Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee

By Michael Korda

New York Times bestselling writer Michael Korda's clean, modern unmarried quantity old biography of common Robert E. Lee—perhaps the main recognized and least understood legend in American background and certainly one of our such a lot renowned heroes.

Michael Korda, writer of Ulysses S. Grant and the bestsellers Ike and Hero, paints a vibrant and admiring portrait of Lee as a super normal, a loyal relatives guy, and principled gentleman who disliked slavery and disagreed with secession, but who refused command of the Union military in 1861 simply because he couldn't "draw his sword" opposed to his cherished Virginia.

Well-rounded and life like, Clouds of Glory analyzes Lee's command through the Civil battle and explores his accountability for the deadly stalemate at Antietam, his defeat at Gettysburg (as good the numerous troubling controversies nonetheless surrounding it) and finally, his failed procedure for successful the conflict. As Korda exhibits, Lee's dignity, braveness, management, and modesty made him a hero on each side of the Mason-Dixon Line and a respected American icon who's famous this day because the nation's preeminent army leader.

Clouds of Glory positive factors dozens of lovely illustrations, a few by no means earlier than noticeable, together with twelve pages of colour, twenty-four pages of black-and-white, and approximately fifty in-text conflict maps.

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Lee’s boys appear to have benefited from this torrent of recommendation and care, and much from resenting it, took it as an indication in their father’s love for them. approximately his daughters, it truly is more durable to pass judgement on, yet Lee’s devotion to them and his strong humor relating to their occasional mess ups to dwell as much as his expectancies have been by no means unsure. As a forty-year-old father of 4 daughters, with 3 sons to coach, and with out a domestic to name his personal, Lee anxious endlessly approximately cash, and was once tremendously cautious and particular approximately it, “frugal and thrifty within the little affairs of day-by-day life,” parsimonious in what he spent on himself, yet constantly beneficiant with others. “The necessity I day-by-day have for money,” as he placed it, haunted him—he had no “family fortune” or estates to attract on, and it can't have escaped his awareness that even if his spouse's father possessed 3 nice homes in Virginia—Arlington, White apartment plantation in New Kent County, and Romancock in King William County—among them including as much as a complete of over 13,000 acres of land and virtually two hundred slaves, Mr. Custis’s cognizance was once mounted on his makes an attempt to be a painter and a profitable playwright, and on his view of himself because the keeper of George Washington’s flame, instead of on dealing with his estates productively. His existence used to be no longer not like that of a few of the aristocratic Russian landowners, improvident, pleasure-loving, dreaming approximately utopian schemes whereas their serfs mismanaged their estates. * Self-indulgence was once Custis’s besetting sin. not like his son-in-law, he was once extra drawn to spending funds than incomes it; his agricultural pursuits have been extra within the nature of a gentleman’s pastime than a company, and he begrudged neither his spouse and daughter nor himself something within the method of luxuries and adornments, whereas the homes went unrepaired, the land used to be poorly farmed, and the slaves have been shiftless and—in the opinion of a lot of Mr. Custis’s neighbors—pampered and overindulged. Lee didn't anticipate, nor might he have permitted, monetary aid from his spouse's father, yet he was once too sensible to not be not less than partly conscious that after Mary Lee and their sons finally inherited the Custis property it's going to carry them difficulties and bills instead of a fortune. Lee’s tasks on the struggle division during the summer season of 1848 consisted of finishing the maps he had started in Mexico, sluggish, painstaking paintings. He used to be reappointed as a member of the board of engineers for the Atlantic coast defenses. Later he could particularly dourly say that the paintings reacquainted him with “the regimen of responsibility. ” nonetheless, it had its merits: he may perhaps reside at Arlington, and being on the hub of items he used to be “in touch with the excessive officers of the govt. ” Lee scrupulously shunned any try and foyer on his personal behalf; most folk assembly him have been favorably inspired by means of his soldierly bearing and, extra very important, via his specialist competence. In September, he used to be assigned to supervise the development of a brand new castle that used to be meant to protect Baltimore, as a type of help to the venerable citadel McHenry.

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