Edward Virginius Valentine, Robert E. Lee, 1903–09
Bronze, 78 in., Statuary Hall, U.S.
Southern writers were so successful in promoting Lee as a national hero that by the turn of the century Senator John Daniel of Virginia was able to commission a sculpture of him for the U.S. Capitol. Anxious to portray Lee as a man of virtue and peace, Daniel objected to the military clothing depicted here: "While Lee was the greatest General of history, except Napoleon, he is the greatest man of history excepting none. He should stand in the National Capitol in his greatest character."
Photograph courtesy of Architect of the Capitol