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This is a biography of the famous, dashing father of General Robert E. Lee. General Light-Horse Harry (Henry) Lee made his name while serving under Washington during the Revolutionary War, in which he had some spirited military successes and failures. Later he helped ratify the Constitution and served as governor of Virginia. Much of this biography is about the Army of the South's activities and an occasionaly sense of deja vu crops up as if Sherman and Grant are in the nearby bushes. Lee's mother was the belle of the Virginia colony, where Washington was the victim of unrequited love. An aristocrat, Lee studied for the bar but with no intention of a legal career, and he was profoundly interested in the classics. A great horseman, he offered his services to the Revolution and was about its youngest cavalry officer. Leading both cavalry and infantry, his most brilliant feat was the capture of the British post at Paulus Hook, N.Y. in a surprise raid with almost no losses. After the war he was a Federalist and later commanded the forces sent to suppress the ""Whiskey Rebellion"" in Pennsylvania. His oration on the death of Washington provided the phrases ""first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen."" His life ended sadly and his extravagant speculations and investments led to debtor's prison. Gerson, as with his Kit Carson, has done a dexterous job that brings Lee back alive and firm in the saddle.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1966
Publisher: Doubleday