By Jonathan Horn
The “compelling…modern and readable perpective” (USA TODAY) of Robert E. Lee, the bright soldier certain via marriage to George Washington’s kin yet became via warfare opposed to Washington’s crowning success, the Union.
On the eve of the Civil warfare, one soldier embodied the legacy of George Washington and the hopes of leaders throughout a divided land. either North and South knew Robert E. Lee because the son of Washington’s most renowned eulogist and the son-in-law of Washington’s followed baby. either side sought his provider for top command. Lee may possibly opt for merely one.
In The guy Who wouldn't Be Washington, former White residence speechwriter Jonathan Horn unearths how the officer so much linked to Washington went to conflict opposed to the union that Washington had cast. This widely researched and gracefully written biography follows Lee via married existence, army glory, and misfortune. the tale that emerges is extra advanced, extra tragic, and extra illuminating than the general story. extra advanced as the unresolved query of slavery—the motive force of disunion—was one of the own legacies that Lee inherited from Washington. extra tragic as the Civil battle destroyed the folk and locations connecting Lee to Washington in agonizing and unbelievable methods. extra illuminating as the conflict for Washington’s legacy formed the state that the US is this present day. As Washington used to be the guy who wouldn't be king, Lee used to be the fellow who wouldn't be Washington. the alternative used to be Lee’s. the tale is America’s.
A must-read for these keen about background, The guy Who wouldn't Be Washington introduces Jonathan Horn as a masterly voice within the box.
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Additional resources for The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee's Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History
Their sons all survived the Peninsula crusade; their grandson, Robert E. Lee III, didn't. compelled from the White condominium, Rooney’s spouse had taken the youngster to North Carolina, the place he died of a lung an infection. In her grief, Mary conflated the child’s passing with the White condo burning. the location that had kindled the Custis-Washington connection had turn into a sufferer of Lee’s assault at the Union. Mary blamed the Federals. “We left the entire furnishings there, now not supposing such an act of vandalism might be dedicated on a spot sacred as having been the early domestic of Washington in wedded existence. The thievish villains, even supposing they'd army shops there to the worth of hundreds of thousands, hired their time & transports in robbing the home of each article,” she informed a pal. “I belief i'll reside to work out the day of retribution. ” That day is probably not far flung. After the Seven Days, Lee once more divided his military, this time into corps: one lower than Jackson, whose terrible functionality at the Peninsula had now not stolen the stardom he had earned within the Shenandoah, and the opposite below the trustworthy Longstreet, who had instantly inspired his leader as a “Capital soldier. ” on the finish of August, the 2 wings reunited at the previous Manassas battlefield and shredded one other Union military. just like the first conflict at Bull Run, the second ended with federal squaddies fleeing again towards Washington. notwithstanding Lee lacked the power to besiege the seriously fortified capital, the Maryland nation-state west of the town lay open. A yr of scuffling with and foraging had ravaged the outdated Dominion. The struggle had to swap. The North had to think it. Lee could pass the Potomac. bankruptcy TEN Emancipation one of the possessions Mary Custis Lee came upon lacking from the White condo have been many of the slaves. The Union military had deemed them “contraband of war,” a loosely outlined time period that made them no longer particularly slaves yet no longer really loose. however, federal officials evacuating the plantation had provided the contrabands unfastened passage down the Pamunkey on canal boats. “Old and younger, all rushed on board indiscriminately,” a brand new York usher in correspondent wrote. “From the chuffed gyrations in their facial organs they seemed to be unanimous on leaving their masters within the ‘Old Dominion. ’ ” Mary positioned a unique spin at the tale. In her telling, “the thievish villains . . . pressured off all our negroes, inspite of their tears and supplications. ” The Union, she additional, “had no longer even the pretext of releasing ours as via my father’s will they might were loose this iciness. ” That final remark, at the least, bore the advantage of being real. The circuit court docket had governed that Custis’s will “entitled” the slaves “to their freedom” inside 5 years whether Robert E. Lee had raised the ten-thousand-dollar legacies owed to his daughters. Lee had filed an attraction. His attorney argued that because the will required the White condo and Romancoke “to be labored to elevate the aforesaid legacies,” upfront emancipating their workforces could defeat its rationale.