Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, and in 1865 all Confederate armies in the field
One of the very last images ever taken of General Robert E. Lee
Photographed by Charles Rees in Richmond, Virginia
(1807-1870) Born at Stratford, in Westmoreland County, Va., he was the son of the legendary Revolutionary War hero, "Lighthorse Harry" Lee. Graduated #2 in the West Point class of 1829 without a single demerit to his name in 4 years! He emerged from the Mexican War with one wound, three brevets for gallantry, a brilliant reputation, and the ever lasting esteem of the commanding General of the United States Army, General Winfield Scott, who said that Robert E. Lee was "the very best soldier that I ever saw in the field." He served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, 1852-55, with one of his favorite students being James Ewell Brown Stuart, the gallant Confederate cavalry general, "J.E.B. Stuart," who served in General Lee's command during the War Between The States. Lee commanded the detachment that captured John Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Lee turned down the command of the entire Union Army offered to him by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, as he said he could never raise his sword against his native Virginia, a sentiment that was very deeply shared in 18th century America by several states, and many individuals. At that time in the history of our young 85 year old nation it was common for people's first loyalty be to their native states rather than the Federal government in Washington. One has to go back and study the 1787 Federal Convention in Philadelphia to gain a better understanding how our nation was formed and the great difficulties it took for the original 13 colonies to put their faith in another central government after recently winning a war against Great Britain to gain their independence. Instead of accepting President Lincoln's offer, Lee was appointed commander of all military forces of Virginia, and afterwards general in the Regular Army of the Confederate States of America. During the War Between The States, he commanded the Army of Northern Virginia at such battlefields as 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Richmond and Appomattox. His reputation became legendary and he might very well be the most famous soldier in American military history! In the last years of his life, he served as the president of Washington College at Lexington, Virginia, now called Washington & Lee University, from 1865-1870. Several glowing appraisals of General Lee's tenure as college president have survived, depicting the dignity and respect he commanded among all. A typical account by a professor there states that "the students worshiped him, and deeply dreaded his displeasure; yet so kind, affable, and gentle was he toward them that all loved to approach him. ... No student would have dared to violate General Lee's expressed wish or appeal." On September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke. He died two weeks later, shortly after 9 a.m., on October 12, 1870, in the President's residence, in Lexington. General Lee is buried in a basement crypt of what is now The Lee Memorial Chapel, at Washington & Lee University. It also contains the remains of much of Lee's direct family: Lee himself, his wife Mary Custis Lee, and his seven children; General George Washington Custis Lee, Mary Anna Custis Lee, General William Henry Fitzhugh "Rooney" Lee, Anne Carter Lee, Captain Robert E. Lee Jr., Eleanor Agnes Lee, and Mildred Childe Lee.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph mounted to 2 1/2 x 4 1/8 card mount. Very handsome bust view portrait of Robert E. Lee taken at a sitting in Richmond, Va., done by Charles R. Rees. Lee is pictured in his dark suit, large bow tie, and vest with rounded lapels. The image was taken during the period when Lee was president of Washington College, and it is one of the last photographs ever taken of General Lee. Back mark: C.R. Rees & Co., Richmond, Virginia, 1870. Includes a vignette of the facade of the famous Rees Gallery in Richmond, Va. All done in a red colored imprint. A wonderful, striking image of General Robert E. Lee. This image was once part of the famous and historic late William A. Turner collection. Mr. Bill Turner was one of the foremost experts and collectors of Confederate photography in the world. He was the author of "Even More Confederate Faces," and his amazing Confederate images were used in countless books, magazines, and documentary television programs. Here is your opportunity to own a Confederate image from this extraordinary collection. Light wear to the upper edge of the card mount. Very fine. Extremely desirable. Very rare!