Monday honors Lee, too

Published 1:13 am Saturday, January 18, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt declared Lee to be: “the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.”

Lee was an inspiring leader, even when he formed his last battle line in defense of the Voluntary Union on April 6, 1865, at Sayler’s Creek.

The flooded forks had trapped a third of Lee’s Army, nevertheless, many men swam the creek to avoid capture.

Biographer, Douglas Southall Freeman recounts the moment:

“General Lee came to the elevation overlooking Sayler’s Creek: streaming out of the bottom and up the ridge toward him were teamsters without wagons, soldiers without guns, and shattered regiments without officers!

“Lee spurred his horse forward to rally the men. From the hand of some color-bearer, General Lee took a Confederate Battle Flag and held it aloft.

“There on Traveller he sat, the red folds of bunting flapping about him, the soldiers in front of him and, recognizing Lee, they began to flock around him, as if to find shelter in his calm presence.

“For all of them, Lee had encouragement. ‘It’s General Lee,’ the soldiers shouted. ‘Where’s the man who won’t follow Uncle Robert?’ ”


Roger K. Broxton, President

Confederate Heritage Fund