When Robert E. Lee resigned his commission from the U.S. Army in April 1861 and cast his lot with his native state, it was, observed his biographer Douglas Southall Freeman, “the answer he was born to make.” The bicentennial of Lee’s birth in 2007 provides an opportunity to examine the often-agonizing decisions that Southern American military and political leaders had to make about their loyalties.Co-sponsored and hosted by The Library of Virginia, the 2007 symposium will feature a presentation by Dr. Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, an assistant professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, on Robert E. Lee. Also featured are presentations by William C. Davis on U.S. Vice-President and Confederate general John C. Breckinridge; Craig L. Symonds on naval officers Capt. Franklin Buchanan and Capt. David G. Farragut; Brian Steele Wills on Gen. George H. Thomas; and a panel discussion about the importance of Robert E. Lee’s 1861 decision.
Looks like a pretty good line-up. While Davis, Wills, and Symonds are probably familiar names for many of you, the inclusion of Wei-Siang Hsieh is perfect for this particular topic. His recent article on Lee’s decision to resign his commission in the U.S. Army is a must read for those with an interest in understanding his decision within the broader context of how those in a similar situation responded. Click here for a relatively recent post on his argument.
The registration is reasonable for an all-day conference so sign up as I am sure it will fill up soon. This is a great way to support the MOC.