Exhibitions/ Art Object
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General Robert E. Lee

Artist:
Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)
Date:
1865
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 14 × 9.3 cm (5 1/2 × 3 11/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Museum Purchase, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.1213
Not on view
Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. The Civil War was over. If not whole, the nation was at least reunited, and the slow recovery of Reconstruction could begin. As soon as he heard that Lee had left Appomattox and returned to Richmond, Mathew B. Brady headed there with his camera equipment. The Lees’ Franklin Street residence had survived the fires that had devastated many of the commercial sections of the city. Through the kindness of Mrs. Lee and a Confederate colonel, Brady received permission to photograph the general on April 16, 1865, just two days after President Lincoln’s assassination. Brady’s portrait of General Lee holding his hat, on his own back porch, is one of the most reflective and thoughtful wartime likenesses. The fifty-eight-year-old Confederate hero poses in the uniform he had worn at the surrender. It would be Brady’s last wartime photograph.
Signature: Mounted on album page with various portraits of General Joseph F. Johnston on verso
[Fine Art Photographs, Inc., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, January 29, 1980

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