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76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2004
Robert E. Lee never had the chance to pen his own autobiography as U.S. Grant did. He meant to, but kept holding it off until heart disease claimed his life five years after the surrender of Appomattox.

Many of those who served under him during the Civil War wrote biographies of the great Confederate General, claiming to know how he felt, and what he thought. But only two of them really came close. The ponderous but solidly written "Memoirs of Robert E. Lee" by his Aide, Colonel Long, and this volume, comprised of letters actually written by Lee, and the remembrances of those who knew him well, and none more so than the author of the book, his own son, Captain Robert E.Lee, Jr.

Captain Lee describes his childhood in the Lee household, of General Lee's love of animals, especially horses. He describes a man who smiled, was warm, as compared to the austere, solemn descriptions and illustrations of him once the Civil War commenced. He writes how Lee agonized within his own family of the decision to leave the U.S. Army, and then join the Confederacy, even though wishing for a quiet, neutral life, and of Lee's personal losses during the war - a daughter who passed on, a son wounded and captured, the son's frail wife also passing on, and the known loss of their dearly beloved home in Arlington, which was turned into the national cemetery of the same name.

Captain Lee studiously avoids the controversial sides of Lee, his stand on slavery or the rights of the South, concentrating mainly on the personality of man and how he dealt with others.

This is a volume that belongs on the shelf of any Civil War buff, especially those interested in the life of Robert E. Lee.

I recommend this book, and Burke Davis' "Gray Fox" be purchased together.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
I haven't even finished reading this book, and I realize that it was written by his son, but the letters that General Lee wrote to family, friends and even superior officers give us a clear picture of what an incredible person he was. With each chapter I read, I become more amazed and in awe of the splendid individual General Robert E. Lee was; a man of integrity and compassion, and the ability to lead and inspire others. He may have been on the losing side of the Civil War, but in life, he was a winner!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2011
Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

First off, you can't beat the price. Secondly, it's a delightful peek into the world of General Lee, and HOW letters were written in that time. A lost art......

Told from the vantage point of his son, Robert, I enjoyed sharing his father with him, if just for a little while.

This is a good book for consideration of how things were done, how they've changed since that time, and enjoyment cover-to-cover!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
I have to say honestly, that I had truly no idea that General Robert E. Lee lived for another 5 years following his surrender to Grant during the Civil War. I mean, I guess I didn't just figure that he'd died and that was the end, but I had no idea how much he really LIVED, I guess is what I am trying to say.

Being from the North, we don't hear about how he went on to become the President of Washington University in Lexington, VA. We don't hear about his sons, daughters & grandchildren. I've never heard about how well-loved he was by just about everyone in the South, right up until his very last breath. I never knew how well he cared for his rheumatic, wheel-chair-bound wife, or how much he loved and how well he cared for Traveller (his beloved and well-acclaimed war horse), right up until he could no longer do it.

"I have led the young men of the South in battle; I have seen many of them die on the field; I shall devote my remaining energies to training young men to do their duty in life." This quote really shows what sort of person he was, devoted to the task at hand (no matter what that may be, in this case, teaching students at the University), right up until the very end. He was amazing, and a part of me feels just a little bit cheated that I never knew any of this until now.

He was an amazing person, and truly, despite surrendering during the war, a complete and utter hero. And I, for one, am so glad his son Robert was able to compile this gathering of his letters and recollections, for me to learn that. I'll never look at General Lee in the same way again!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2012
Fantastic read. This book gives a deep insight into the personality of General R E Lee both through his own letters but also through the narative of his son Rob. The facts given are interesting but most intriguing is the splendor of the General's love and devotion to his family and the men he served in the Army of Northern Virginia.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2012
Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee is excellent. It peeks into his life and paints a very intere4sting picture of his life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2013
Wonderful companion to D.S. Freeman 's biography of General Lee. Highly recommended. A great Christian, soldier, and American. One of the greatest America has ever produced.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
If you are a civil war reader or a Robert E. Lee fan, than this book is for you. His private letters allow us to forget that we are reading history and allow us to step right into the soul of the man.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
I really loved this book. It gave me a whole new understanding of the human side of General Lee. I would recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
While most of this book is a collection of Robert Lee's letter to his family, it does offer significant insight as to his character and personality. It's not a review of his Civil War recollecitons, but instead a look inside the man's deeply religious and family oriented values, which are clearly evident in his personal letters, many of which were written between battles. It is clear that he was a greatly loved and admired southern gentleman, who was able to remain such despite fighting for a losing cause and having most of his personal possessions confiscated by the Union. I was fortunate to have read this before visiting his Arlington, Virginia home.
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