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Bill Thayer

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  This webpage reproduces part of Volume IV 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.


At the head of the list of those to whom the writer would make acknowledgment must stand Inez Goddin Freeman, daughter of one of "Mosby's Men." Cheerfully sharing all the sacrifices that nineteen years' labor on this book entailed, she, more than any one else, made possible the untroubled leisure that composition required.

W. B. Freeman, a soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861‑65, supplied much first-hand information and taught the writer from childhood to respect "the opposing army."

John Stewart Bryan, publisher of The Richmond News Leader and president of the College of William and Mary, not only gave access to the fine library at Laburnum, and to the Bryan MSS., but also helped in countless other ways. His encouragement was as constant as his judgment of historical values is sound.

Miss Henrietta Beverly Crump, the writer's secretary and chief copyist, contributed in a larger degree than can be realized to the accuracy of transcription and to the correct arrangement of footnotes, as well as to the quick assembly of needed books and papers. Miss Crump was assisted by Mrs. Marguerite Thaw Greene, Mrs. Margaret Barlow Williams, and Miss Mary Matthews.

Right Reverend Collins Denny, who combines wide historical knowledge with sound literary scholar­ship, aided the writer at every stage of the work and gave the final manuscript a critical reading.

H. J. Eckenrode was the writer's constant critic and principal historical adviser. His familiarity with Confederate literature and with the technique of research made him invaluable. During the early stages of the work he assembled many of the notes from published writings and calendared the Elliot MSS.

Wilmer L. Hall, state librarian of Virginia, was unfailingly helpful and resource­ful in supplying books from the collection under his care, from the Library of Congress, and from other depositories.

Fairfax Harrison, son of Burton N. Harrison, private secretary to President Davis, and himself a brilliant inheritor of great traditions, gave encouragement at every stage of the work and critically read the MS. of the final operations of the war.

Miss Maud Sites was the writer's chief copyist in the archives of the War Department and in the manuscripts division of the Library of Congress. She was prompt, accurate, and indefatigable.

 p532  Miss Mary Maury Fitzgerald, Gaston Lichtenstein, and Louis A. Burgess also served most acceptably in examining personal narratives of the war, in making a complete examination of the historical magazines, or in transcribing manuscripts.

Doctor William Moseley Brown, formerly professor of education in Washington and Lee University, collected for the writer a vast amount of material from the archives of that institution and consistently refused to accept any compensation, answering always that he was glad to contribute to a better understanding of General Lee.

Honorable Henry T. Wickham, from his great historical lore, explained many obscure points, read the MS. of the final volume of the work, made many helpful suggestions, and allowed the writer to copy the Wickham MSS.

In study of the terrain of Lee's operations the writer had the assistance of J. Ambler Johnston (who also read part of the manuscript and also granted access to the Johnston MSS.), of Harry M. Smith (who read the manuscript in its entirety), of Henry Taylor, of Archibald G. Robertson, of Brockenbrough Lamb, and of Allen J. Saville.

The following distinguished soldiers and publicists were of great assistance in these respects:

The Adjutant General, U. S. Army, readily permitted the use of all historical records under his care.

Colonel John Buchan, M. P., offered much encouragement in the early stages of the work.

Major Charles J. Calrow, formerly of G. H. W., A. E. F., was most helpful in analyzing Second Cold Harbor and later operations north of the James.

The Chief Engineer, U. S. Army, courteously supplied maps and permitted free examination of the papers of that bureau.

Right Honorable Winston Churchill went over the ground of the Seven Days with the writer and made many helpful observations on the terrain.

Colonel Bryan Conrad, U. S. A., retired, read the entire MS., and was in every way one of the writer's most valued, discerning, and helpful critics.

Major General C. S. Farnsworth, U. S. A., retired, former chief of infantry, gave the writer the benefit of his judgment of the military difficulties presented at White Oak Swamp.

The late Marshal Ferdinand Foch supplied a discerning verbal critique of the Chickahominy battleground.

Major General Sir Robert Hutchison, British army, reviewed for the  p533  writer, from his wide experience in the World War, the factor of fatigue in the movements of Jackson's command during the Seven Days.

