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Robert Edward Lee
(Biography taken from the Confederate Military History, Volume I)

        Robert Edward Lee, general-in-chief of the Confederate StatesRobert E. Lee army, is placed by general fame as well as by the cordial suffrage of the South, first among all Southern military chieftains. By official rank he held that position in the Confederate States army, and his right to the primacy there is none to dispute. Considered as a true type of the American developed through the processes by which well-sustained free government proves and produces a high order of manly character, he fully and justly gained the distinguished esteem with which all America claims him as her own. Beyond the borders of this continent, which men of his caste long ago consecrated to freedom at altars that smoked with sacrifice, and extending over oceans east and west into the old world's realms, his name has gone to be honored, his character to be admired, and his military history to be studied alongside the work of the great masters of war. Happy, indeed, are the Southern people in knowing him to be their own, while they surrender his fame to become a part of their country's glory.
        General Lee's lineage and collateral kindred constitute an array of illustrious characters, but certainly without dispraise of any, and without unduly exalting himself, it can be calmly written down that he was the greatest of all his race. Unaware he was of his own distinction. Unaware also of a common sentiment was each of his people who cherished an individual feeling in the years which followed his public service until the consensus came into open view, where all men saw that all true men honored his name and revered his memory.
        Contrast of Lee with other men will not be instituted, because there were indeed others great like himself, and he more than others would deplore a contest for premiership in fame. The most that can be said in any mingling of his name with other illustrious characters has been uttered in the wonderfully felicitous and graphic sentences of Benjamin H. Hill, which may be repeated here, because of their brilliant and true characterization:
        "When the future historian shall come to survey the character of Lee he will find it rising like a huge mountain above the undulating plane of humanity, and he must lift his eyes high toward heaven to catch its summit. He possessed every virtue of other great commanders without their vices. He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression; and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy and a man without guile. He was a Caesar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napoleon without his selfishness; and Washington without his reward. He was obedient to authority as a servant, and royal in authority as a true king. He was gentle as a woman in life; modest and pure as a virgin in thought; watchful as a Roman vestal in duty; submissive to law as Socrates; and grand in battle as Achilles."

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