"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Robert E. Lee

This 1864-65 painting of Robert E. Lee by  Edward Caledon Bruce hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Robert E. lee was born into a family prominent in Virginia society and early American politics. A young man with an intense desire to prove himself, he attained the highest rank available to cadets and graduated from West Point in 1829. Initially, Lee opposed both secession and war. But when Virginia voted to secede from the Union, he resigned from the U.S. Army and went to his native state's defense. Placed in command of the Army of Northern Virginia in June 1862, lee gave the Confederacy moments of hope with several early victories. His army was always severely outnumbered, so it was a triumph that he managed to keep it on the field for the duration of the war. By 1864, however, time and resources were working against him, and in May, Ulysses S. Grant became his last and fateful adversary." -- National Portrait Gallery
The Portrait Gallery also includes this c. 1861 lithograph of Robert E. Lee by Charles G. Crehen after at Mathew Brady photograph.

"Robert E, Lee was one of the best soldiers in the pre-Civil War army, He had an impeccable  carreer at West Point and served with distinction in the Mexican American War, Lee was handsome and he could be charmingly sociable, although as he grew older he became more reserved; his sense of responsibility to his family may have sobered him, as did his religious awakening as an adult, And he had married into the family of George Washington, with all that that entailed in terms of the burden of the past, Lee served diligently in the U.S. Army; famously, when civil war came, he sided with Virginia over the nation. When he resigned from the army, his old mentor Winfield Scott told Lee, 'I think you've made the greatest mistake of your life!'" -- National Portrait Gallery

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