When Robert E. Lee passed on without setting pen to paper on his memoirs, both North and South alike were deprived of a classic personal history of the War Between the States worthy to sit on the shelf next to Ulysses S.Grant's Personal Memoirs. The Reverend J. William Jones, Lee's chaplain, compiled this collection of reminiscences in its place ...
When Robert E. Lee passed on without setting pen to paper on his memoirs, both North and South alike were deprived of a classic personal history of the War Between the States worthy to sit on the shelf next to Ulysses S.Grant's Personal Memoirs. The Reverend J. William Jones, Lee's chaplain, compiled this collection of reminiscences in its place as a memorial volume commemorating his death. Filled with correspondence with President Andrew Johnson, General Grant, and C.S.A. Generals Scott, Beauregard, and Longstreet, and personal anecdotes from Lee's wartime contemporaries such as Jubal Early, Jeb Magruder, Jefferson Davis, and Winfield Scott. What comes to light is a personal portrait of Lee as family man, gentleman, scholar, and soldier, as well as an eyewitness account of the war that threatened to tear the United States asunder, as witnessed by the South's greatest military leader. The Reverend J. William Jones, D.D., was the chaplain of the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee and after the Civil War served as chaplain for Washington College in Virginia under Lee's presidency. It was my proud privilege to have known General Lee intimately. I saw him on that day in April, 1861, on which he came to offer his stainless sword to the land that gave him birth. I followed his standard from Harper's Ferry, in 1861, to Appomattox Court-house, in 1865, coming into somewhat frequent contact with him, rejoicing with him at his long series of brilliant victories, and weeping with him when "compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. . . . " This first attempt at authorship is sent forth with a sincere desire that it may prove acceptable to the countless admirer of the great Confederate chieftain, that it may serve to give to all a higher appreciation of his noble character, and that it may prove a blessing to the young men of the country (more especially to those who "wore the gray"), by inducing them to study, in order that they may imitate, his shining virtues.
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