RECOLLECTIONS AND LETTERS
OF
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE


GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
Photographed in 1869—his last sitting

RECOLLECTIONS AND LETTERS
OF
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE

BY HIS SON
CAPTAIN ROBERT E. LEE

With Photogravure Portraits

New York
Doubleday, Page & Company
1904

Copyright, 1904, by
Doubleday, Page & Company
Published, October, 1904

TO MY DAUGHTERS
ANNE CARTER
AND
MARY CUSTIS

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY

Captain Lee, of the Engineers, a hero to his child—The family pets—Home from the Mexican War—Three years in Baltimore—Superintendent of the West Point Military Academy—Lieutenant-Colonel of Second Cavalry—Supresses “John Brown Raid” at Harper’s Ferry—Commands the Department of Taxes.

CHAPTER II
THE CONFEDERATE GENERAL

Resigns from Colonelcy of First United States Cavalry—Motives for this step—Chosen to command Virginia forces—Anxiety about his wife, family, and possessions—Chief advisor to President Davis—Battle of Manassas—Military operations in West Virginia—Letter to State Governor.

CHAPTER III
LETTERS TO WIFE AND DAUGHTERS

From Camp on Sewell’s Mountain—Quotation from Colonel Taylor’s book—From Professor Wm. P. Trent—From Mr. Davis’s Memorial Address—Defense of Southern ports—Christmas, 1861—The General visits his father’s grave—Commands, under the President, all the armies of the Confederate States.

CHAPTER IV
ARMY LIFE OF ROBERT THE YOUNGER

Volunteer in Rockbridge Artillery—”Four Years with General Lee” quoted—Meeting between father and son—Personal characteristics of the General—Death of his daughter Annie—His son Robert raised from the ranks—The horses, “Grace Darling” and “Traveller”—Fredricksburg—Freeing slaves.

CHAPTER V
THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

The General’s sympathy for his suffering soldiers—Chancellorsville—Death of “Stonewall” Jackson—General Fitzhugh Lee wounded and captured—Escape of his brother Robert—Gettysburg—Religious revival—Infantry review—Unsatisfactory commissariat.

CHAPTER VI
THE WINTER OF 1863–4

The Lee family in Richmond—The General’s letters to them from Camps Rappahannock and Rapidan—Death of Mrs. Fitzhugh Lee—Preparations to meet General Grant—The Wilderness—Spottsylvania Court House—Death of General Stuart—General Lee’s illness.

CHAPTER VII
FRONTING THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC

Battle of Cold Harbour—Siege of Petersburg—The General intrusts a mission to his son Robert—Battle of the Crater—Grant crosses the James River—General Long’s pen-picture of Lee—Knitting socks for the soldiers—A Christmas dinner—Incidents of camp life.

CHAPTER VIII
THE SURRENDER

Fort Fisher captured—Lee made Commander-in-Chief—Battle of Five Forks—The General’s farewell to his men—His reception in Richmond after the surrender—President Davis hears the news—Lee’s visitors—His son Robert turns farmer.

CHAPTER IX
A PRIVATE CITIZEN

Lee’s conception of the part—His influence exerted toward the restoration of Virginia—He visits old friends throughout the country—Receives offers of positions—Compares notes with the Union General Hunter—Longs for a country home—Finds one at “Derwent,” near Cartersville.

CHAPTER X
PRESIDENT OF WASHINGTON COLLEGE

Patriotic motives for acceptance of trust—Condition of college—The General’s arrival at Lexington—He prepares for the removal of his family to that city—Advice to Robert Junior—Trip to “Bremo” on private canal-boat—Mrs. Lee’s invalidism.

CHAPTER XI
THE IDOL OF THE SOUTH

Photographs and autographs in demand—The General’s interest in young people—His happy home life—Labours at Washington College—He gains financial aid for it—Worsley’s translation of Homer dedicated to him—Tributes from other English scholars.

