Just as its subject, General Robert E. Lee, was no ordinary man, The Recollections and Letters is no ordinary book. In defeat, the formal Confederate general became the personification of the South. This was a remarkable evolution for a man who in 1861 took up arms against the nation of his birth and subsequently led an army to a devastating end. Lee's transformation from defeated general to American hero was due in part to Robert E. Lee, Jr.'s, dedication to his father's memory.
In 1904 the younger Lee produced The Recollections and Letters, a book made up primarily of the general's personal correspondence, much of which was written to his wife and children. The book provided touching insights into the general's family life, allowing readers to connect with him on a more human level. Any study of Robert E. Lee, the South, the Civil War, or American history is incomplete without The Recollections and Letters.