, the Society’s senior archivist, that Mary Custis “was the unofficial family archivist and also a bit of a pack rat.” One envelope contained three cloth stars of gold thread, identified in a note as those that Lee cut off his uniform after his surrender to Grant at Appomattox.

The earliest letter in the trunks dates to 1694, a letter from John Custis II, the family’s first English immigrant, to merchants back home discussing the tobacco crop and the shipbuilding business on the Eastern Shore, valuable details, says Shepard, for future researchers. Also amidst the letters is an unusual 1766 manifest of 266 African American slaves owned by John Parke Custis, the stepson of George Washington. There are accounts from the 1760s and 1770s kept by George Washington an 1860 letter from Robert E. Lee to the Secretary of War about relations between Mexico and the U.S. an 1872 letter from a former slave at Arlington House to Lee’s wife postcards and mementos from around the world acquired by Mary Custis and the correspondence of Lee’s mother-in-law, Mary Fitzhugh Custis, an anti-slavery activist in the upper South.

The letters written by Robert E. Lee add exciting new dimensions to the man, showing a complexity of character and emotional conflict rarely associated with someone too often portrayed as a stone icon, notes Elizabeth Brown Pryor, a Lee biographer and the first scholar to read dozens of the private and revealing missives. “This material shows him not as a simple Christian gentleman but as far more complex, problematic, witty, wickedly funny, and baffled at times.” She read two dozen letters from Lt. Robert Lee to his fiancée, Mary Custis—all delightfully colored by the irreverence and passion of an impatient young man.

There are family letters that give life to Lee’s experience in the Mexican War. His grief over the loss of Arlington House is palpable in a Christmas 1861 letter to his daughter Mary: “I should have preferred it to have been wiped from the earth, its beautiful hill sunk, & its sacred trees burned, rather than to have been degraded by the presence of those who revel in the ill they do for their own selfish purposes.”

The collection also includes several hesitant attempts by Lee to chronicle his military actions in the Civil War. The documents contain few battlefield secrets—their most revealing aspect, says Pryor, is Lee’s avoidance of candid assessment, evidence perhaps either of optimistic resilience or delusion. He wrote his daughter on September 23, 1862, just after the Sharpsburg campaign. “We had two hard fought battles in Maryland and did not consider ourselves beaten as our enemies suppose. We were greatly outnumbered and opposed by double if not treble our strength and yet we repulsed all their attacks, held our ground and retired when it suited our convenience.” Brave words in the wake of a campaign that caused a quarter of his army to desert—and enabled Abraham Lincoln to seize the moral high ground and issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

At other times, Lee’s letters are unselfconscious and expressive. Early in the war, as the South’s fortunes surged, Lee wrote a sentimental Christmas letter to Mary: “I send you some sweet violets that I gathered for you this morning while covered with dense white frost that glistened in the bright sun like diamonds and formed a broche of rare beauty and sweetness . . . “

Anguish creeps in as the war progresses, especially when he hears in November 1862 of the death of his 23-year-old daughter Anne of typhoid fever. He wrote his wife, “In the quiet hours of night when there is nothing to lighten the full weight of my grief, I feel as if I should be overwhelmed. I had always counted if god should spare me for a few days of peace after this civil war had ended, that I should have her with me. But year after year my hopes go out and I must be resigned.”

Grim foreboding comes in the Lee’s handwritten original draft of the 1863 General Order notifying his troops of the death of General Stonewall Jackson, the brilliant Confederate tactician upon whom Lee depended. Generals usually dictated orders, says Shepard, so the fact that he handwrote this one indicates that he understood the full import of Jackson’s death for the Southern cause.

According to Pryor, perhaps the most significant Robert E. lee materials in the trunks are unfinished post-war essays he wrote on the government, war, and the evils of majority rule. The traditional view of Lee holds that he held no rancor in his heart after the war and altogether transcended the whole cataclysmic experience of war, perhaps an impression given by the great dignity in which he carried himself. These essays, however, expose Lee’s bitter struggle to reconcile himself to defeat and its disastrous results for the South, as well as his oral dilemma over having chosen that side.

What comes through most strongly in Lee’s writings is his humanity. In a letter to his wife-to-be, long before the Civil War would rip him and the nation apart, Lee’s words are those of a love struck young engineer who can’t wait to see her. In his letter of September 11, 1830, he rather comically describes the reaction of his family members to news of his engagement. “Both parties gradually approached the place where I was standing, and just as the storm seemed ready to burst upon my innocent head I bolted from the house & took refuse in the laundry. I just escaped in time, for hardly had I closed the door, when the whole building rung with the shouts and clamour of the enraged combatants.”

Most of Lee’s 21 love letters to Mary are published in a special edition of the Virginia Historical Society’s Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 115, Issue 4, 2007). See also Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters (Viking 2007).



Kommentaar:

  1. Ancaeus

    Ek stem saam met alles hierbo gesê. Kom ons bespreek hierdie vraag.

  2. Taugor

    Ek kan nie nou deelneem aan die bespreking nie – daar is nie vrye tyd nie. Ek sal beslis binnekort my mening uitspreek.

  3. Kramoris

    Bravo, briljante idee en is behoorlik

  4. Tynan

    Ek kan u konsultasie gee vir hierdie vraag. Saam kan ons by die regte antwoord uitkom.



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