Lee in the Shadow of Washington / Edition 1

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Many historians have speculated about the degree to which George Washington was a guiding force in the life of Robert E. Lee, but the subject has never fully been explored. Those conversant enough in the Lee literature to find this controversial topic intriguing will read the present volume by McCaslin (history, High Point Univ.; Tainted Breeze) with great interest. Utilizing an exhaustive collection of primary and secondary sources, this award-winning author of nearly a dozen monographs examines the pervasive influence of Washington on Lee's principles, generalship, and politics from the antebellum period to the end of his life. This specialized work is recommended for larger academic and public libraries with comprehensive collections in Civil War history, but for more general collections, Emory Thomas's Robert E. Lee: A Biography (Norton, 1997) might satisfy most patrons. Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Philadelphia Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A cogent analysis of General Robert E. Lee's personal admiration for President George Washington's legacy and its effect on both his military and civilian careers. McCaslin (History/High Point Univ.; Tainted Breeze, not reviewed) traces how Washington's revolutionary exploits served as Lee's leading inspiration for leaving the US Army to lead the Confederate Army during the Civil War. His close analysis of the friendship between Washington and the future general's father, General "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, effectively demonstrates the impression this heritage made on young Robert. McCaslin persuasively links Lee's decision to wed Mary Custis, a descendant of the first American president, and subsequently acquire and preserve Washington artifacts to his revolutionary upbringing. He traces the military similarities between Lee's attempt to break away from the union and Washington's war against the British. More interestingly, he shows how Lee's adoption of Washington as his model for personal conduct resulted in a military career marked by moral character and martial brilliance, eventually culminating in his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Confederate Army. According to McCaslin, Lee's enduring respect for Washington's vision of a united nation led him, as president of Washington College, to dedicate himself to healing the rift between northern and southern states. He argues that the combination of Lee's family ties to Washington, his personal admiration for America's founding father, and his battlefield audacity with the Army of Northern Virginia insured that Lee's legacy ultimately emerged as that of a vanquished hero, inspired by the example forever doomed to overshadow him. Usefulto scholars of both Washington and Lee, as well as to readers interested in social issues surrounding the Civil War and military history.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Richard B. McCaslin, a professor of history at High Point University in North Carolina, is the author or editor of eleven books, including The Last Stronghold: The Fort Fisher Campaign and Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, 1862, winner of the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize of the Texas State Historical Association.

LSU Press

Richard B. McCaslin, a professor of history at High Point University in North Carolina, is the author or editor of eleven books, including The Last Stronghold: The Fort Fisher Campaign and Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, 1862, winner of the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize of the Texas State Historical Association.

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Mystic Chords of Memory: A Revolutionary Heritage 13
2 The Old Revolutionary Blood: Coming of Age in the Army 37
3 Granny Lee: Secession and Obscurity 66
4 Audacity Personified: Northern Virginia in 1862 95
5 A Very Bold Game: Showdown at Gettysburg 138
6 Children of the Revolution: Fighting for Time, 1864-1865 166
7 Washington without His Reward: After the Civil War 193
Epilogue: In the Shadow of Washington 225
Bibliography 235
Index 253
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