The Vermin Who Are Terrorising and Destroying America, piece by piece are leaving pieces and shreds and cast-off remnants of reality that should forever be preserved… We invest the following
images of the South, of Robert Edward Lee, and
a reality of life that we came to understand.
When he left her to go to the West Point, his mother was heard to say; “How can I live without Robert? He is both son and daughter to me.”
Years after, when he came home from West Point, he found one of the chief actors of his childhood's drama-his mother's old coachman, “Nat”— ill, and threatened with consumption. He immediately took him to the milder climate of Georgia, nursed him with the tenderness of a son, and secured him the best medical advice.
But the spring-time saw the faithful old servant laid in the grave by the hands of his kind young master.
The above paragraph depicts one of the many acts for which Robert Edward Lee was famous…as a child, as a young man, and throughout his fabled life. When the Battles roared and cannon-launched bombs exploded around him and his famous mount "Traveller", frequently the junior officers would shout out, "Lee to the rear!! Lee to the rear!!"
But the demand of the subordinates would mainly fall on deaf ears. Holding the reins atop his saddle, and with his servant stroking Traveller's neck during the horrible cannonades and noise of battle, Lee would finally take note of the
subordinate officers and return to a less exposed position to study the ebb and flow of the battle. Lee's "body man" would return, just as slowly, showing no interest in things that could only be controlled by the officers and men at this point. Mister William (or sometimes "Mack") would keep a kind hand, stroking through Traveller's mane, and telling him, "Don't worry, boy. There's lots of oats to-night for you."
We wish to enter into the record that I am a descendant of the Newton line as it pertains to the War Between the States. Because of long generational delays and other reasons such as the loss of women at birth (or shortly thereafter) some of my grandfathers had extended years and periods between progeny arriving to the families.
For instance, my grandfather was a small child, but remembered well his two eldest brothers who came to Christmas (or perhaps Easter) banquet dinner during that horrid period of the War Between the States, or as Mr. Lincoln would have it, "The Civil War". Both of those boys never saw the end of the next year.
As Longstreet lurched out with two divisions reinforced by several batteries of cannon at New Salem Church, Virginia on 2 May 1863, one of my Uncles had the impossible task of facing off the onslaught of Longstreet's masses with only one single company, the loyal and capable Company 3, of the 96th Infantry Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. One can imagine guarding a rail station with 160 men, when 8,800 crazy Confederates come pouring out of the dense forests covers some 200 yards away. It was over fairly quickly. Sgt. (brevet Lieutenant) Charles Newton was patched up in the parsonage of the Episcopal Church in New Salem but the best efforts of the doctor…a Southern gentleman, were to no avail. Several score of Union soldiers were either killed or seriously injured in those moments.
Two months later, a foolish and brave rear guard of Union cavalry was harassing a large Confederate army in retreat from a place called Gettysburg. The Yankee boys thought is was great sport to harass and molest the rear guard of the grey forces. Lamentably, Sergeant Ollie Newton brushed up too close to the rear and managed to take a single bullet in the heart, along with several other blue-coats. They had underestimated the remaining spunk and spark within the ranks of the Confederates.
These moments are known and documented. There were five Confederates who were either killed in action or who died just after the War Between the States due to the wounds suffered in service to the Confederacy. One was a Captain of Cavalry by the name of Asa Grant…a cousin of the famous Union Genereal and later President of the United States. Another was David Limbaugh, a Lieutenant who died in action at Fallen Timbers. Three others met their demise…all five were Tennessee people…none of whom owned a slave during entirety of their lifetimes.
There are many stories about those times. There was bad and there was good as one might find anywhere. But in the main, people did what the events required. My mother scolded a little Jewish girl who had a slightly gimp leg, for instance. She told her that she was very pretty and smart and talented but she needed to put herself forward more.
