Edwin Cole Bearss, a United States Marine Corps veteran of World War II, is a military historian and author known for his work on the American Civil War and World War II eras. He is a tour guide of historic battlefields for The Smithsonian Associates. He served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994 and is currently Chief Historian Emeritus. Bearss was born in Billings, the son of Omar Effinger Bearss and Virginia Louise Morse Bearss. Bearss graduated from Hardin High School in May 1941 and hitchhiked around the United States and he enlisted in the Marine Corps on April 28,1942, and by July was on a troop transport to the Pacific War. He was with the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion in the invasion of Guadalcanal, on January 2,1944, Bearss was severely wounded at Suicide Creek by Japanese machine gun fire. He was evacuated to California, and spent 26 months recovering in various hospitals and he was honorably discharged from the Marines as a corporal on March 15,1946, and returned home to Montana.
Bill to finance his education at Georgetown University, from which he obtained a B. S. degree in Foreign Service studies in 1949. He worked for three years in the United States Navy Hydrographic Office in Maryland and used his time to visit numerous Civil War battlefields in the East. He received his M. A. in history from Indiana University in 1955, as part of his research, he visited the Western Theater battlefields on which Cleburne fought, telling friends, You cant describe a battlefield unless you walk it. In February 2005, Lincoln College awarded Bearss an honorary doctorate and it was at Vicksburg that he met his wife, Margie Riddle Bearss, a Civil War historian, they were married on July 30,1958. They first lived in the Leila Luckett House in Vicksburg formerly occupied by then-Maj, gen. Ulysses S. Grants soldiers in 1863, and eventually had three children, Sara Beth, Edwin Cole, Jr. and Mary Virginia. At Vicksburg, Bearss did the research leading him and two friends to the long-lost Union gunboat U. S.
S and he located two forgotten forts at Grand Gulf, Mississippi. He was promoted in 1958 to Southeast regional historian, working out of Vicksburg, johnsons Ranch, Fort Moultrie, Fort Point, William Howard Taft House, Fort Hancock at the Boston Navy Yard, and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. In 1966, Bearss was transferred to Washington, D. C, on November 1,1981, he was named Chief Historian of the National Park Service, a position he held until 1994. From 1994 to 1995, he served as assistant to the director. After his retirement in 1995, he received the title Chief Historian Emeritus, in 1972, Bearss became a founding member of the Board of Advisors of Sea Research Society and participated in the creation of its College of Marine Arts. He was active in the Societys efforts to raise the wreck of the Civil War submarine Hunley, a Washington Post reporter described Bearss style as a guide as Homeric monologues
Ric Burns is an American documentary filmmaker and writer. Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, he has directed several programs for WGBH Bostons American Experience and he wrote and directed The Donner Party. In 1995, Burns wrote, and co-produced The Way West, in April 2002, Burns completed Ansel Adams, a co-production of Steeplechase Films and Sierra Club Productions for American Experience. Burns is probably best known for his series New York, A Documentary Film, the eight-part, seventeen-and-a-half-hour film chronicles the city’s rise from a tiny Dutch trading post through its continuing preeminence as an economic and cultural capital of the world. The first five episodes of New York were broadcast in November 1999, the sixth and seventh episodes in the fall of 2001, in 2018, the ninth episode will premiere, chronicling New York since the events of September 11,2001. Burns’s more recently completed projects include We Shall Remain, which tells the story of the life, Into the Deep, Whaling & the World is the story of U. S.
whaling industry and its eventual collapse following World War I
Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. was an American historian and novelist who wrote The Civil War, A Narrative, a three-volume history of the American Civil War. Foote did all his writing by hand with a nib pen, Foote was born in Greenville, the son of Shelby Dade Foote and his wife Lillian. Footes paternal grandfather, Huger Lee Foote, a planter, had gambled away most of his fortune and his paternal great-grandfather, Hezekiah William Foote, was an American Confederate veteran, attorney and state politician from Mississippi. His maternal grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Vienna, Foote was raised in his fathers and maternal grandmothers Episcopal faith. As his father advanced through the ranks of Armour and Company, the family lived in Greenville, Jackson. Footes father died in Mobile when Foote was five years old, he, Foote was an only child, and his mother never remarried. Foote began a lifelong fraternal and literary relationship with Walker, each had great influence on the others writing, Other influences on Footes writing were Tacitus, Thucydides and Marcel Proust.