Colonel H. L. Landers, U. S. A., was immensely helpful. He allowed the writer to examine his full MS. narrative of the Seven Days battles and supplied many admirable maps.

Right Honorable David Lloyd George, O. M., went over the ground of the Seven Days, advanced a most interesting theory of the delay of Jackson at White Swamp, and discussed with acumen the comparative general­ship of Lee and Jackson.

The late Captain W. Gordon McCabe, president of the Virginia Historical Society, and one of the best-furnished of all students of Confederate history, counselled the writer on many subjects relating to General Lee and, especially, to the siege of Petersburg and the personnel of the Confederate high command.

These staff officers of General Robert E. Lee, their descendants or kinsmen, as indicated, are due the writer's warmest thanks:

Major Giles B. Cooke furnished notes on Drewry's Bluff and extracts from his diary of the closing days of the war.

The late Colonel T. M. R. Talcott made many informative comments on Fredericksburg, on Chancellorsville, and on the relations of General Lee with his staff.

The late Colonel W. H. Taylor of Norfolk discussed freely General Lee's dealings with the War Department and answered many technical inquiries. His son, W. H. Taylor III, and his other descendants placed at the writer's disposal the invaluable Taylor MSS., a service not less notable in the manner than in the matter. Every possible courtesy that could be shown an investigator was received at the hands of this family, to which the writer is lastingly grateful.

The late A. R. Long of Lynchburg entrusted to the writer General A. L. Long's MS. narrative of the operations of the Army of Northern Virginia through the Gettysburg campaign.

To certain of the descendants of General Henry Lee the writer is indebted for many kindnesses. In particular:

Mrs. Hanson Ely and Mrs. Hunter DeButts, daughters of Captain R. E. Lee, permitted the writer to verify references in the Lee Papers at the Library of Congress.

Mrs. Hugh Antrim and the late Mrs. C. P. Cardwell, daughters of Major John Mason Lee, procured for the writer copies of two unpublished letters of Ann Carter Lee, directed other inquiries with much understanding sympathy, and loaned some valuable photographs.

 p534  Miss Anne Mason Lee, daughter of Captain Henry Carter Lee, and William Floyd Lee and Sydney Smith Lee, her brothers, opened to the writer their rare Lee relics.

Doctor George Bolling Lee, son of General "Rooney" Lee, was most helpful in directing inquiries.

George Taylor Lee, nephew of General Lee, made numerous corrections of fact and supplied information on the domestic life of General Lee, which he shared during the Lexington period.

Robert R. Lee, also a nephew of General Lee, lent the family Bible of "Light-Horse Harry" Lee and furnished a valuable memorandum.

The following libraries, librarians, and historical societies contributed generously from their collections:

Brown University supplied an important MS. letter.

Carnegie Public Library of Norfolk gave information regarding General Lee's visit to that city in 1870.

The Confederate Museum, Richmond, made available all its rich stores, through the house regent, Miss Susan B. Harrison, who is the type of custodian the historical investigator delights to meet — informed, helpful, and co-operative.

Duke University allowed its useful collection of Lee manuscripts to be calendared. Its director of libraries, Doctor W. K. Boyd, put the writer in his debt for many kindnesses.

The Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore, permitted a member of its staff, Miss Mary N. Barton, to collect for the writer information concerning General Lee's residence in that city.

The Jones Memorial Library, Lynchburg, thanks to its executive, Miss J. M. Campbell, kindly made extracts from Lynchburg newspapers for the period of General Lee's attendance on the Episcopal convention in that city.

The Library of Congress sent hundreds of books on inter-library loans and afforded every facility to the assistants of the writer who were examining its manuscripts. Doctor Herbert Putnam more than once saw to it personally that the needs of these research-workers were met.

The New York Historical Society promptly photostated all the Lee MSS. in its collection.

The New York Public Library, through its reference chief, H. M. Lydenberg, later its librarian, offered every facility. Mr. Lydenberg personally directed all necessary photostating.

