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As commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia for most of the
conflict, Robert E. Lee became the most celebrated commander of the entire
Civil War. He was also a father, and author Jeff Shaara captures all aspects
of the great general in the midst of the great fight.
He heard horses, several, riding hard up to the house, and he knew from
the sound it was too fast and too much show: Stuart. He smiled, heard loud
voices, and took a last look out the window. How strange, he thought, I feel
more like a father here than anywhere else. They are all my children: Taylor,
Stuart, sometimes...even Jackson. Maybe this whole army...
Is that not what a commander must do, earn respect, give them discipline,
and...love them? The thought jarred him. He felt suddenly guilty, thought,
No, it's all right, I do not love my own family any less. But I have not
been a good father...and now God has placed me here, to redeem myself. And
if my own children don't know...then these men will. He turned back toward
the doorway, waited for the inevitable burst of Stuart.