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Lee's Memoir by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Robert E. Lee had published his memoirs? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On June 19th, 1867:

on the day the President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia published his war-time memoirs, his literary agent Beverley Tucker's predicted that "No work in the nineteenth century has ever had, or ever will have, such a sale. Every man, woman, & child, who can read, will deny themselves the luxuries or even necessaries, if need be, to have Robert E. Lee's History of the American War".

"I think he made the correct decision not to write an apologia" - Readers CommentTucker initially proposed the idea just two months after the surrender at Appomattox Court House, however Lee had countered with the suggestion of writing a narrower piece entitled "History of the Army of Northern Virginia's Campaigns". However, by the fall of that same year, he had developed a fresh desire to shape the next generation of Southern Leaders. Not only did this urge motivate him to accept the appointment at the College, but soon afterwards, he also decided that he did, after all need to set out a broader work on the whole rebellion.

Unfortunately most of his own records had been destroyed in the retreat, and he had been forced to request copies of pertinent materials from his former sub-ordinates. In so doing, he inadvertently became embroiled in the most controversial decision of the war. Because Generals Ewell, Rodes and Early and Chief of Staff Major Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton provided utterly divergent accounts of the events of the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1st, 1863. And the fateful decision to try to occupy Culp's Hill with just ninety minutes of daylight remaining.

Author says original content has been repurposed from an articile in the August 2010 Edition of "Civil War Times", Trudeau, Noah Andre. "Unwritten history: why didn't Robert E. Lee write his memoirs?". To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

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Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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