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456Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril expected from a boy his age" (p. 3) , arrived atWest Point with misgivings. Despite its alien atmosphere, where novels and poetry were forbidden, he comported himself with dignity and by dogged determination and perseverance managed to graduate seventeendi in a class offorty-two all the while avoiding athletic rigors in favor ofthe flute and chess. He got along reasonably well with his new acquaintances, including those who would play a major role as military enemies in his future—Robert E. Lee, Leónidas Polk, Albert SidneyJohnston,Joseph E.Johnston, andJefferson Davis. In early childhood, he lost his mother, and his benevolent father died in Heintzelman 's third year at die academy. Restrictions were such diat he could not attend his father's funeral, and it was more than a year before he could view his parent's grave. The rigor of his academic life allowed litde time for mourning, and he was more determined than ever to perform creditably. Upon graduation, he hoped for an assignment with the topographical engineering corps, but his grades—as good as they were—did not permit die ambition. Instead, he found himselfin die infantry, though engineering ultimately opened up for him. Thus it was that he spent years ofservice in the chill of the Lake Huron country and the heat of Texas and Arizona. There was some relief from die weather in San Diego, California, where he also dabbled in real estate investments. His entrepreneurial schemes marked die rest of his life as he entered into a number of unrewarding ventures in mining for gold and especially silver. All the while, he served his country against Indians and later in the War widi Mexico. In both episodes he performed well. His service in the Civil War began propitiously enough widi the command of the Third Corps in the Army of die Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign. Here he came to admire Joe Hooker, Philip Kearny, and Dan Sickles. His initial admiration of George McClellan declined, and, ultimately, he would be critical of his commander'sjudgment in his appearance before die Committee to Investigate the Conduct of die War. Heintzelman's career took a downward turn upon assuming die defense ofWashington. Banished to the West, he supervised prisoner-of-war camps and reported on Copperheads. During Reconstruction he was only somewhat effectual against unreconstructed rebels in Texas, partly because of his politics. "They can't make me a radical" (p. 308), he once defiandy asserted. Retirement soon followed. This well-written and well-researched book has the merit of being both a life and a times biography. Professor Thompson should be congratulated for his performance . Texas State University-San MarcosJames Pohl Reading the Man: A Portrait ofRobert E. Lee through His Private Letters. By Elizabeth Brown Pryor. (NewYork: Viking, 2007. Pp. 684. Illustrations, notes, bibliography , index. ISBN 978-0-67003-829-9. $29.95, cloth.) Robert E. Lee's legend has for generations cast a long shadow over the Soutii. In defeat, the former Confederate general became the South, or at least die personification of an image diat the Soudi desperately wanted to project onto itself. 2??8Book Reviews457 He was die best-known soudierner of his generation, yet in many ways diose who worshipped him did not know him at all. Through the years many books were written about Lee, but historians have always grappled with the problem ofseparating mydi from reality to create a well-rounded portrait of the man. In her new book Reading the Man, Elizabeth Brown Pryor has broken new ground in die study of Robert E. Lee. Using a wealth of recently uncovered primary sources, she exposes important elements in the character of die "marble man" and offers new insights into his personality. The book is organized chronologically, beginningwith an analytical treatment ofLee's childhood that centers on die life and disposition ofhis controversial fadier, Henry Lee, die Revolutionary hero who met with disgrace in later life. Using die future Confederate general's own words, Pryor then successfully humanizes Lee through a treatment of his early character and home life including his relationship with his wife and children, painting a rarely seen picture ofa tender man...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9560
Print ISSN
0038-478X
Pages
pp. 456-457
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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