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John Esten Cooke (November 3, 1830 September 27, 1886) was an American novelist and poet best remembered today for his writing about the American Civil War, which he partially participated in. In March and April 1862, Cooke served as an unpaid volunteer aide for Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in the Confederate cavalry, but he worked his way up to major by the end of the war. By 1863, he was writing biographies, including one of the first popular biographies of Stonewall Jackson. He also published a novel on Jackson, Surry of Eagle's Nest (1866) as well as a biography of Robert E. Lee, officers that he had personally known. With the exception of George Washington, perhaps the most famous and celebrated general in American history is Robert E. Lee (January 19, 1807 October 12, 1870), despite the fact he led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia against the Union in the Civil War. The son of U.S. Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, a relative of Martha Custis Washington, and a top graduate of West Point, Lee had distinguished himself so well before the Civil War that President Lincoln asked him to command the entire Union Army. Lee famously declined, serving his home state of Virginia instead after it seceded. Lee constantly defeated the Unions Army of the Potomac in the Eastern theater from 1862-1865, considerably frustrating Lincoln and his generals. His leadership of his army led to him being deified after the war by some of his former subordinates, especially Virginians, and he came to personify the Lost Causes ideal Southern soldier. This edition of Cookes A Life of General Robert E. Lee is specially formatted with over 30 pictures of famous Civil War generals and leaders. It also includes a table of contents for easier navigation.

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