Nellie, General Lee's Chicken

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
May 12, 2010
Location
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
General Robert E. Lee had a chicken named Nellie. He got her in 1862.She slept in his tent under his cot. She laid eggs for him everyday. Lee was very fond of his chicken.

One day his cook, William Mack Lee, fixed Nellie for supper. He thought he had to have something to feed guests that were coming. General Lee was very upset.

See: "War Chicken"
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/war-chicken.89434/
 

E_just_E

Captain
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Location
Center Valley, PA
I'm glad this thread isn't in "Foods of the Civil War". Poor Nellie! :cry:

Half-seriously, seeing that this post was from Donna I thought that it were in the Food forum and I was semi-expecting a Nellie Purlough recipe.

I know folks who have egg chickens and they love them. They are heartbroken when something happens to one of them.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Me too. I think it has scarred me a little.

I can't even imagine what went through General Lee's head when he found out.

Kind of like the parakeet scene in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Actually, I think Lee was practical - he knew when dinner was served there were no chickens around except....naw...ok, must be...and after dinner he went back to the cook and asked straight up was that my chicken? Uh...er...yessir, that was...your chicken... The cook, though, was an Irish fellow Lee had hired just recently so it's possible he thought it was a chicken that hung around the general's tent...not the general's chicken... :redface: Pretty sure he missed her eggs more!
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
I thought this was gonna be a recipe like General Tso's Chicken, or Napoleon's Chicken Marengo. :cry:

Lee's Chicken Chancellorsville? Chicken Marengo has an interesting history, by the way. After the big win at Marengo, he wanted a celebratory dinner so his chef - who always traveled with him - went a-hunting dinner in the devastated countryside. Didn't come up with much meat, a couple scrawny chickens, and only a few herbs and tomatoes. Necessity is the mother of invention so he found a way to stretch the chickens and devised a lovely dish that became Napoleon's favorite!
 
Top