Foote edited The Pica, the student newspaper of Greenville High School and he presented himself for admission anyway, and as result of a battery of admissions tests, he was accepted. In 1936 he was initiated in the Alpha Delta chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, interested more in the process of learning than in earning an degree, Foote was not a model student. He often skipped class to explore the library, and once he even spent the night among the shelves and he began contributing pieces of fiction to Carolina Magazine, UNCs award-winning literary journal. Foote returned to Greenville in 1937, where he worked in construction and for a local newspaper, around this time, he began to work on his first novel. In 1940 Foote joined the Mississippi National Guard and was commissioned as captain of artillery, after being transferred from one stateside base to another, his battalion was deployed to Northern Ireland in 1943. He was court-martialed and dismissed from the Army and Teresa divorced while she was living with his mother in New Orleans, after Shelby sent her to the U. S. on a warship convoy.
After the war, Teresa married Kermit Beahan, the Nagasaki atomic bomb bombardier, in Roswell, Foote came back to the United States and took a job with the Associated Press in New York City. In January 1945, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps but was discharged as a private in November 1945, during his training with the Marines, he recalled a fellow Marine asking him, You used to be a Army captain, didnt you. When Foote said yes, the replied, You ought to make a pretty good Marine private. Foote returned to Greenville and took a job with a radio station. He sent a section from his first novel to the The Saturday Evening Post, flood Burial was published in 1946, and when Foote received a $750 check from the Post as payment, he quit his job to write full-time
Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was an American stage and television actor. He was a winner of the Tony Award, two Academy Awards and an Emmy Award and he was a United States Navy combat veteran of World War II. He became famous playing works of American playwright Eugene ONeill and regularly performed in ONeills works throughout his career, Robards was cast both in common-man roles and as well-known historical figures. Robards was born in Chicago, the son of Hope Maxine Robards and Jason Robards, Sr. an actor who appeared on the stage. Robards was of German, Welsh, the family moved to New York City when Jason Jr. was still a toddler, and moved to Los Angeles when he was six years old. Later interviews with Robards suggested that the trauma of his parents divorce, as a youth, Robards witnessed first-hand the decline of his fathers acting career. The teenage Robards excelled in athletics, running a 4, 18-mile during his year at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles. Although his prowess in sports attracted interest from several universities, Robards decided to enlist in the United States Navy upon his graduation in 1940.
Following the completion of training and radio school, Robards was assigned to a heavy cruiser. On December 7,1941, the Northampton was at sea in the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles off Hawaii, contrary to some stories, he did not see the devastation of the Japanese attack on Hawaii until the Northampton returned to Pearl Harbor two days later. The Northampton was directed into the Guadalcanal campaign in World War IIs Pacific theater, during the Battle of Tassafaronga in the waters north of Guadalcanal on the night of November 30,1942, the Northampton was sunk by hits from two Japanese torpedoes. Robards found himself treading water until near daybreak, when he was rescued by an American destroyer, for her service in the war, the Northampton was awarded six battle stars. Two years later, in November 1944, Robards was radioman on the USS Nashville, on December 13, she was struck by a kamikaze aircraft off Negros Island in the Philippines. The aircraft hit one of the port five-inch gun mounts, while its two bombs set the midsection ablaze, with this damage and 223 casualties, the Nashville was forced to return to Pearl Harbor and to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, for repairs.
Robards served honorably during the war, but was not a recipient of the U. S. Navy Cross for bravery, contrary to what has been reported in numerous sources, the inaccurate story derives from a 1979 column by Hy Gardner. On the Nashville, Robards first found a copy of Eugene ONeills play Strange Interlude in the ships library, while in the Navy, he first started thinking seriously about becoming an actor. He had emceed for a Navy band in Pearl Harbor, got a few laughs and his father suggested he enroll in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Robards was awarded the Good Conduct Medal of the Navy, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Robards got into acting after the war and his career began slowly
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was an American college professor from the State of Maine, who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army. He became a respected and decorated Union officer, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He is most well known for his gallantry at the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1862 and fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He became commander of the regiment in June 1863, on July 2, during the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlains regiment occupied the extreme left of the Union lines at Little Round Top. Chamberlains men withheld repeated Confederate assaults and finally drove away with a bayonet charge. He was severely wounded while commanding a brigade during the Second Battle of Petersburg in June 1864, after the war, he entered politics as a Republican and served four one-year terms of office as the 32nd Governor of Maine. He served on the faculty, and as president, of his alma mater and he died in 1914 at age 85 due to complications from the wound that he received at Petersburg.
