By C Brian Kelly; Ingrid Smyer-Kelly

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Below, Mary Custis Lee listened as he paced the floor above, then heard a mild thump as he fell to his knees in prayer. Below, she also prayed. Hours later, about midnight, he rejoined her. He showed her two letters he had written. In one he resigned his commission in the United States Army. In the other he expressed personal thoughts to General Scott. ” The following April Sunday was the last day and night that Robert E. Lee would spend at Arlington—for the rest of his life. Summoned to Richmond by Governor John Letcher of Virginia, he left by train out of Alexandria Monday morning.

Davis and his fellow leaders of the first Confederate states “hardly resembled” the leaders produced in the tobacco lands of old Virginia and the Carolinas. ” Here were the breeders of the new South’s civilian leadership. ” Further, “The Secretary of State…was the son of the keeper of a dried fish shop in London. The Secretary of the Treasury, born in Germany, spent his childhood in a Charleston orphanage. The Secretary of the Navy, son of a Connecticut Yankee, started life as assistant to his widowed mother in running a sailors’ boarding house in Key West, Florida.

He still held out faint hope—perhaps the report was in error. He knew, though, that it was not, and after their supper together he went alone to his upstairs bedroom. Below, Mary Custis Lee listened as he paced the floor above, then heard a mild thump as he fell to his knees in prayer. Below, she also prayed. Hours later, about midnight, he rejoined her. He showed her two letters he had written. In one he resigned his commission in the United States Army. In the other he expressed personal thoughts to General Scott.

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