Before long, she was pushing the pretty little blond girl to play hoop and stick, kickball, football, and baseball with the boys…and beating them. She taught the blond girl how to pluck mulberries correctly, and how to make a pecan pie. My mother learned about Kosher this and Kosher that and a bit of Hebrew along the way. The two families were competitors in the general wares and wears stores on main street in Winchester in those days.
It was a time when there were still more horses and mules and wagons in front of the the stores, but there were a lot of fancy autos as well, due to the people who came down from New York to visit the "medicinal springs" in the area around Winchester, Tennessee. My mother's family had farming property out at Estill Springs for instance.
Oh…the little girl? She went to New York and wowed a bunch of Yankees and some real people too. She was "Fannie" to her playmates and to my mom. But once on stage she was Dinah Shore. They named a long section of the main street in Winchester for her.
During one of their last calls during Dinah's later days, my mother advises "Fannie" that the city of McAllen, Texas had, in a way, named a major boulevard for my mother…when the city fathers opted for changing the first idea "Narcissus" for "Nolana" due to my mother's given name of "Nola". It was necessary to have an "N" because the streets in McAllen were order so as to be alphabetical. My mother had been very active in PTA as County President, in politics, as a business woman, and as a middling executive with the power company, and as an active civic personality, heading the Traffic and Safety Commission, and various other duties including the Altar Guild at the Episcopal Church.
So, in a way, Fannie and Nola had very different and very similar lives lived well.
A Special Note about this publication:
The following is somewhat confused. The first thing will be a nice book written by the Reverend Mr. William Mack Lee. He went through life as an illiterate, and then as a person who worked to perfect his manner of speaking so as to adapt to the people to whom he might be speaking. His written word
is quite coherent and very understandable.
In his book, he will move in and out, depending on the level of familiarity
and upon the seriousness or humorousness of what is
He grew throughout his life and became a true servant of the Lord and Jesus Christ. He established many Baptist Churches in the rural areas of Virginia
and other places adjacent to his native State. His writing style and
manner advanced during his years (1832 - 1919) and he would
at times revert to the "country accent and construct" that
pertained to his "less sophisticated" younger times.
REV. WM. MACK LEE
Still Residing in the South
Still Residing in the South
HISTORY OF THE LIFE OF
REV. WM. MACK LEE, BODY SERVANT OF
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR. . . COOK FROM 1861 to 1865 . . .
Copyrighted - year 1918, by Rev. Wm. Mack Lee
STILL LIVING UNDER THE PROTECTION
OF THE SOUTHERN STATES
- Gen. Stonewall Jackson
- Gen. Ewell
- Gen. Mosby
- Gen. Bragg
- Gen. Elwell
- Gen. Anderson
- Gen. Pickett
- Gen. Early
- Gen. Longstreet
- Gen. Jos. E. Johnston
- Gen. Sidney E. Johnston
- Gen. Morgan
- Gen. Forrest
- Gen. J. B. Hood
- Gen. Kirby Smith
- Gen. Chambers
- Gen. Van Dorn
- Gen. Buell
- Gen. J. E. B. Stuart
- Gen. A. P. Hill
- Gen. D. H. Hill
- Gen. Fitzhugh Lee
- Gen. J. B. Gordon
- Gen. Harrison
- Gen. Price
- Gen. Billy Mahone
- Gen. Jefferson Davis
- Gen. Wilcox
- Gen. Fremont
GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE AND OTHER GENERALS
for whom Rev. William Mack Lee cooked four years
during the Civil War, when he was servant to
General Robert E. Lee--1861-1865
HISTORY OF THE LIFE
of Rev. Wm. Mack Lee
I was born June 12, 1835, Westmoreland County, Va.; 82 years ago. I was raised at Arlington Heights, in the house of General Robert E. Lee, my master. I was cook for Marse Robert, as I called him, during the civil war and his body servant. I was with him at the first battle of Bull Run, second battle of Bull Run, first battle of Manassas, second battle of Manassas and was there at the fire of the last gun for the salute of the surrender on Sunday, April 9, 9 o'clock, A. M., at Appomatox, 1865.
