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Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

 Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee


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In January, 1849, Captain Lee was one of a board of army officersappointed to examine the coasts of Florida and its defenses and torecommend locations for new fortifications. In April he was assignedto the duty of the construction of Fort Carroll, in the Patapsco Riverbelow Baltimore. He was there, I think, for three years, and livedin a house on Madison Street, three doors above Biddle. I used togo down with him to the Fort quite often. We went to the wharf ina "bus," and there we were met by a boat with two oarsmen, who rowedus down to Sollers Point, where I was generally left under the careof the people who lived there, while my father went over to the Fort,a short distance out in the river. These days were happy ones forme. The wharves, the shipping, the river, the boat and oarsmen, andthe country dinner we had at the house at Sollers Point, all made astrong impression on me; but above all I remember my father, hisgentle, loving care of me, his bright talk, his stories, his maximsand teachings. I was very proud of him and of the evident respectfor and trust in him every one showed. These impressions, obtainedat that time, have never left me. He was a great favourite inBaltimore, as he was everywhere, especially with ladies and littlechildren. When he and my mother went out in the evening to someentertainment, we were often allowed to sit up and see them off; myfather, as I remember, always in full uniform, always ready and waitingfor my mother, who was generally late. He would chide her gently,in a playful way and with a bright smile. He would then bid us good-bye, and I would go to sleep with this beautiful picture in my mind,the golden epaulets and all--chiefly the epaulets.

In Baltimore, I went to my first school, that of a Mr. Rollins onMulberry Street, and I remember how interested my father was in mystudies, my failures, and my little triumphs. Indeed, he was soalways, as long as I was at school and college, and I only wish thatall of the kind, sensible, useful letters he wrote me had beenpreserved.



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