Chamberlain was born in Brewer, the son of Sarah Dupee, Chamberlain was of English ancestry, and could trace his family line back to twelfth century England, during the reign of King Stephen. He was the oldest of five children and it is said that he was his mothers favorite while his father was tough on him. He was very involved in his church, mostly singing in the choir and his mother encouraged him to become a preacher while his father wanted him to join the military, but he felt a reluctance towards both options. He suffered a speech impediment until shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College and he entered Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1848 with the help of a local tutor, professor William Hyde. Chamberlain learned to read Ancient Greek and Latin in order to pass the entrance exam, while at Bowdoin he met many people who would influence his life, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, the wife of Bowdoin professor Calvin Stowe. Chamberlain would often go to listen to her passages from what would become her celebrated novel.
He joined the Peucinian Society, a group of students with Federalist leanings, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society and a brother of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, Chamberlain graduated in 1852. He married Fanny Adams and adopted daughter of a clergyman, in 1855. Chamberlain studied for three years at Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, returned to Bowdoin. He eventually went on to every subject in the curriculum with the exception of science. In 1861 he was appointed Professor of Modern Languages and he was fluent in nine languages other than English, Latin, German, Italian, Arabic and Syriac
Samuel Atkinson Sam Waterston is an American actor and director. He has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Emmy awards, having starred in over eighty film and he has starred in numerous stage productions. AllMovie historian Hal Erickson characterized Waterston as having cultivated a following with his quietly charismatic. Waterston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2012, the third of four siblings, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Alice Tucker, a painter, was of English ancestry. His father, George Chychele Waterston, was an immigrant from Leith, Waterston attended both the Brooks School, a boarding school in North Andover, where his father taught, and the Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. He entered Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on a scholarship in 1958, after graduating from Yale, he attended the Clinton Playhouse for several months. Waterston attended the Sorbonne in Paris and the American Actors Workshop, the classically trained Waterston has numerous stage credits to his name.
For example, he played an award-winning Benedick in Joseph Papps production of William Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing and he continues live theater work during the summers, often seen acting at places like Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. Waterston made his debut in 1965s The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean. He starred as Tom in a 1973 television film adaptation of Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie, the film featured Michael Moriarty, whom Waterston replaced as the Executive Assistant District Attorney on Law & Order. One of his roles was opposite Jeff Bridges in the western comedy Rancho Deluxe in 1975. Other films include Savages, The Great Gatsby, Journey Into Fear, Capricorn One, Heavens Gate, Hopscotch, in 1985, he co-starred in Robert Prestons final television film with Mary Tyler Moore, Finnegan Begin Again. Also with Moore, Waterston played the role in Lincoln. Other roles include Assault at West Point with Samuel L. Jackson, The Man in the Moon, Waterston is a six-time Emmy Award nominee, as well as a winner of the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Aside from Law & Order, other roles include D. A. Forrest Bedford in Ill Fly Away. He had a role in an episode segment on the TV series Amazing Stories called Mirror Mirror. In 1994, Waterston debuted as Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy in the season of the television series Law & Order
American Civil War
The American Civil War was an internal conflict fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America, the Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U. S. history. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U. S. fortress of Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to eleven states, it claimed two more states, the Indian Territory, and the southern portions of the western territories of Arizona. The Confederacy was never recognized by the United States government nor by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal, including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North, the war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the dissolution of the Confederate government in the spring of 1865. The war had its origin in the issue of slavery. The Confederacy collapsed and 4 million slaves were freed, but before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy.
The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, the first seven with state legislatures to resolve for secession included split majorities for unionists Douglas and Bell in Georgia with 51% and Louisiana with 55%. Alabama had voted 46% for those unionists, Mississippi with 40%, Florida with 38%, Texas with 25%, of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession, outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincolns March 4,1861 inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war, speaking directly to the Southern States, he reaffirmed, I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed, the Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on King Cotton that they would intervene, but none did, and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.
Hostilities began on April 12,1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, while in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive in 1861–62. The autumn 1862 Confederate campaigns into Maryland and Kentucky failed, dissuading British intervention, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, much of their western armies, the 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lees Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grants command of all Union armies in 1864
George Ames Plimpton was an American journalist, literary editor and occasional amateur sportsman. He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found The Paris Review, during the summers, he lived in the hamlet of West Hills, Suffolk County on Long Island. He was the son of Francis T. P, and the grandson of Frances Taylor Pearsons and George Arthur Plimpton. His grandfather was the founder of the Ginn publishing company and a philanthropist and his father was a successful corporate lawyer and partner of the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton. He was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as U. S. deputy ambassador to the United Nations serving from 1961 to 1965 and his mother was Pauline Ames, the daughter of botanist Oakes Ames and artist Blanche Ames. George had three siblings, Francis Taylor Pearsons Plimpton Jr. Oakes Ames Plimpton, and Sarah Gay Plimpton. Plimpton attended St. Bernards School, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Daytona Beach Mainland High School and he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon, was a member of the Hasty Pudding Club, Pi Eta, the Signet Society, and the Porcellian Club.