CHAPTER XII
LEE’S OPINION UPON THE LATE WAR

His intention to write the history of his Virginia campaigns—Called before a committee of Congress—Preaches patience and silence in the South—Shuns controversy and publicity—Corresponds with an Englishman, Herbert C. Saunders.

CHAPTER XIII
FAMILY AFFAIRS

The General writes to his sons—To his wife at Rockbridge Baths—He joins her there about once a week—Distinguised and undistinguished callers at his Lexington home—He advocates early hours—His fondness for animals.

CHAPTER XIV
AN IDEAL FATHER

Letters to Mildred Lee—To Robert—To Fitzhugh—Interviewed by Swinton, historian of the Army of the Potomac—Improvement in grounds and buildings of Washington College—Punctuality a prominent trait of its President—A strong supporter of the Y.M.C.A.

CHAPTER XV
MOUNTAIN RIDES

An incident about “Traveller”—The General’s love for children—His friendship with Ex-President Davis—A ride with his daughter to the Peaks of Otter—Mildred Lee’s narrative—Mrs. Lee at the White Sulphur Springs—The great attention paid her husband there—His idea of life.

CHAPTER XVI
AN ADVISER OF YOUNG MEN

Lee’s policy as college president—His advice on agricultural matters—His affection for his prospective daughter-in-law—Fitzhugh’s wedding—The General’s ovation at Petersburg—his personal interest in the students under his care.

CHAPTER XVII
THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD

The General believes in the enforcement of law and order—His moral influence in the college—Playful humour shown in his letters—His opinion of negro labour—Mr. Davis’s trial—Letter to Mrs. Fitzhugh Lee—Intercourse with Faculty.

CHAPTER XVIII
MRS. R. E. LEE

Goes to Warm Springs for rheumatism—Her daughter Mildred takes typhoid there—Removes to Hot Springs—Her husband’s devotion—Visit of Fitzhugh and bride to Lexington—Miss Jones, a would-be benefactor of Washington College—Fate of Washington relics belonging to Mrs. Lee’s family.

CHAPTER XIX
LEE’S LETTERS TO HIS SONS

The building of Robert’s house—The General as a railroad delegate—Lionised in Baltimore—Calls on President Grant—Visits Alexandria—Declines to be interviewed—Interested in his grandson—The Washington portraits.

CHAPTER XX
THE NEW HOME IN LEXINGTON

Numerous guests—Further sojourns at different Baths—Death of the General’s brother, Smith Lee—Visits to “Ravensworth” and “The White House”—Meetings with interesting people at White Sulphur Springs—Death of Professor Preston.

CHAPTER XXI
FAILING HEALTH

The General declines lucrative positions in New York and Atlanta—He suffers from an obstinate cold—Local gossip—He is advised to go South in the spring of 1870—Desires to visit his daughter Annie’s grave.

CHAPTER XXII
THE SOUTHERN TRIP

Letters to Mrs. Lee from Richmond and Savannah—From Brandon—Agnes Lee’s account of her father’s greetings from old friends and old soldiers—Wilmington and Norfolk do him honour—Visits to Fitzhugh and Robert in their homes.

CHAPTER XXIII
A ROUND OF VISITS

Baltimore—Alexandria—A war-talk with Cousin Cassius Lee—”Ravensworth”—Letter to Doctor Buckler declining invitation to Europe—To General Cooper—To Mrs. Lee from the Hot Springs—Tired of public places—Preference for country life.

CHAPTER XXIV
LAST DAYS

Letter to his wife—To Mr. Tagart—Obituary notice in “Personal Reminiscences of General Robert E. Lee”—Mrs. Lee’s account of his death.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
      Photographed in 1869—his last sitting     Frontispiece

ROBERT E. LEE
      Photographed in 1850 or 1851, when he was Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers

GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
      Photographed in 1862 or 1863

VALENTINE’S RECUMBENT FIGURE OF LEE
      Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.