Michael Miley, Robert E. Lee, c. 1870
After the Civil War, Lee did not complete a memoir or leave even a brief account of any part of his life, even though few books had been so greatly anticipated as his proposed history of the campaigns in Virginia. Confederate veterans, publishers, and members of Lee's own family pleaded for such a volume, which he actually began to write as a means to submit the "truth . . . to posterity." Many of Lee's own papers had been lost, however, and access to records in Washington was denied. The history was set aside and never written. Instead, Lee was still concerned about the memory of his much-maligned father. He drafted an introductory biography to accompany a new edition of "Light-Horse Harry" Lee's Memoir of the War in the Southern Department.
Photograph courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society