The United States Military Academy Library was most helpful.  p535  Many of its officials — notably Miss Margery Bedinger, Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.E. E. Farman, M. L. Samson, and Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.R. R. Neyland, former assistant adjutant — supplied copies of a multitude of needed documents.

Washington and Lee University supplied catalogues, pictures, and other items of importance.

The Valentine Museum permitted some of its rare newspapers to be copied.

The Virginia Historical Society was often consulted. Its former secretary, the late Doctor W. G. Stanard, never failed in response to scores of technical inquiries.

The Virginia Military Institute Library was generously searched by Colonel William Couper, who extended many courtesies.

The Virginia State Library, the writer's main recourse, was a model in helpful co-operation.

The State Historical Society of Wisconsin provided, with the kindness of Miss Iva A. Welch, a photostat of a useful MS.

The Wilmington, N. C., Public Library was freely opened. Its head, Miss Emma Woodward, transcribed much-needed items from Wilmington newspapers.

Other acknowledgments are made in the footnotes, but to the following the writer would like to express his thanks in more detail:

Matthew Page Andrews of Baltimore identified for the writer the church General Lee attended in Baltimore and also supplied a copy of an important letter written by Mrs. Lee after the war.

The descendants of the gallant General L. A. Armistead sent a copy of an interesting letter from General Lee to that officer.

Mrs. Catherine Pendleton Arrington filled many gaps in the writer's information regarding General Lee's visit to Warrenton, N. C., in 1870.

Doctor Lewellys F. Barker of Baltimore generously studied the data on General Lee's illness and wrote a memorandum on that subject.

Jackson Beal of Scottsville, Va., gave data on the route General Lee followed from Derwent to Lexington in 1865.

S. M. Bemiss, acting for himself and his brother and sisters, allowed the writer to examine the important Bemiss MSS., with their references to Lee's illness in 1863.

Captain Carter Bishop of Petersburg, Va., helped in the identification of sites in and around that city.

Thomas Boyd, biographer of "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, performed a very friendly service in directing the writer's attention to the Richard Bland Lee Papers in the Library of Congress.

 p536  The late Gamaliel Bradford, the friend of every historical investigator, forwarded to the writer many letters that came to him containing information on Lee.

The late Joseph P. Brady graciously made an exhaustive search of the records of the United States district court at Richmond to establish the facts regarding the indictment of Lee in 1865.

Mrs. Thomas P. Bryan placed at the writer's disposal her useful collection of Lee letters.

Reverend George McL. Brydon, historiographer of the diocese of Virginia, supplied the initials and sketched the careers of several ministers whose names appear in General Lee's correspondence.

The late Dean H. D. Campbell of Washington and Lee graciously read the manuscript for the period covering General Lee's presidency of Washington College, saved the writer from a number of errors, and supplied many documents of 1865‑70 to which the writer would not otherwise have had access.

Honorable C. C. Carlin of Alexandria kindly helped in the identification of sundry Alexandria sites associated with General Lee's life.

H. G. Carlton of Richmond gave the writer an interesting memoir of General Lee at Lexington.

W. S. Carroll of Memphis, Tenn., presented the writer with copies of an early letter of General Lee's and of several written by General Joseph E. Johnston.

Robert Hill Carter of Richmond greatly assisted the writer in procuring access to the papers of his family.

Spencer L. Carter of Richmond placed at the writer's disposal all the Carter MSS. in his collection.

B. E. Case of Hartford, Conn., through Doctor Lyon G. Tyler, gave the writer a soldier's interesting letter on the operations of June, 1864.

Miss Betty Cocke, University, Va., lent the writer in its entirety the large collection of the MSS. of her family — a most helpful service.

Carter S. Cole, New York City, gave a photostat of an unpublished letter, together with a new anecdote of Lee.

Mrs. W. A. Croffut, through Miss Maud Sites, kindly sent a copy of a pre-war letter from Lee to Major Ethan H. Hitchcock, her father.

The late R. E. Cunningham, Jr., gave the writer his notes of interviews with Colonel W. H. Palmer, together with a copy of a letter from General Lee commending General Harry Heth.

