Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Robert E. Lee - Gettysburg

Confederate General Robert E. Lee's image in bronze, astride his trusted Traveller, stands on top of the Virginia State Memorial on Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg. He regally gazes over the field of Pickett's Charge, back straight and shoulders held high. It does not match the picture described by rebel General John Imboden, who waited for Lee at his headquarters the evening following the charge:
"When he arrived there was not even a sentinel on duty at his tent, and no one of his staff was awake. The moon was high in the clear sky and the silent scene was unusually vivid. As he approached and saw us lying on the grass under a tree, he spoke, reined in his jaded horse, and essayed to dismount. The effort to do so betrayed so much physical exhaustion that I hurriedly rose and stepped forward to assist him, but before I reached his side he had succeeded in alighting, and threw his arm across the saddle to rest, and fixing his eyes upon the ground leaned in silence and almost motionless upon his equally weary horse, - the two forming a striking and never-to-be-forgotten group. The moon shone full upon his massive features and revealed an expression of sadness that I had never before seen upon his face." (Click image for larger view).

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