Plimpton entered Harvard as a member of the Class of 1948 and he was an accomplished birdwatcher. Plimptons studies were interrupted by military service lasting from 1945 to 1948, after graduating from Harvard, he attended Kings College at Cambridge University in England. He studied there from 1950 to 1952 and graduated with third class honors, in 1953, Plimpton joined the influential literary journal The Paris Review, founded by Peter Matthiessen, Thomas H. Guinzburg, and Harold L. Humes, becoming its first editor in chief. This periodical carries great weight in the world, but has never been financially strong, for its first half-century, it was allegedly largely financed by its publishers. Peter Matthiessen took the magazine over from Harold Humes and ousted him as editor, replacing him with Plimpton, Plimpton was associated with the literary magazine in Paris, which folded because the State Department withdrew its support. Future Poet Laureate Donald Hall, who had met Plimpton at Exeter, was Poetry Editor, outside the literary world, Plimpton was famous for competing in professional sporting events and recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur.
In 1958, prior to an exhibition game at Yankee Stadium between teams managed by Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, Plimpton pitched against the National League. His experience was captured in the book Out of My League, Plimpton sparred for three rounds with boxing greats Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson, while on assignment for Sports Illustrated. In 1963, Plimpton attended preseason training with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League as a backup quarterback and these events were recalled in his best-known book Paper Lion, which was adapted into a feature film starring Alan Alda, released in 1968. Plimpton revisited pro football in 1971, this time joining the Baltimore Colts and seeing action in a game against his previous team. Another sports book, Open Net, saw him train as an ice hockey goalie with the Boston Bruins, Plimptons classic The Bogey Man chronicles his attempt to play professional golf on the PGA Tour during the Nicklaus and Palmer era of the 1960s
Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, orator and statesman. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders arguments that slaves lacked the capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave. After the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, First published in 1881 and revised in 1892, three years before his death, it covered events during and after the Civil War. Douglass actively supported womens suffrage, and held public offices. Douglass was a believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, Native American. He was a believer in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, one biographer argues, The most influential African American of the nineteenth century, Douglass made a career of agitating the American conscience. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of causes, womens rights, peace, land reform, free public education.
But he devoted the bulk of his time, immense talent and these were the central concerns of his long reform career. Douglass understood that the struggle for emancipation and equality demanded forceful, and he recognized that African Americans must play a conspicuous role in that struggle. Less than a month before his death, when a black man solicited his advice to an African American just starting out in the world, Douglass replied without hesitation. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Talbot County, the plantation was between Hillsboro and Cordova, his birthplace was likely his grandmothers shack east of Tappers Corner, and west of Tuckahoe Creek. The exact date of his birth is unknown, and he chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14. In his first autobiography, Douglass stated, I have no knowledge of my age. Douglass was of mixed race, which likely included Native American on his mothers side and he was given his name by his mother, Harriet Bailey.
After escaping to the North years later, he took the surname Douglass and he wrote of his earliest times with his mother, The opinion was. Whispered that my master was my father, but of the correctness of this opinion I know nothing and my mother and I were separated when I was but an infant. It common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, … I do not recollect ever seeing my mother by the light of day
Ken Burns effect
The Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect used in video production from still imagery. The name derives from extensive use of the technique by American documentarian Ken Burns, the technique predates his use of it, but his name has become associated with the effect in much the same way as Alfred Hitchcock is associated with the dolly zoom. The feature enables a widely used technique of embedding still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming and panning effects, the technique is principally used when film or video material is not available. Action is given to still photographs by slowly zooming in on subjects of interest, for example, in a photograph of a baseball team, one might slowly pan across the faces of the players and come to a rest on the player the narrator is discussing. By employing simulated parallax, an image can appear as 3D, with the viewpoint seeming to enter the picture. The effect can be used as a transition between clips as well. For example, to segue from one person in the story to another, the zooming and panning across photographs gives the feeling of motion, and keeps the viewer visually engaged.