Doctor A. K. Davis of Petersburg helped in unravelling the confusion regarding some of the Petersburg sites, notably that involving the McIlwaine house.

 p537  Honorable P. H. Drewry, M. C., gave the writer a copy of his excellent address on the Petersburg operations of June 9, 1864.

The late Doctor W. F. Drewry was most helpful in furnishing information regarding the Petersburg homes visited by General Lee in 1867.

Doctor T. Latané Driscoll cleared the doubts regarding General Lee's bivouacs on his return from Appomattox to Richmond.

Miss Stella Drumm of Saint Louis assisted most generously with information regarding Lee's work on the Mississippi.

The late Mrs. W. H. Elliott of Savannah, Ga., permitted the writer's investigator to abstract the Elliott Papers that are so important an item in the intimate life of Lee during the years following his graduation from West Point.

Mrs. Henry Fairfax allowed the writer, with characteristic kindness, full access to the papers of Colonel John W. Fairfax of the staff of General Longstreet.

The late V. M. Fleming of Fredericksburg conducted the writer over many of the scenes of the Spotsylvania operations, at the beginning of this research, and explained points that would otherwise have been obscure.

Judge T. C. Fletcher of Richmond painstakingly verified the names and owner­ship of many farms around Richmond that figured in Lee's operations in June, 1862, and also helped greatly to untangle the details of the sale of Smith's Island.

Doctor Allen W. Freeman of Baltimore was kind enough to elicit the co-operation of Doctor Lewellys F. Barker, whose service has already been acknowledged.

President F. P. Gaines of Washington and Lee University and his secretary, Miss Helen Webster, permitted no call, however hurried, to pass unheeded.

James R. Gilliam, Jr., of Lynchburg, Va., gave a copy of an important letter on immigration, written by General Lee.

Miss Mary F. Goodwin of Williamsburg, Va., contributed a copy of an ante-bellum letter of Mrs. Lee's.

C. W. Grandy of Norfolk was invaluable in procuring data on Lee's visit to that city in 1870.

William de Grange, former custodian of the records of the engineers bureau of the War Department, performed many kind services in assisting the writer's copyist, and himself unearthed many unknown Lee MSS.

 p538  Mrs. Preston Hampton Haskell graciously copied for the writer an unique MS. letter to General Hampton from General Lee.

The late Governor D. C. Hayward of South Carolina helped to identify sites connected with Lee's tour of duty in South Carolina in the winter of 1861‑62.

George S. Hillis supplied much desired information on the finding of the coffin in which General Lee was buried.

J. F. Howison was most helpful on the Fredericksburg operations and on the North Anna manoeuvres of May 22‑26, 1864.

R. M. Hughes of Norfolk, Va., biographer of General Johnston, gave much counsel from his ripe historical knowledge and saved the writer from several mistakes.

Miss C. S. Hunter of Winchester placed at the writer's disposal the interesting letters from General Lee to the Misses Margaret and Caroline Stuart.

The late Eppa Hunton, Jr., of Richmond, assisted the writer with many suggestions, based on his intimate knowledge of Confederate generals.

Miss Mary Jackson of Farmville, Va., collected for the writer much information on Lee's movements while in that town during the retreat to Appomattox.

Louis Jaffé, editor of The Virginian Pilot of Norfolk, aided the writer in establishing the facts of General Lee's visit to that city in 1870.

Miss Nannie H. Jones of Richmond was most kind in tracing Lee's relations with the Caskie family and in giving the writer copies of the letters Lee wrote her grandfather and her mother, Norvell Caskie, later Mrs. Seddon Jones.

A. R. Lawton, son of the distinguished quartermaster general of the Confederacy, gave his recollections of General Lee's visit to Savannah in 1870.

R. M. Lynn of Washington helped to examine the title of General Lee's property in that city.

The heirs of Major H. B. McClellan, in Chicago and at Biarritz, most generously gave the author a complete transcript of the McClellan papers.

Hunter McDonald of Nashville, Tenn., supplied much desired information on Lee's residence in Lexington.

