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  This webpage reproduces a section of
R. E. Lee: A Biography

by Douglas Southall Freeman

published by Charles Scribner's Sons,
New York and London, 1934

The text, and illustrations except as noted, are in the public domain.

 

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

INDEX

The Entries for
Lee, Robert E.

[image ALT: a blank space] [image ALT: a blank space]
Lee, Gen. Robert Edward, C. S. A.:

Academic record, West Point

I, 81‑2

Administration

at Washington College, Lexington, I, 351; II, 538; at West Point, I,  316‑59

Adviser to Jefferson Davis

II, 5‑7

Ancestry

I,  159‑69

Anecdotes of

Appointments:

To cadetship, I, 44
Engineer for Atlantic coast defenses, I, 195
Acting inspector general, I, 216
Superintendency of West Point, I, 316
Command of Virginia forces, I, 463‑4
Command of Army Northern Virginia, II, 74

Army register

first appearance in, I, 62

As farmer

I, 382‑93

As father

As friend

I, 157‑8, 441; II, 46, 72, 542‑3

Birth

I, 9, 11‑12

Boyhood

I, 33‑7

Causes of his failures

Causes of his successes

Childhood

Commended for Vera Cruz activities

I, 234‑5

Compared with:

Generals in European Wars, II, 76
Generals in World War, II, 76

Court-martial service

Courtship of Mary Custis

I, 99, 104; II, 461

Devotion of his men

Domestic happiness

Education:

At Eastern View, I, 30‑1, 36
By his father's writings, I, 32‑3, 65‑7
By home duties, I, 33‑4, 36
At Alexandria Academy, I, 36‑7
With James Hallowell, I, 46‑7
At West Point, I,  48‑85
In Mexican Campaign, I, 294‑300
By experience, I, 455‑9

Engineering Experiences:

Florida, 304‑5
Fort Carroll, I, 303, 305, 308, 314, 316‑8
Fort inspections, I, 184‑5
Fort Monroe, I, 96, 100, 102, 119‑21, 124‑8
p607 Mexican Campaigns, I, 205, 207, 210, 212, 219, 222, 226, 228‑9, 234, 238, 244, 250, 258‑9, 273‑8, 285‑6
Mississippi River, I, 138‑40, 142‑7, 150‑5, 170, 173‑7, 179‑83
New York Harbor, I, 185‑91, 194, 199‑200

Estimate of:

Alexandria Gazette's, I, 445
Army officers', after Mexican campaign, I, 294‑5
As father, by his son Robert, I, 313‑4
Board of visitors', West Point, I, 346‑7
Brother officers', I, 378
C. Anderson's, I, 415n
Capt. Raphael Semmes's, I, 258
Erasmus D. Keyes's, I, 359
Fellow-cadets', I, 68
Gen. Schofield's, I, 346
Gen. Scott's, I, 350n
Henry J. Hunt's, I, 193
James M. Porter's, I, 385
Joseph E. Johnston's, I, 74
Mayor J. F. Darby's, I, 174‑5, 182‑3
M. C. Meigs's, I, 148
On appointment to command in Virginia, I, 468‑71
On organizing Virginia army, I, 523‑4
Paul Hamilton Hayne's, I, 612

Executor of Custis estate

I, 380‑92; II, 474, 476

Failure of campaigns, causes:

Defective staff work, II, 233‑7, 241
Excellence of Federal personnel, II, 240‑1
Faulty use of cavalry, II, 237, 241, 411
Insufficient reconnaissance, II, 233
Lack of intelligence service, II, 234
McClellan's good luck, II, 410‑11
Mistakes in invasion of Maryland, II, 411
Poor use of artillery, II, 238‑9
Reliance on subordinates, II, 239‑41
Straggling, II, 411‑12
Too few engineers, II, 233
Unfamiliar roads, II, 232
Unreliable maps, II, 232‑3, 241
Worn out men, II, 412