Burns has credited documentary filmmaker Jerome Liebling for teaching him how still photographs could be incorporated into documentary films. He has cited the 1957 National Film Board of Canada documentary City of Gold, co-directed by Colin Low and Wolf Koenig, in film editing, the technique may be achieved through the use of a rostrum camera, although today it is more common to use software. Final Cut Pro, Apple TV and Apples iMovie video editing program include a photo slideshow option labelled Ken Burns Effect, microsoft Photo Story is a free application that creates videos with both random and customiseable Ken Burns Effects automatically from selected images. ProShow Gold/Producer from Photodex is an application by still photographers that uses this effect to great measure. Another free multiplatform Ken Burns effect application is PhotoFilmStrip, on the Mac platform, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, iMovie, Adobe Premiere, and others have the ability. Particularly and Apple products allow the user to set keyframes to further customize the process, the effect is found in a great number of screensavers and slideshows.
Apple uses it in their screensavers, windows PCs can use Greg Stitts MotionPicture and Gregg Tavaress Nostalgic, among others. The effect can be seen in the N73 smartphone by Nokia, many seventh-generation video game consoles feature versions of this effect, including Nintendos Wii Photo Channel, Sonys PlayStation 3 and within the Last. fm app for Xbox 360. Outside of screensavers and slide shows, the effect is found in some video games. Steve Jobs contacted Burns to obtain the permission to use the term Ken Burns Effect for Apples video production software. Burns initially declined, saying that he did not allow his name to be used for commercial purposes, Burns had Jobs give him some equipment which we give to nonprofits in exchange for permission to use the term in Apple products
George Templeton Strong
George Templeton Strong was an American lawyer and diarist. His 2, 250-page diary, discovered in the 1930s, provides a personal account of life in the 19th century. The historian Paula Baker described him as perhaps the equivalent of South Carolinas Mary Chesnut, opinionated. He received his education from Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. In 1838 he graduated from Columbia College with high honors and served as president of the Philolexian Society and that same year he joined the law practice of his father that became Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Today it is the nations oldest operating law firm, on May 15,1848, Strong married Ellen Ruggles in Grace Church, New York. A gifted amateur singer, she was the daughter of Samuel B, in 1853, Strong was elected a trustee of Columbia College. Strong served for years as a vestryman at the prominent Episcopal Trinity Church. Strong helped found the United States Sanitary Commission, which helped ameliorate the sufferings of wounded soldiers during the American Civil War and he was treasurer and member of its executive committee throughout the war.
He helped to start the Union League Club of New York, the organization provided a means to reconciling the whites and blacks of the South into the Republican Party. Strong funded a Union regiment during the war, and Ellen Strong served on a hospital ship and he avoided military service by simply taking advantage of that section of the Enrollment Act of 1863 allowing draftees to pay $300 to a substitute who served for them. Strongs 2, 250-page diary, now in the collections of the New-York Historical Society, beginning at the age of fifteen, Strong wrote almost every day of his life for nearly forty years. Excerpts from this diary are featured in Ken Burns 1990 documentary The Civil War and in Ric Burnss New York, extensive selections from the diary were published in four volumes in 1952, and remain of interest to historians of New York City, as well as to bibliographic collectors. The family was musical, and both Strong and his wife performed as amateurs and he served as President of the New York Philharmonic Society for several years.
Their son, named George Templeton Strong, became a noted Romantic composer and painter, although he had most of his career in Europe after moving to Switzerland in the late nineteenth century, the younger Strong is considered an American composer. Willis, George Templeton Strong, Americas Civil War, History 393, University of the South- Sewanee Mr. Lincoln, Music of George Templeton Strong, Classical CD Review, December 2002 Civil War Draft Records and Enrollments George Templeton Strong. Guide to the Strong Family Papers, 1747-1940
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican–American War, during the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles. Lees strategic foresight was more questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat, Lees aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. Lee surrendered his army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9,1865. By this time, Lee had assumed command of the remaining Southern armies. Lee rejected the proposal of an insurgency against the Union.
He urged them to rethink their position between the North and the South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the political life. Lee became the great Southern hero of the War, an icon of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy to some. But his popularity even in the North, especially after his death in 1870. Barracks at West Point built in 1962 are named after him, Robert Edward Lee was born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Major General Henry Lee III, Governor of Virginia, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter. His birth date has traditionally been recorded as January 19,1807, one of Lees great grandparents, Henry Lee I, was a prominent Virginian colonist of English descent. Lees family is one of Virginias first families, descended from Richard Lee I, Esq. the Immigrant, Lees mother grew up at Shirley Plantation, one of the most elegant homes in Virginia. Lees father, a planter, suffered severe financial reverses from failed investments. Little is known of Lee as a child, he spoke of his boyhood as an adult.
Nothing is known of his relationship with his father who, after leaving his family, mentioned Robert only once in a letter. In 1811, the family, including the newly born child, moved to a house on Oronoco Street, still close to the center of town. In 1812, Harry Lee was badly injured in a riot in Baltimore