A Life of General Robert E. Lee

John Esten Cooke

A Life of General Robert E. Lee
Scrawny Goat Books
13 July 2022

A Life of General Robert E. Lee

John Esten Cooke

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A new edition of the classic biographical study of the commander in chief of the military forces of the Confederate States Army, Robert Edward Lee. Meticulously researched and prepared with access to official documents and the subject’s personal notes, the author-himself a senior ranking officer in the Confederate Army-provides a full account of the life of General Lee from the time of his birth through to his death in 1870.

Lee’s background in the service of the United States Army, his participation in the Mexican War and other events are detailed before the main body of the book focuses on the American Civil War era. After turning down an offer to head up the Union Army, Lee resigned his commission and offered his services to his home state of Virginia-and the Confederate States of America.

From there, his meteoric rise to commander in chief and personal leader of the Army of Northern Virginia-the Confederacy’s most powerful army-is told in gripping detail. Each event unfolds in the narrative as its subject would have experienced it himself, providing a continually fresh perception of the terrible events of 1861 to 1865.

At first serving as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Lee was appointed commander of the Army of Northern Virginia in June 1862 after his predecessor was wounded. Lee’s first great victory-warding off an attack on the Confederate capital of Richmond, cemented his tenure, and thereafter followed four years of ebb and flow of great and bloody events, including the second Battle of Bull Run, the invasion of Maryland, the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and the Siege of Petersburg.

Finally, overcome by superior numbers, nearly out of supplies, and his great army reduced to just 26,000 men, Lee was finally forced to surrender in April 1865, effectively ending the war.

The value of this work lies not in the description of the battles themselves, but rather in the personal perception provided by seeing them through Lee’s eyes. In this vein, the final section of the book provides an overview of the last five years of the General’s life, including a highly elucidating interview on the topics of the day.

Completely reset, contains all 25 original illustrations (digitally restored to better than original) and a short biography of the author.

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