First command of troops

I, 360

Forged letter on duty

I, 316n

Illness

I, 306, 450; II, 502‑4, 512

Injured

II, 340

Interview with Scott, on Union command

I, 636

Journey to Richmond

I, 448

Letters:

Accepting appointment to West Point, I, 44
To Mrs. Custis on slave insurrection, I, 111‑12
To Eliza M. Stiles on her marriage, I, 113‑14
To Andrew Talcott on Lee's dissatisfaction with life, I, 135‑6
To his wife, on their children, I, 141‑2
To Andrew Talcott on Mississippi River work, I, 143‑4
To Jack Mackay, on disgust with army treatment, I, 155‑6
To his wife, on their children, I, 172
To his wife, on children, I, 180
To his son "Rooney," a fable, I, 198‑9
To his brother Smith, on the Mexican campaign, I, 289
To his son Custis at West Point, I, 310, 311, 315
To his wife at her mother's death, I, 328
To Gen. Totten, on Cadet Whistler, I, 335‑7
To cadets' families, I, 341
To his wife, on slavery, I, 371‑3
To his son Custis on family plans, I, 382, 383
To Irvin McDowell, on Custis estate, I, 386‑7
To insurrectionists at Harpers Ferry, I, 397
To Gov. Trevino, on Cortinas, I, 407
To Gen. Garcia, on Cortinas, I, 408‑9
To Mrs. Anna Fitzhugh on his unhappiness, I, 410
To Joseph E. Johnston on promotion, I, 412
To his family, on secession crisis, I, 420
To Markie Williams, on secession, I, 421
To Sec'y Cameron, letter of resignation, I, 440
To Gen. Scott, on resigning from army, I, 441
To his sister, Mrs. Marshall, I, 443
To his brother Smith, on resigning, I, 444
To his wife, after First Manassas, I, 539
To Miss Louisa Washington, on her father's death, I, 569
To Gov. Letcher, after Cheat Mountain failure, I, 572‑4
To Gen. Wise, about uniting with Floyd, I, 588
To Gen. Floyd, about uniting with Wise, I, 592
To Gen. Smith, June 1, 1862, II, 75
To Jackson, wounded, II, 543

Lobbying

I, 135

Losses:

At Cheat Mountain, I, 574
In West Virginia, I, 630
At Seven Pines, II, 80
At Mechanicsville, II, 135
At Gaines's Mill, II, 157‑8
At Malvern Hill, II, 220‑1
In defense of Richmond, II, 230‑1
p608 At South Mountain, II, 372
At Sharpsburg, II, 408
At Fredericksburg, II, 468, 471
In first seven months of command, II, 476‑7

Marriage to Mary Custis

I, 104‑7

Member of Scott's "Little Cabinet"

I, 226‑8

Mentioned in reports

Mexico City inquiry

I, 290‑1

Military library

I, 357‑8

Military maxims:

Army discipline, I, 289
Government support, I, 289
Making the best of a bad situation, II, 17
Need for trained officers, I, 489
On terror of war, II, 462
Railroad defense, II, 262
Superior force at point of attack, II, 551
The whole nation an army, II, 28
Value of labor, II, 86
Watching for favorable time and circumstance, II, 17

Mistakes

Mounts

I, 644‑7

Offer of generalship in Confederate army

I, 434

Offer of command of Union army

Opinions of people:

Of Gen. Charles Gratiot, I, 131
Of his great-great‑grandfather, Richard Lee, I, 160
Of his mother-in‑law, I, 328
Of Gen. McClellan, II, 362
Of Stonewall Jackson, II, 418, 524

Opposition of public opinion

Ordered:

To Cockspur Island, Ga., 1829, I, 94
To Hampton Roads, Va., I, 101
To Washington, D. C., as assistant to chief of engineers, I, 128, 134, 193
To Ohio-Michigan boundary, I, 133
To Mississippi River, I, 138‑9
To work on forts, I, 184, 185, 194
To Mexican Campaign, I, 202
To special duty under Totten, I, 302
To Superintendency of West Point, I, 316
To Louisville, in temporary command of 2nd Cavalry, I, 360
To Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, I, 361
To court-martial service, I, 361‑3, 368, 373‑6
To command at Camp Cooper, I, 363
To Harpers Ferry, in command, I, 394
To command of Dept. of Texas, I, 404
To Washington, I, 425
To Western Virginia, for Jefferson Davis, I, 541‑2
To southeast coast command, I, 607
To command of Confederate Army, II, 74

Personal characteristics:

Ability as tactician, II, 414
Abstemiousness, I, 86, 114, 122, 175, 452
Amiability, I, 42, 74, 451, 553, 575, 630
Appearance:

As a cadet, I, 68, 74, 84‑5

As a young man, I, 107, 118

As a young engineer, I, 148, 155, 193

At 54, I, 449‑51, 468

In his first campaign, I, 577

In summer of 1861, I, 612
Aptitude for drawing, I, 68, 72, 97
Aptitude for reconnaissance, I, 247, 258, 271, 294, 297
Athleticism, I, 34, 36, 57, 148, 450
Attention to detail, I, 455 and n.; 624; II, 52
Audacity, II, 92, 245, 282, 302, 343, 542
Bad memory, I, 132 and n.
Candor, I, 85, 573
Charm, I, 30, 104
Cheerfulness, I, 552; II, 485‑7
Chivalry, I, 469
Consideration for others, I, 104, 451‑2, 577; II, 75, 240, 245, 325, 487
Coolness under fire, I, 231, 247; II, 131, 337, 391, 530, 538‑9
Courtesy, I, 453
Democratic conduct, I, 173‑4
Depression, I, 135, 182, 188, 410‑12; II, 472‑4
Devotion to duty, I, 74, 183, 286, 307, 378, 423, 437, 443, 447, 603; II, 135
Devotion to Virginia, I, 74, 404, 416, 418, 423, 425, 428‑9, 432, 434, 436‑7, 440‑4, 447, 464‑5, 468, 471
Devotion to wife, I, 109, 134
Dignity, I, 74, 85‑6, 173, 193, 346, 415, 451, 454, 468, 612; II, 539
Diplomacy, I, 321,º 456, 552, 560, 617; II, 622º
Dislike of tobacco, I, 452, 578
Dislike of writing, I, 525
Distrust of politicians, I, 298
Economy and thrift, I, 23, 82‑3, 121, 132, 163, 318, 322‑31, 384, 405, 455
Elegance, I, 74
Emotion, II, 48, 542‑3
Endurance, I, 450
Energy, I, 523‑4, 539, 617; II, 92, 104, 245
Exactness in money-matters, I, 98, 322
Filial devotion, I, 23, 33‑4, 67, 87, 117
Firmness, I, 141, 313, 345
Fondness for conversation, I, 74, 451, 454
Fondness for kin, I, 25, 86
Fondness for military affairs, I, 37, 75
Frankness, I, 451
Friendliness, I, 85, 104, 313
Gallantry, I, 247, 271‑2, 445, 451, 550
Gayety, I, 74, 103, 114, 451; II, 485
Gentlemanliness, I, 40, 46, 74, 173, 193, 445, 459, 469, 524, 612
Good health, I, 450, 524
Good humor, I, 85, 104, 136, 193; II, 485‑6
Good manners, I, 85‑6, 378, 386, 451
Goodness, I, 30
Gratitude, I, 573
Hatred of war, I, 231, 246, 475‑6, 603, 621; II, 475
Heroism, I, 469; II, 462
High-mindedness, I, 37, 42, 85‑86, 445, 451, 524
Impatience at inaction, II, 66‑7, 552
Impatience with army and official life, I, 122, 135, 137‑9, 155‑6, 527
Impatience with Congress, II, 481‑2
Inertia, I, 601
Ingenuity, I, 154, 181, 524
Intelligence, I, 42‑3, 60, 81‑2, 183, 192, 258, 346, 453
Interest in dress, I, 118, 329, 361
Interest in genealogy, I, 159‑69
Interest in military engineering, I, 75, 82, 96, 137, 154, 453
Interest in natural philosophy, I, 69‑71
Intuition, I, 258
Joking, II, 485‑6
Justice, I, 343‑6, 359, 376; II, 92
Kindness, I, 74, 148, 192, 344‑6, 378, 451
Leniency, I, 577
Linguistic ability, I, 61, 68, 453
Logic I, 621
Love of:

