|Robert E Lee behind 707 E Franklin St.|
Seven days after his surrendered to US Grant at Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee returned to his house in Richmond, VA. The day was April 16, 1865, Easter Sunday. The house was 707 E. Franklin St. Lee was a paroled prisoner when1 he arrived in the city with five of his advisers. The Richmond Whig described the scene as:
He reluctantly agreed to the meeting with Matthew Brady four days later on April 20, 1865.
On the lower back porch of Lee's House at 707 E Franklin St Brady took six photos of Lee.1 Brady asked Lee to wear the same uniform that he wore when he surrendered to Grant, but the coat in the photos has the wreath-less three-star rank insignia of a colonel, not the one his family had identified as his general's coat from Appomattox.1
|Seated Lee by Matthew Brady, April 16, 1865|
Brady recalled in 1891, "It was supposed that after his defeat it would be preposterous to ask him to sit, but I thought that to be the time for the historical picture. He allowed me to come to his house and photograph him on his back porch in several situations. Of course I had known him since the Mexican War when he was upon Gen. Scott's staff, and my request was not as from an intruder",4 but it still took the co-operation of Mrs. Lee to have Robert's photo taken.3
|707 E Franklin St, Richmond, VA now the VA Home Builders Assosiation|
These pictures should be viewed in context. The smell of defeat must have been rivaled only by the charred smell that must have lingered from the evacuation fire from only a couple weeks earlier that burned some 60 blocks of downtown Richmond. The Virginia State Capital which was also the Confederate Capital, was as visible from his house as the fallen soldiers that died in a loosing cause must have been visible in his mind. Among the casualties of the war was Lincoln, shot two day before these photos were taken. I always thought these photos looked noble, but in the context they seem far more sad.
|right, General George Washington Custis Lee(Lee's Son) middle Lee, right, Colonel Walter Taylor (Lee's aid) April 16, 1865|
Seven days after his surrendered to US Grant at Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee had a meeting at his house in Richmond, VA. The day was April 16, 1865, Easter Sunday.
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