Skip to comments.A Portrait in Letters (Newly Discovered Robert E. Lee)
Posted on 07/12/2007 6:04:07 AM PDT by RDTF
Two old steamer trunks sit in the rare-book room at the Virginia Historical Society, looking worn and forlorn. The smaller one was once red but the paint has faded to a dull rust. The larger one is brown with a piece of tin patching a hole in the top. On one side, a name is stenciled: "M. LEE."
That's Mary Custis Lee, Gen. Robert E. Lee's adventurous eldest daughter. In 1917, she stored these wooden trunks in the "silver vault" in the basement of Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust in Alexandria. A year later, she died at the age of 83. Her trunks sat in a dusty corner of the vault for 84 years, unclaimed, until E. Hunt Burke, the bank's vice chairman, discovered them in 2002.
Burke called his high school classmate Rob E.L. deButts Jr., who is Robert E. Lee's great-great-grandson. Together, the two men descended into the vault. Burke carried a basket of old keys.
"The first one I pulled out was a perfect fit," he says.
The trunks were stuffed with Lee family papers -- a priceless cache of 4,000 letters, photographs and documents. DeButts carted them to the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, which houses the world's largest collection of Lee papers. He spent a week there, sitting at a desk in the research library, reaching into Mary Custis Lee's trunks and picking out treasures and trash.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
sometimes they are up, sometimes not.
I donated through the CVBT. Nice to see more than one organization is involved with protecting the battlefield.
And all attempts at Christian antinomianism founder on Paul's epistles.
If you go back far enough in this thread you will see that I entered to counter an assertion that Lee was a hero because he opposed the federal government's disruption of local custom in the name of objective morality.
There isn't a better way to understand "palaeoconservatism" than its utter rejection of objective universal religious truth (corrosive of "immemorial local custom"). And unfortunately, most professional neo-Confederates loudly invoke this anti-morality, equating moralism with liberal meddling and the messianic Kingdom of G-d on earth with manmade hells.
What kind of Southerner prefers H. L. Mencken to Jonathan Edwards, sees a straight line between Cotton Mather and Ted Kennedy, can't tell the difference between Lenin and Calvin Coolidge, or prefers staid liberal episcopal services to the "puritan religious ferment" of good old Southern Fundamentalist revivals? Not the Fundamentalist Biblicist Southerner of the present day. I'm afraid the post-Bellum Bible Belt South has much more in common with Puritan New Engand than it does with King Charles (either one) or the Byrds of Colonial Virginia.
So the losers couldn't write books? Every rationalization of historic crimes sinks to calling their opposition ignorant or worse.
Prior to the war, Southern states' supposed concern with states' rights didnt restrain them from imposing federal demands that Northern states return runaway slaves. And early in the war, Alexander Stephens said slavery [rather than states' rights] was the cornerstone of the Confederacy". He changed his mind later. And for all the confederacy's supposed concern with states' rights, their constitution denied states the right to interfere with federal protection of slavery. In other words - states 'rights extended only so far as to protect a states right to legalize slavery, not their right to outlaw it within their state borders.
If I lost a war for something as evil as slavery, I might find some comfort in attempts to wrap it in some noble cause too. But I hope I wouldnt get sucked into believing it 150 years later and calling disbelievers ignorant.
And please dont send me links to states' rights claims or Ill just follow them up with links to holocaust deniers (giving each the equal attention they deserve).
The south fought for states rights and the casue of freedom
We see this failure of Lee again during the first day of Gettysburg. His order to Ewell to take cemetary hill "if practicable" was inexcusable. Lee had plenty of intelligence at that point to make the call instead of passing the buck. One cannot concieve of Grant ever telling one of his commanders in the heat of battle to accomplish an objective "if practicable".
” deButts showed him what he’d just picked out of the trunk: an envelope containing three cloth stars — general’s stars — that Lee cut off his Confederate uniform after he surrendered at Appomattox”
And in a century, people will be claiming that their great grandfather fought for [Islamic] states rights with al Qaeda. And some people will actually smoke that crap.
At least one of my great grandfathers also fought in the Confederacy, but I'm not as susceptible to their propaganda 150 years later.
And if you believe that... http://tinyurl.com/347l3k
A pseudo historian on FR on another thread tried to discredit Shelby Foote b/c he was born in the South. I’ve heard it all now.
There were many African Americans who took up arms in the Confederate Army and fought for there homes and for the casue of states rights and freedom
Amos Rucker, Black Confederate
‘People are converting to Mormonism just to lurk on DU?’
I read somewhere that if you make a necklace out of garlic cloves and wear it around your neck while you browse there you should be protected. Doesn’t hurt to have a silver cross nearby either.
In fairness to Lee that had always been his style, and when he had Longstreet and Jackson as his corps commanders it wasn't a problem. In the few weeks prior to the Gettysburg campaign Lee had reorganized his army into three corps. So he had two new subordinate corps commanders and many of his division commanders had new corps commanders they reported up to and were trying to establish working relations with. It was not an ideal situation all around.
There is an equally interesting book recently released called "Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign" by Kent Masterson Brown. In addition to laying out in detail exactly what it took to get an army and its supply trains from point A to point B, it shows just how desperate Lee was to retain all the supplies he had gathered from the civilian population during his campaign. To the point where he left thousands of wounded behind to fall into the hands of the Union army because the wagons that might have carried them were used to move goods instead.
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