Animals, I, 163, 197, 219, 221, 364‑5, 374, 454, 615, 644‑7

Art and music, I, 454

Children, I, 451‑2, 525; II, 487

Classics, I, 36

Fun, I, 74, 92; II, 485‑7

Good food, I, 452

Home, I, 619‑21

Nature, I, 172, 454, 543; II, 202

Peace, I, 552‑3

People, I, 454

Social life, I, 616; II, 485‑7

Teasing, I, 92, 451; II, 485‑7, 521‑2

Women, I, 34, 108, 117‑19, 133, 141, 177, 197‑8, 451
Loyalty, I, 471
Mathematical ability, I, 36‑7, 40, 46‑7, 58, 61, 64, 453
Military genius, I, 294, 524, 539, 617; II, 244, 343, 542
Modesty, I, 183, 289, 303, 317, 445, 453; II, 245
Moral courage, I, 271‑2
Moral strength, I, 98, 138, 198, 330, 436, 445
Moralizing, I, 198‑9, 344
Neatness, I, 118, 324, 454
Nobility, I, 469, 524
Noblesse oblige, I, 160
Obedience, I, 46, 326, 455, 517
Organizing ability, I, 472, 523, 524, 539, 598; II, 104
Patience, I, 525; II, 17, 46
Persistence, I, 46‑7, 85, 378, 507; II, 17
Physical courage, I, 271‑2, II, 48, 542
Poise, I, 182; II, 440
Procrastination, I, 135
Promptness, I, 46, 104, 108, 235, 524; II, 275
Quickness, I, 293, 318, 455; II, 14‑15, 82, 261
Reasonableness, I, 182, 621
Reserve, I, 414‑15, 573, 616
Self-confidence, I, 181; II, 548
Self-control, I, 23, 47, 85, 452, 524, 619, 621; II, 48, 99, 421, 488, 542
Self-denial, I, 23, 452, 524
Sense of direction, I, 263
Sense of honor, I, 437, 445, 455n, 469
Sense of humor, I, 74, 103, 136‑7, 451; II, 166, 476, 485‑7
Simplicity, I, 108, 451‑2; II, 77, 245
Sincerity, I, 286, 378, 451, 470, 573
Skill in handling troops, I, 459, 523‑4
Slowness to take offense, I, 451, 553
Strategic sense, I, 218, 258, 459, 507, 523, 601; II, 16, 241‑2, 346, 414
Strength of character, I, 30, 36, 85, 258, 283, 445, 524, 604
Studiousness, I, 42, 46, 65, 67, 71, 73‑4, 81‑2, 453
Sympathy, I, 74, 339‑40, 569; II, 487‑8, 497‑8
System, I, 163, 455
Tact, I, 85, 87, 121, 258, 309, 343, 451, 562, 592; II, 46, 300, 440
Temper, I, 451, 524, 621; II, 202, 390, 443, 446, 464, 488, 552
Tenacity, II, 209‑10, 304
Understanding of others, I, 114‑15, 351, 378, 451, 577‑8
Unselfishness, I, 451, 470
Weaknesses, I, 553, 601
Wilfulness, I, 30‑31

Political philosophy

Popularity

Portraits

I, 118, 320

Practice and principles, military

Administration:

