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Now, That’s An Obituary

May 22, 2012, 3:32 pm

From Robert E. Lee’s obituary, the New York Times October 13, 1870:

In [Lee's] farewell letter to Gen. SCOTT, he spoke of the struggle which this step had cost him, and his wife declared that he “wept tears of blood over this terrible war.” There are probably few who doubt the sincerity of his protestation, but thousands have regretted, and his best friends will ever have to regret,the error of judgment, the false conception of the allegiance due to his Government and his country, which led one so rarely gifted to cast his lot with traitors, and devote his splendid talents to the execution of a wicked plot to tear asunder and ruin the Republic in whose service his life had hitherto been spent.

Lee’s application for amnesty and reinstatement as an American was lost for more than a century. Rediscovered in the 1970s, it led to Gerald Ford signing legislation that pardoned Lee and made him a citizen again. Ford pardoned all kinds of interesting people.

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