The Richmond History Podcast

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rob Lee & Joe Johnson Take A Seat

Courtesy of The Library of Congress
In April 1870 at age 63, the president of Washington College1 (now Washington an Lee University), Robert E Lee went on a short vacation to Georgia with his daughter Agnes because he wasn't feeling well and was hoping the southern weather would help.  He was greeted by huge crowds in Savannah2. While in town Robert had a chance to meet with an insurance salesmen.  The meeting was not to buy life insurance.  The insurance man was his former classmate at West Point and a fellow Confederate General Joseph Johnson who was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, allowing Robert E Lee to replace him as the leader of The Army of Northern Virginia, and create the legend of General Lee.3  The two men had not met since the civil war.1  One of the things they did together was to sit across a table at Ryan's, a downtown Savannah photo studio for the photo below.4

The photo was sold to raise money for the Robert E Lee Monument on Monument Ave and Allen St in Richmond, VA.5
Courtesy of VCU Libraries

Unfortunately Lee didn't buy a life insurance policy because only a few months later on Oct. 12, 1870 died.


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