The following is a list of co-generals who fought with Marse Robert in the Confederate Army: Generals Stonewall Jackson, Early, Longstreet, Kirby, Smith, Gordon from Augusta, Ga. Beauregard from Charleston, S. C., Wade Hampton, from Columbia, S. C., Hood, from Alabama, Ewell Harrison from Atlanta, Ga., Bragg, cavalry general from Chattanooga, Tenn., Wm. Mahone of Virginia, Pickett, Forest, of Mississippi, Mosby, of Virginia, Willcox, of Tennessee, Lyons, of Mississippi, Charlimus, of Mississippi, Sydney Johnston, Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Marse Robert, and Curtis Lee, his son.
The writer of this little book, the body servant of Gen. Robert E. Lee, had the pleasure of feeding all these men at the headquarters in Petersburg, the battles of Decatur, Seven Pines, the Wilderness, on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Orange County Court House, Chancellorsville, The Old Yellow Tavern, in the Wilderness, Five Forks, Cold Harbor, Sharpsburg, Boonesville, Gettysburg, New Market, Mine Run, Cedar Mountain, Civilian, Louisa Court House, Winchester and Shenandoah Valley.
At the close of the struggle, General Lee said to General Grant: "Grant, you didn't whip me, you just overpowered me, I surrender this day 8,000 men; I do not surrender them to you, I surrender on conditions; it shall not go down in history I surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to you. It shall go down in history I surrendered on conditions; you have ten men to my one; my
men, too, are barefooted and hungry. If Joseph E. Johnston could have gotten to me three days ago I would have cut my way through and gone back into the mountains of North Carolina and would have given you a happy time." What these conditions were I do not know, but I know these were Marse Robert's words on the morning of the surrender: "I surrender to you on conditions."
At the close of the war I did not know A from B, although I had been preaching two years before the war. I was married six years before the war. My wife died in 1910. I am the father of eight daughters and I have twenty-one grand children and eight great-grand children. My youngest child is 42 years old.
I was raised by one of the greatest men in the world. There was never one born of a woman greater than Gen. Robert E. Lee, according to my judgment. All of his servants were set free ten years before the war, but all remained on the plantation until after the surrender.
The following from the Bedford Bulletin, a paper published in the town of Bedford, Va., which town I am now visiting, situated in the mountains in full view of the famous Peaks of Otter; while soliciting means here to finish my church near Norfolk, I caught inspiration to give the readers of this little book, my friends, and friends and admirers of Marse Robert, a brief history of his body servant and cook, the Rev. William Mack Lee, and will, I hope, cause you to purchase one at the price named on back of same, as I will never be able to write another; I am too old.
Lee's Body Servant Here.
"Rev. William Mack Lee, one of the best known colored men in the South, is in town this week making an effort to raise funds to complete the payment on his church near Norfolk. He is a Baptist minister and built the church at a cost of $5,500, of which all has been paid except about $500, and he wants to raise this before he returns home.
"He was born on the plantation of Gen. Robert E. Lee, in Westmoreland County, 81 years ago, and at the outbreak of the civil war went to the front as the body servant of his distinguished master. He cooked and waited on the Southern chieftain during the entire four years of the war, being with him at the surrender at Appomatox. The fact that the war had set him free was of small moment to him, and he stayed with his old master until his death. He is a negro of the old type, distinguished looking, polite in manner, and, despite his age, is straight, firm of step and
bids fair to serve his congregation for many more years. The first day he was in town, he went to the old Burwell homestead, now the home of Mr. John Ballard, because he and his master had stopped there while on a visit to Bedford, soon after the war, and was greatly disappointed to find that the last member of the Burwell family was dead.
"He will be in town all of this week, and if you want to help him pay for his church you will find him on the streets or some one will tell you where he can be found."
