Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: This Awful Drama
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Just finished this book by Alexandra Lee Levin about General Edwin Gray Lee. He was Robert E Lee's first cousin, once removed-?

A little hard for me to follow, I was not familiar with many of the people. It seems that while Edwin was away fighting and serving with Stonewall Jackson, the Yankees burned down his wife's family home. Lot's of passages from letters and diaries, all in all a pretty hard time for those in the pathway of the two armies. Edwin served with honor, but had health problems, I believe he suffered from tuberculosis and was no longer able to serve in the field. He eventually ended up in Canada, serving as the senior ranked officer of the Confedracy during the closing months of the war, basically replacing Jacob Thompson.

About 40 of the books 196 pages actually talks about his activies in Canada. The book mentions some interaction between Edwin and Sarah Slater and Bennet Young (of St. Albans, VT bank robbery fame) Sarah carried dispatches to Secretary Judah Benjamin regarding Young's defense in Canadian court. Also some mention of Lee meeting with Surratt right before President Lincoln's assasination and Surratt's trip to Elmira. He testified at John Surratt's trial. After the war he returns home, but poor health plagues him and he died in August 1870 at the age of 34.
I remember when James O. Hall was working with Ms. Levin on writing this book. I believe that Sarah Slater was the one who carried the papers to the court confirming that the agents who participated in the St. Albans Raid were Confederate combatants, and that spared their lives.
Davis needed the support of the Virginians in 1865 to support R.E. Lee's plan to abandon Richmond and drafting slaves to refill his ranks. The price was putting Virginians in command of nearly everything. E.G. Lee's promotion to Montreal was part of this 'deal'. Thus, in the final days the Lee family was put in charge of keeping the doors open for the escape of the Confederate hierarchy.
That makes sense. The book mentions that Richmond authorities wanted Jacob Thompson to turn over all funds $$
to Edwin Lee. Thompson seemed a bit reluctant to do that.
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