Overview: Growing up in Michigan, my education regarding the Civil War was obviously skewed toward the side of the Union, with regard to the perspective of the battles fought and who were our Generals. Overall, I knew very little regarding the Confederate perspective besides Arlington was at one time the home of their General, Robert E. Lee. This book was everything and more I look for in a historical nonfiction book. First off, I learned so many random facts that I’m soon to pass on to you. Secondly, I gained new knowledge about a historical event from a different perspective. Robert E. Lee was a man ruled by proper manners and exemplifying the nature of a true gentleman, even during battle. Lee, moreover is one of the rare personalities that, within their lifetime they pass over into legend, not only in the south but in the North as well. Korda does a wonderful job telling Lee’s story and attempting to discern legend from fact. He has done his research, reading not only analyzing Lee’s other biographies, but scouring the correspondence and biographies of the men surrounding him throughout his life. Overall, Clouds of Glory was a fascinating read that has only heightened my curiosity regarding this time period and the men and women that filled its ranks.
Did you know?
I had to add this section official into my blog! If I hound my family and coworkers with this phrase, it is time I start bugging my blogging family with random facts!
- Did you know that there was a Michigan-Ohio war over the Toledo border? As a Michigander living only two miles from the Ohio border, the Toledo War was a staple lesson in elementary school, with the result of Ohio getting Toledo but Michigan winning by being granted the Upper Peninsula. Where this little blurb ties into Lee is the fact that Lee was the civil engineer assigned to survey the disputed border. I like muse about Lee wandering around the swampy ground and forest that is now my Grandfather’s farm.
- Did you know that Lee was the head civil engineer that saved St. Louis by fixing the Mississippi River when it started leaving its established course, as well as removing several rapids, thereby making it passable for steam boats.
- Did you know that Lee was first offered command of the Union Army prior to Virginia seceding? State loyalty at the time was much more prevalent than now, therefore even though Lee didn’t agree with Virginia leaving he felt obligated to follow her lead.
- Did you know that Lee was the commander that captured John Brown at Harper’s Ferry?
- Did you know that Lee did not surrender at a courthouse? The town was actually called Appomattox Courthouse. The actual surrender was in the parlor of someone’s house.