Lee And The Courier

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Stiles/Akin

Sergeant Major
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Atlanta, Georgia
LEE AND THE COURIER

Here’s a short story about General Lee’s humanity that supports the saying, “The best sermon is a life well lived.”

In January 1864, Colonel Chapman went to Petersburg to see General Lee about moving a part of Mosby’s command for the remainder of the winter near Kinsale on the Potomac River. While the Colonel was talking to General Lee, they were interrupted by the arrival of a special courier. The day was very cold. There had been rain for several days, but on this day the rain had fallen in torrents, evening was coming on. Rations and clothing were very scarce.

The courier was wretchedly clad. His uniform was very much worn and soaking wet, for he had written many miles that day in the drenching rain. General Lee drew a chair to a small wood fire and bade the man to take a seat. When he had concluded his errand and was thoroughly warmed, he rose to go.

General Lee glanced at him almost furtively, as if he felt that the soldier was ashamed to have his poor attire observed and inquired, “Are you returning at once to your General?”

“Yes, Sir, if my horse has finished feeding.”

“It is still raining very hard,” said General Lee. “Have you no rubber coat?”

“Oh… that don’t matter General,” was the evasive, but brave answer.

Then Col. Chapman watched General Lee remain silent for a moment. The General then walked to the wall where his rubber coat hung, took it down and gave it to the soldier, who protested in vain against General Lee depriving himself. As related to Alexander Hunter by Colonel Chapman.

Source: Civil War Treasury, by B.A. Botkin, pages 423-424

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TomV71

Corporal
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Oct 26, 2018
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478
Location
Norway
Another Lee episode. At one point during the war, a Union prisoner was complaining that a Confederate soldier had taken his hat. Lee who was riding by, stepped of his horse, took the hat from the Confedrate and gave the prisoner his hat back.

I dont remember where I read this though, might have been in Freemans work on Lee.

Lee was a true gentleman on these occasions.
 
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