Artillery, II, 417, 490‑1, 559

Care of men, II, 78, 88, 218, 383, 415, 559

Commissary, II, 88, 415‑16, 493‑5

Intelligence, II, 439‑40

Officers, attitude toward, II, 88‑89

Organization, improvements, II, 477‑8

Quartermaster's service, II, 88

Refitting the army, II, 415‑16, 441

Remounts, II, 416‑17, 491‑3

Removal of useless paraphernalia, II, 79

Reorganization, II, 418, 440, 477‑8, 489‑91, 558‑9

Supply, II, 79, 440‑1, 493‑5
Command:

Encouragement of officers and men, II, 86‑7, 441, 485, 497‑8

Morale, II, 477, 485, 497
Discipline: I, 324‑6, 332‑40, 343‑6, 454‑5; II, 87‑8, 281, 355‑6, 366, 415, 417, 478
Map making: I, 285‑6, 302, 304
Marches: II, 304‑16, 364
Orders issued: I, 464, 480, 485, 488, 518, 521, 535, 548, 550‑1, 562‑4, 598, 609, 614; as commanding general, II, 78‑9, 114, 132, 156, 168‑9, 177‑8, 207, 211, 221‑2, 314, 338‑9, 363, 424, 436‑7, 514, 565‑6

General Orders No. 75 (June 25, 1862), II, 565‑6

Special Orders No. 191, II, 363, 410
Strategical Plans: I, 228, 258, 279‑80, 456, 478‑9, 540, 552, 555, 560‑2, 573‑4, 576‑7, 588, 598, 613; II, 15‑16, 53, 56, 110‑11, 163‑4, 167‑9, 205‑7, 210, 221, 265, 281‑2, 288, 300‑303, 332‑3, 338‑9, 351, 360‑1, 363‑4, 375‑6, 423, 426‑7, 429, 504, 513‑16, 521, 546, 548, 555
Strategical Views:

Careful reconnaissance, I, 296‑7, 457

Coast defense, I, 614, 618

Communications, I, 297, 457

Flank movements, I, 297

Function of commanding general, I, 296, 457‑8; II, 239, 347, 414

Importance of knowledge of human nature, I, 298

Importance of manoeuvre, II, 349

Inviting attack, II, 441‑2

Lines of attack, I, 508

Need for a trained staff, I, 296

Need for audacity, I, 295‑6

Value of earthworks, I, 631

Value of fortifications, I, 297

Wearing down the enemy, II, 454
Strategy:

Attack, I, 598; II, 53‑54, 84, 96, 109, 119, 168, 324

Concentration of forces, I, 540; II, 14, 19, 35, 37, 306, 378

Counterstroke, II, 35

Deceiving the enemy, II, 329, 530‑2

Defensive, I, 476‑81, 522, 524, 528, 534‑5, 548, 595‑7, 613; II, 13‑14

Demoralizing the enemy, II, 292

Destroying the enemy's communications, II, 160‑3, 301‑2, 362

Difficulties after Second Manassas, II, 150‑5

Division of forces, II, 301, 365‑6, 525

Fighting for time, II, 423

Flank attack, I, 456, II, 333

Intelligence, I, 488‑9

Keeping the enemy away from its base, II, 34, 293, 298‑9, 422

Mystifying the enemy, 294‑5, 104

Naval, I, 419, 613

Offensive-defensive, II, 34, 37‑8, 84

Open manoeuvre, II, 3

Reconnaissance, I, 456; II, 101, 441

Stratagems, I, 540, 629

Surprise, I, 456, 561‑2; II, 515

Training in, I, 76‑7

Withdrawal, II, 368‑9, 374
Tactics:

Advance, II, 363‑4

Arms and equipment, I, 483‑4, 495‑500; II, 413‑14

Artillery ranges, II, 443‑5

Attack, I, 458, 562‑4, 567‑8, 573‑4, 576, 595‑6, 598; II, 16, 167‑78, 184, 211, 293, 322, 333, 521‑4

