Robert E Lee’s Last Day in Uniform

civilwartalk

Lieutenant General
Owner & Webmaster
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Messages
141,727
Location
Martinsburg, WV
#1

Join the American Battlefield Trust on Tuesday, January 29 as we premiere our newest video about the historic photo taken of Robert E. Lee in Richmond after the conclusion of the Civil War. The photograph was taken by famed Union photographer Mathew Brady, and truly signified the end of the conflict.
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
1,006
Location
Coffeeville, TX
#4
Great video, I had no idea Lee's Richmond home was still standing, and by the looks of it, its more or less "Last of Mohicans" as everything around it is modern. It's sad, but time has a habit of marching on.

On another note, I doubt that was the last time Lee wore his uniform, or at least his coat, there's a photo or two of him wearing it a couple years later, without its brass buttons, for everyday wear. I suppose he either really liked that coat, or didn't have the money to get another at the time.
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
10,995
Location
East Texas
#5
I think it's a pretty dubious claim that by taking a photo of Lee in uniform it sent any kind of message the war was over; wouldn't it more likely be seen as defiance and an intent to continue the struggle? A photo of Lee in civilian clothes would've better represented that particular idea. Lee himself must've thought so too, because evidently both Brady and Mrs. Lee had to persuade him to pose at all. Regardless, it's good that he did it "for posterity."
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
1,006
Location
Coffeeville, TX
#6
My theory has always been that Brady asked Lee to be in uniform.

Or at the very least Lee just wanted a couple of pictures in uniform with others. (I think more than one was taken that day.)
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,176
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#7
Wish it didn't tend to get viewed so sadly. I've always thought it humanized the guy. Without knowing a thing about what circumstances prompted the photo, got the impression his face reflects, like most of the male population ( Sickles and McClellan not withstanding ) hated having his photo taken. Like there was lunch waiting on the other side of that door, why are you people bothering me?

Please no one feel I'm being dismissive about the occasion, just have done a lot of convincing myself- that face is the result.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
982
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#9
I never knew that the photo was taken at the back of the house, and of the side space allowing access back there. I had always thought in that last moment he was facing the hustle and bustle of the road. At least this brings a bit more solitude and less encroachment to the senses of Lee as he bids adieu to 'his confederates'.
Lubliner.
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
10,995
Location
East Texas
#10
Wish it didn't tend to get viewed so sadly. I've always thought it humanized the guy. Without knowing a thing about what circumstances prompted the photo, got the impression his face reflects, like most of the male population ( Sickles and McClellan not withstanding ) hated having his photo taken. Like there was lunch waiting on the other side of that door, why are you people bothering me?

Please no one feel I'm being dismissive about the occasion, just have done a lot of convincing myself- that face is the result.
By all means don't forget to include that favorite camera hog George Custer! and as I demonstrate in my thread on the subject, John Mosby wasn't particularly a shrinking violet either! https://civilwartalk.com/threads/john-singleton-mosby-in-photographs-and-portraits.139942/
 

jackt62

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,191
Location
New York City
#11
Very informative video, thanks for posting. I had never given much thought to the story behind the famous photo, which was nicely explained by the park ranger. I'm wondering what the ownership of the house is; I've been to Richmond a number of times but never thought to visit the location with the plaque in its front wall.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top