Miss Anne V. Mann helped materially in the identification of Petersburg sites.

 p539  Honorable Walter G. Mapp aided in developing the story of the Smith's Island property.

Miss Virginia Mason furnished a fine note on Lee's attendance at his son's wedding in 1867.

Mrs. Robert L. Mercer kindly lent the writer some welcome ante-bellum letters of Colonel and Mrs. Lee.

J. F. Minis of Savannah, Ga., gave much help in all that related to Lee's service in and around that city.

Miss Annie Minor of Richmond supplied several unpublished anecdotes and established for the writer new facts regarding the early schooling of Lee.

Reverend Wm. Jackson Morton of Alexandria verified facts as to the confirmation of Colonel Lee in 1853.

W. Warner Moss, Jr., sent a photostat of a post-bellum letter from Lee to Longstreet.

A. B. Murray of Charleston, S. C., was very helpful in assembling data on Lee's visit to that city in 1870.

Doctor Thomas W. Murrell lent the writer the MS. memoirs of his father, John W. Murrell, covering Lee's stay in Lynchburg after the war.

Doctor Milton Offutt of Johns Hopkins University transcribed for the writer the newspaper accounts of Lee's visit to Baltimore in 1869.

Mrs. Marian Carter Oliver graciously entrusted to the writer the precious collection of Lee letters at Shirley, and explained many puzzling aspects of the Carter genealogy.

General H. L. Opie of Staunton, Va., verified all the facts of Lee's acceptance of the presidency of the Valley Railroad.

Oliver Orr of Macon, Ga., the generous aide of all historical investigators, sent much useful material and suggested many sources of information.

The late Colonel W. H. Palmer, chief of staff to A. P. Hill, from his rich memory, clarified for the writer a number of confusing incidents.

John Pemberton of New York permitted the writer to examine the whole of the MSS. of his distinguished grandfather, Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton.

H. N. Phillips of Richmond lent the writer a very interesting memoir by R. W. Manson.

The late Mrs. Mary G. Powell, the historian of Alexandria, Va., did the writer uncounted kindnesses in collecting material on Lee's boyhood in that city.

 p540  Mrs. Campbell Pryor, at the instance of M. R. Turner of Blackstone, Va., permitted the quotation of her rich MS. Memoirs.

Mrs. H. Pemberton Rhudy of New York and Philadelphia suggested a fruitful line of inquiry to the writer.

Judge Edgar J. Rich of Boston aided greatly in the solution of the question whether Rawle was used at West Point during Lee's cadet­ship.

Mrs. C. W. Schaadt gave the writer a copy of a most useful ante-bellum letter from General Lee to one of his daughters.

Mrs. Frank Screven of Savannah lent the writer a number of Lee MSS. and helped him to procure access to others.

Miss Caroline Selden of Norfolk, at the instance of C. W. Grandy, prepared a very charming account of General Lee's visit to Norfolk in 1870.

The late James Power Smith, aide to General Stonewall Jackson, advised the writer on many questions before the formal composition of this book began. His son, William B. Smith, suggested a number of channels of research in clearing up disputed items.

The late General Jo Lane Stern gave access to his MS. autobiography and solved many minor problems relating to operations on the North Anna River.

E. T. Stuart of Philadelphia placed his fine collection at the writer's disposal.

R. C. Taylor, Jr., of Norfolk, supplied an important missing link in the correspondence relating to the operations of June, 1864.

M. R. Turner of Blackstone, Va., helped in everything that relates to the retreat from Petersburg in 1865 and especially in details of the withdrawal from Amelia courthouse.

Doctor Lyon G. Tyler forwarded a very helpful letter.

George T. Tyson traced the records in the sale of Smith's Island with much care.

Miss Georgia West permitted the writer to copy a letter General Lee wrote her father, a distinguished architect.

Miss Eliza M. Willis gave a copy of an unpublished letter of General Lee's.

S. M. Yonge, a student at Washington College under General Lee, permitted the quotation of interesting recollections.

To a multitude of others, some of them unknown, the writer's thanks are due for opening family papers, supplying old newspapers, and forwarding unpublished anecdotes of General Lee.

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