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

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

Michael Korda

Language: English

Pages: 832

ISBN: 0062116290

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda's fresh, contemporary single volume historical biography of General Robert E. Lee—perhaps the most famous and least understood legend in American history and one of our most admired heroes.

Michael Korda, author of Ulysses S. Grant and the bestsellers Ike and Hero, paints a vivid and admiring portrait of Lee as a brilliant general, a devoted family man, and principled gentleman who disliked slavery and disagreed with secession, yet who refused command of the Union Army in 1861 because he could not "draw his sword" against his beloved Virginia.

Well-rounded and realistic, Clouds of Glory analyzes Lee's command during the Civil War and explores his responsibility for the fatal stalemate at Antietam, his defeat at Gettysburg (as well the many troubling controversies still surrounding it) and ultimately, his failed strategy for winning the war. As Korda shows, Lee's dignity, courage, leadership, and modesty made him a hero on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line and a revered American icon who is recognized today as the nation's preeminent military leader.

Clouds of Glory features dozens of stunning illustrations, some never before seen, including twelve pages of color, twenty-four pages of black-and-white, and nearly fifty in-text battle maps.

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Potomac. This would give the Confederates more troops than McDowell had by a narrow margin, with a substantial portion of them well positioned for a flanking attack. Not only had Lee integrated the railway into his plans; he foresaw how to make the best use of Johnston’s army—unlike General Scott, who despite his long experience in warfare, allowed Patterson and his 18,000 men to sit out the coming battle in Charlestown. The great difficulty on the Confederate side was command. The missing

explained that the sentries were intended by General Porter for her own protection, and that she was in no sense a prisoner. Porter eventually allowed Mary to move farther up the river to the home of Edmund Ruffin, the famous secessionist who had fired the first gun at Fort Sumter. Lee managed to send two aides under a flag of truce to meet with General McClellan and request that his wife and daughters be allowed to join him, but it was not until June 10 that arrangements were finally completed

by either opium or alcohol,* was in no shape to carry out an attack against a larger force than his own. He delayed his assault until the late afternoon, by which time he had lost Huger’s brigades, and had still seen no sign of Jackson. The result was a bloody draw, despite the use of Lee’s famous “armored railroad battery,” with its enormous 32-pound rifled naval cannon. Neither Magruder nor his opponent Major General Edwin V. Sumner managed to get even half his troops into action, and despite a

the Legend (New York: Macmillan, 1997), 364. 310 “I cannot pretend”: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. XII, Part 3, 866. 312 It was an extraordinary achievement: Shenandoah, 1862 (New York: Time-Life Books, 1997), 9. 313 He had warned Mary: Coulling, The Lee Girls, 101. 314 “the Confederate army had disappeared”: Le Comte de Paris, History of the Civil War in America (Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1886), Vol.

possible 2,000 in conduct, receiving perfect scores in artillery and tactics, which placed him second in his class, as always a few points behind Charles Mason. Still, this was an extraordinary record, which earned him the right to choose to be commissioned in the Engineer Corps, then the most prestigious and intellectually demanding arm of the U.S. Army, and the one for which his scientific and mathematical abilities best suited him. On graduation—West Point in those days did not run to a huge,

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