It never ceases to amaze me…..


I was at work the other day and a elderly lady (early 70’s) looks at my name tag and asks if I’m related to anyone of the same name from her home area which is the Northern Neck of Virginia. Since my surname family came in the Tidewater region of Maryland and Virginia in the 1630’s I told her it was likely. We then proceeded to talk about genealogy and history. I told her of my interest in the Civil War and that I collect civil war books.  She was a from a little town in Virginia not far from Robert E. Lee’s birthplace. I exclaimed that Lee and I almost had the same birthdate and he was one of my favorite Generals. Her eyes glazed over and she told me ” I love that man”! The way she said it was like your mom would talk about the singer Tom Jones. She then said she has a picture of Lee hanging over her fireplace that has been in the family for years. I wanted to ask if she had any ancestor’s that fought, but unfortunately her daughter didn’t share her mom’s interest in the civil war or Marse Robert and  encouraged her mom to “move along” to finish their christmas shopping.  She thanked me for the talk and hurried along to finish her contribution to capitalism. But it was still fun for one moment to recognize that even afterLee died almost 140 years ago, he’s still loved and worshiped……If I could only be so lucky! 😀

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Published in: on December 13, 2006 at 5:28 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. Considering that there are at least two groups that do tours of ‘Mosby’s Confederacy’ and a number of organizations that feature Mosby or General J.E.B. Stuart and Mosby, it would seem that Marse Robert and that other great Confederate military leader Stonewall Jackson are not the only ones remembered and revered today.

    These men are worthy of being immortalized because they were great men who fought honorably for their cause and – in the case of Lee and Mosby who survived the war – were then willing to call for peace and reconciliation once the arbitrament of the sword had determined the outcome of the struggle. In other words, they were not only great Confederates, but great AMERICANS. Their nobility and sense of honor and justice is rightly admired and should be an example to today’s Americans whether or not they are in public service.

  2. I agree Valerie, but few past American leaders inspire the idoltry that Marse Robert does! And to be honest, I feel most of it is deserved.

  3. Lee was a true ‘tragic hero’. Like Mosby (as you can guess, my beau ideal, prickley little chap that he was), Lee was against secession. Furthermore, unlike Mosby, Lee had sworn allegiance to the United States he had faithfully served throughout his military career. He was even offered a position of command in the American military in the coming war and found himself in a conundrum not of his making. He had to choose between his State – Virginia (which Mosby called his ‘mother’) and the nation he had served which had now served notice that it was about to INVADE Virginia and make war upon her residents.

    No matter what course Lee chose, he must have seen himself as a betrayer to one or the other of these seminal loyalties. And, of course, such a betrayal would be the worst ‘sin’ that a man of Lee’s character and instincts could commit. No wonder the war aged and then killed him. Perhaps it would have done the same even if he had been successful in its persecution and achieved a victory for the South! Who knows?

    Robert E. Lee found himself in a unique situation that was especially painful for a man of his sterling character. He did the best that he could under such trying circumstances and no one can ask more than that. Truly, his refusal at the end to give his blessing to an ongoing guerrilla war after the fall of the armies of the Confederacy spared the South and the Nation years of bloody conflict and a breach that would never have healed. This country owes him a great deal give what COULD have happened.

  4. Don’t know your e-mail address, so this was the only way to contact you. Just acquired the book Courier for Lee & Jackson, the Memoirs of John Gill, a Maryland Confederate. Haven’t had a chance to look through it thoroughly, but it looks interesting if a bit superficial. Maybe Mr. Gill was too busy fighting to do much writing.

    You have my e-mail if you wish to contact me.

  5. I found the little blurb below in a Pennsylvania newspaper of the era on a site recommended by Eric Wittenberg. I thought you might find it of interest although I don’t know if you check back on these posts.

    The Waynesboro Village Record – January 25th, 1872
    John S. Mosby, the great guerilla has been appointed and confirmed brigadier general of the Maryland militia.

  6. Thanks Valerie….you learn something new everyday!

  7. “Truly, his refusal at the end to give his blessing to an ongoing guerrilla war after the fall of the armies of the Confederacy spared the South and the Nation years of bloody conflict and a breach that would never have healed. This country owes him a great deal give what COULD have happened.”

    Of course, the issue would never have come up had Lee not done his best to prolong the national slaughter up to that point. I think it was Lee who owed the United States a great deal, since he broke his oath and commanded armies that killed tens of thousands of United States soldiers. Lee should have thanked the Federal government for not executing him. It was a rare instance of poetic justice when Meigs ordered the creation of a national cemetary on Lee’s property.

  8. If only more people could hear this..

  9. marylandreb.wordpress.com’s done it once again. Amazing read!


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