Caution, II, 97, 163‑5, 298

Cavalry, I, 295, 522; II, 283‑4, 289‑90, 304, 440‑1

Coast defense, I, 458, 478‑86, 610‑14, 617, 626‑9

Command, I, 458

Communications, I, 458; II, 437

Concentration and co-ordination, I, 541, 552, 588; II, 14, 23, 52, 306, 379

Defensive, I, 458, 476‑81, 504‑6, 508, 519, 595, 623; II, 30, 31

Direction of action, II, 414

Dispersion movements, II, 365‑6

Drill, I, 457

Field fortification and defense, I, 458, 631; II, 441, 480‑1, 513‑14

Flank movements, II, 292

Fortification, II, 259‑60

Highways, I, 545‑8

Manoeuvres, I, 457; II, 298‑9, 330, 350‑1, 511

Mobilization, I, 492, 522

Movement of troops, I, 459, 478‑9

Offensive, I, 37‑8, 110, 149; II, 168, 501, 530, 557

Organization, II, 116‑17

Outposts, I, 485

Positions, I, 540; II, 15, 30, 37, 48, 81, 205‑7, 226‑7, 365, 378, 437‑9, 441

Preparedness for action, II, 78, 120

Pursuit, II, 167‑78, 201, 224, 234‑5, 557

Reconnaissance, I, 457, 555‑7, 589; II, 165, 176, 204, 441, 520; made by Lee personally: I, 215‑16, 223‑4, 228, 238‑41, 246, 250‑1, 252‑3, 256, 259, 273, 276, 285‑6; II, 67‑8, 182‑3, 204, 210, 227, 313, 324, 338, 450‑1, 455, 469, 517‑8

Refitting an army, II, 415

Retreat, II, 405‑6, 515

River fortification and defense, I, 479‑83, 490, 507, 520‑1, 528, 617, 631; II, 13‑15, 44, 480‑1, 516

Secrecy, II, 104, 277, 520

Small reinforcements, II, 35

Supply, I, 458, 483, 495, 595‑6; II, 298‑9, 352, 366, 500‑501, 504‑6

Taking the initiative, II, 37, 548

Transportation, I, 480, 495, 500, 522, 630

Vigilance, II, 165

Proclamation to people of Maryland

II, 356‑7

Promotion

Staff sergeant of cadets, I, 62
Adjutant of cadet corps, I, 75
Brevet Second Lieutenant, I, 94
Second Lieutenant, I, 122
First Lieutenant, I, 122
Captain, I, 156
Brevet-Major, I, 248, 303
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, I, 272, 303
Lieutenant Colonel, I, 349
Colonel, I, 433
Major General, Virginia, I, 463‑4, 466
Brigadier General, C. S. A., I, 501
General, C. S. A., I, 559

Reading

Recommendations to West Point

I, 38‑45

Relations with his officers

II, 485‑8

Religious training

Resigns from First Cavalry

I, 440

Scouting in Mexico

I, 215‑16

Slaves

views on, I, 371‑3, 417, 434; handling of, I, 390; Tribune attack, 390‑2; manumission of Custis slaves, II, 474, 476

Staff:

organization, I, 638‑9; sources of information, I, 639; First period — Virginia command, I, 639‑40; Second period — West Virginia campaign, I, 640; Third period — South Carolina operations, I, 640; Fourth period — adviser to Davis, I, 641; Fifth period — Commander of Army of Northern Virginia, I, 641‑3; reorganization, II, 489‑91

Success in campaigns, causes:

Soundness of strategy, II, 241
Temperament of opponent, II, 242‑3
Valor of infantry, II, 242

Summons to Richmond, April, 1861

I, 637‑8

Superintendency of West Point

I, 316‑59

Teaching experiences

Victories

Views:

On Mexican War, I, 292
On opposition of Congress, II, 481‑2
On purpose of war, II, 481
On secession, I, 419‑26, 428‑9, 434‑5, 438‑41, 465
On slaves, I, 371‑3, 417, 434
On war with England, I, 621

Visits to Arlington (Custis estate)

I, 92‑4, 99

Winter quarters described

II, 485


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