Review of Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Note: The following is taken from the January 1905 issue of The Virginia Magazine of Hisotry and Biography (volume 12), pp. 331–32


RECOLLECTIONS AND LETTERS OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE. By his son, Captain Robert E. Lee. Doubleday Page & Company, 1904. Pp. 440.

This is a valuable and most interesting contribution to the literature of the great commander.

The home and heart side of his wonderfuil clharacter is revealed by touching and candid letters which emphasize his sublime courage and his beautiful simplicity.

The relation of the soldier to his sons and daughters, to his invalid wife, to his kindred and neighbors, is that of a wise counsellor and sincere friend, the tender affection which he bore his own family is made very real by these unrestrained epistles and they, in their unquestioned truth, shed light upon historical questions.

The son’s impressions of his father from the time when arrayed in his best blouse he stood in the great hall at Arlington to greet him, just returned from Mexico (when unhappily his father mistook another little boy for his own), to the sad day when he was summoned to Lexington to give him the last farewell—throw a white light upon the domestic life of the Christian soldier.

Arlington, Ravensworth, Richmond, Derwent and Lexington are visualized by the personal touch, and one feels as if an old-fashioned Virginia day had been really spent with Robert E. Lee aud his family as one closes the book.

The hero of many battles becomes the loving father, the friend and counsellor of young men, the gentle nurse of a beloved wife, the companion of little children, and if possible fills the heart more conmpletely.

The student of Lee can ill afford to be without this volume bestowed upon the world by the youngest son of Robert E. Lee.