General Robert E. Lee Parole Document

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Parole Document and Signatures
General Robert E. Lee and six of his staff officers, April 9, 1865

General Robert E. Lee Parole Document
General Robert E. Lee Parole Letter.gif
(General Robert E. Lee Parole Letter)

Source: National Archives and Records Administration

Recommended Reading: General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse (Hardcover). Review: You cannot say that University of North Carolina professor Glatthaar (Partners in Command) did not do his homework in this massive examination of the Civil War–era lives of the men in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Glatthaar spent nearly 20 years examining and ordering primary source material to ferret out why Lee's men fought, how they lived during the war, how they came close to winning, and why they lost. Glatthaar marshals convincing evidence to challenge the often-expressed notion that the war in the South was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight and that support for slavery was concentrated among the Southern upper class. Continued below...

Lee's army included the rich, poor and middle-class, according to the author, who contends that there was broad support for the war in all economic strata of Confederate society. He also challenges the myth that because Union forces outnumbered and materially outmatched the Confederates, the rebel cause was lost, and articulates Lee and his army's acumen and achievements in the face of this overwhelming opposition. This well-written work provides much food for thought for all Civil War buffs.

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Recommended Reading: Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command (912 pages). Description: Hailed as one of the greatest Civil War books, this exhaustive study is an abridgement of the original three-volume version. It is a history of the Army of Northern Virginia from the first shot fired to the surrender at Appomattox - but what makes this book unique is that it incorporates a series of biographies of more than 150 Confederate officers. The book discusses in depth all the tradeoffs that were being made politically and militarily by the South. Continued below.

The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then at a critical decision point in the battle, the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that person, and then goes back to the battle and tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made. At the end of the battle, the officers decisions are critiqued based on what he "could have known and what he should have known" given his experience, and that is compared with 20/20 hindsight. "It is an incredibly well written book!"

 

Recommended Reading: The Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee (Civil War Library) (Hardcover). Description: Recollections and Letters truly reflect all the varying facets of Lee's character. His letters emotionally reveal his personal warmth, bravery and concern for the South during and after the war. Continued below.

No other collection of source materials gives such a whole and rewarding picture of one of the South's greatest sons and heroes.

 

Recommended Reading: Lee, by Douglas Southall Freeman. Description: Douglas Southall Freeman's multi-volume "R.E. Lee" may have been published nearly three-quarters of a century ago, but this abridged version remains the best single biography ever written about the legendary Confederate general. Although there have been numerous books written about Lee, none have come as close to capturing Lee's military genius, or why so many Southerners enthusiastically fought and died under his banner, as does Freeman's work. When it was first published "Lee" was a sensation, and in the 1930's only Margaret Mitchell's wildly fictionalized "Gone With the Wind" surpassed it in sales and publicity. Senator Harry Truman read every volume, as did other famous political and military leaders. Freeman's work did much to spread the "Lee Legend" outside the South and made Lee into a national, and not merely regional, icon. In Freeman's elegant prose, Robert Edward Lee is nearly perfect in every respect - he is a modest, deeply religious man who dislikes slavery and secession but reluctantly agrees to side with his native state of Virginia when the Civil War begins. Continued below...

If the rest of Freeman's story sounds familiar it is because this book made it so. Lee, despite facing constant shortages of men and supplies, meets the overwhelming forces of the Northern States and defeats them in battle after battle. Yet after each defeat the Northerners simply recruit new soldiers, resupply their vast armies, and come after Lee's valiant but shrinking forces again and again. In the end not even Lee's tactical genius can save the outnumbered and outgunned Confederates from eventual (and in Freeman's opinion, inevitable) defeat. Naturally, some historians have not agreed with this view of the Old South's greatest icon, and later books on the "Gray Fox" have disputed Freeman's assertions that Lee was opposed to slavery and secession, or that his military decisions were always correct. There have been numerous books written about Robert E Lee, but none have done so well at portraying his life or in explaining why, even today, Lee’s legend thrives and his tactics are studied at military academies throughout the world. A genuine "must-read" for any Civil War buff or student of military history.

 

Recommended Reading: The Wartime Papers Of Robert E. Lee (1012 pages). Description: This monumental contribution to the literature of the Civil War brings together Lee’s official correspondence—letters, orders, dispatches, battle reports—with his touching letters to his family, thus providing a previously unavailable view of Lee’s life during the war. From the more than 6,000 items, the editors have chosen to reprint many letters in full for the first time, so that Lee is seen complete, self-revealed, in all his dignity and purpose. Continued below.

Short narratives connect each section—on the mobilization of Virginia, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and the siege of Petersburg and Appomattox. Sponsored by the Virginia Civil War Commission to commemorate the Civil War Centennial, this expert work of scholarship dramatizes Lee’s life as only his own correspondence could. As Lee himself said: ”Letters are good representatives of our minds. They certainly present a good criterion for judging of the character of the individual.”

 

Recommended Reading: Robert E. Lee on Leadership : Executive Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision. Description: Robert E. Lee was a leader for the ages. The man heralded by Winston Churchill as "one of the noblest Americans who ever lived" inspired an out-manned, out-gunned army to achieve greatness on the battlefield. He was a brilliant strategist and a man of unyielding courage who, in the face of insurmountable odds, nearly changed forever the course of history. "A masterpiece—the best work of its kind I have ever read. Crocker's Lee is a Lee for all leaders to study; and to work, quite deliberately, to emulate." — Major General Josiah Bunting III, Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute. Continued below...

In this remarkable book, you'll learn the keys to Lee's greatness as a man and a leader. You'll find a general whose standards for personal excellence was second to none, whose leadership was founded on the highest moral principles, and whose character was made of steel. You'll see how he remade a rag-tag bunch of men into one of the most impressive fighting forces history has ever known. You'll also discover other sides of Lee—the businessman who inherited the debt-ridden Arlington plantation and streamlined its operations, the teacher who took a backwater college and made it into a prestigious university, and the motivator who inspired those he led to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. Each chapter concludes with the extraordinary lessons learned, which can be applied not only to your professional life, but also to your private life as well. Today's business world requires leaders of uncommon excellence who can overcome the cold brutality of constant change. Robert E. Lee was such a leader. He triumphed over challenges people in business face every day. Guided by his magnificent example, so can you.

Reviews:

"A splendid and inspiring book, Robert E. Lee on Leadership offers enormously valuable lessons for all of us today, and should be required reading in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, at least."

— Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense, chairman of Forbes magazine

"As Harry Crocker reminds us, the principles that guided Robert e. Lee were grounded in the finest traditions of American values. Robert E. Lee on Leadership is a timely and valuable reflection on character, and on the personal and spiritual convictions that make for great leaders."

— S. Patrick Presley, director of Federal Government Affairs, British Petroleum

"A moving and illuminating look at Lee the man, so that thoughtful people can learn from him how to succeed in the business of life."

— Dinesh D'Souza, author of Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader

"Harry Crocker has provided a great service by reminding us through this moving and tightly written biography that winning isn't the only thing: faithfulness and honor live in our memories after the guns are silent."

— Marvin Olasky, author of the bestselling Renewing American Compassion and The American Leadership Tradition

This study includes research materials for General Robert E Lee's original Civil War parole document, General Lee’s signature, signatures of staff officers, Lee and Grant's signatures at Appomattox Court House, Union and Confederate terms of the surrender agreement, articles of the Civil War surrender agreement, original copy and transcript of the agreement, subsequent copies and transcription history.

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