I have been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ the best I knew, with my limited preparation, for 57 years. My master, at his death, left me $360 to educate myself with. I went to school. I studied hard at the letter, but my greatest learning came from Jesus Christ. God sent me out to preach, and when God sends a man out, he is qualified both with the Holy Ghost and the Spirit. He makes his words sharp as a two-edged sword, and his feet as a burning pillar of brass.
I was ordained in Washington, D.C., July 12, 1881, as a Missionary Baptist preacher. The beginning of my work as an ordained minister was with the Third Baptist Church, Northwest, Washington, D.C., which I built with 20 members, at a cost of $3,000. This church increased from 20 to 500 members during my pastorate. I also built another church in the same city, a frame building, 20 x 36 feet long, at a cost of $2,000. I took this church with 8 members and left it with 200 at the close of two years.
My next pastorate was at Cantorsville, about eight miles northeast of Baltimore, Md., in Baltimore county. There were 12 members of this church, when I took charge. I erected for a house of worship a frame building 22 x 38 at a cost of $3,500. At the end of four years the membership had increased from 12 members to 365. I resigned this charge and took a church in Norfolk county, Virginia, six miles from the city of Norfolk. In this little town called Churchland, I erected a brick building, stone front, for a house of worship, at a cost of $5,500, in the year 1912, all of which has been paid, with the exception of about $500. When I began the building of this last house for God, I sought aid from abroad. I went into three states and by the help of the Lord, and good friends of Virginia, North and South Carolina, I have succeeded in raising over $5,000 for this last project. I preached in 36 counties in South Carolina in 1915, 28 counties in North Carolina, and 23 counties in Virginia. The following is a list of cities and towns that responded to my call for help in relieving the indebtedness.
of my church:--Virginia: Norfolk, Portsmouth, Berkley, Brambleton, Newport News, Hampton, Cape Charles, Eastville, Pocomoke City, Charles City, Suffolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Crewe, Blackstone, Petersburg, Ivor, Waverley, Zuni, Appomattox, Bedford, Roanoke and Hollins. South Carolina: Columbia, Charleston, Summersville, Kingtree, Lake City, Bennettsville, Florence, Mullen, Hartsville, Darlington, Marion, Dillon, Latta, Sumpter, Spartansburg, Orangeville, and Branchville. North Carolina: Raleigh, Wilmington, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Greensville, Greensboro, Selma, Clinton, Tarboro, Little Washington, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Wilson, Windsor, Kinston, LaGrange Beaufort, Durham, Hamlet, Rockingham, Gibsonville, Lovington, Ahoskie, Tunis, Reidsville, Winchester.
Having stayed on Marse Robert's plantation 18 years after the war and with limited schooling, I am not ashamed to give my history to the world that it might cause some of the young negroes who have school advantages from childhood and early youth, to consider life more seriously and if men of my type had lived in their time, how far they would exceed them along lines of religious, educational, and business activities. I contribute my success to my teaching from God. When John was writing on the Isle of Patmos, God appeared to him and said, "Write no more, John, seal up what thou hast written." John fell face foremost. God said, "Rise upon your feet, fear not, I am he who was persecuted, seal up what has been written and write no more." The apostle Paul says the letter kills a man, but the word of God makes him alive in our Lord Jesus Christ. A man gets nothing for starting a journey, but gets pay for being faithful and, holding out to the end. If a man lives according to the ten commandments, he will be blessed, because the chief word in the decalogue, obedience; and obedience to God is service to man.
In addition to my pastoral duties I found time to look after the bodily wants of my fellowman as well as his spiritual needs. To this end I organized the State Benevolent Association of Virginia, for colored people, at Charlottesville in 1887. In 1888 I organized at Washington, D. C., the Supreme Grand Lodge United States Benevolent Association of the District of Columbia. The district associations of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania are under jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, whose office and building is located at 428 R Street, N. W., Washington. I am elected Grand Chief for life at a salary of $50 per month and traveling expenses.
This association pays sick dues and death benefits and aids its members while out of employment by allowing a weekly sum of $2.00 for 4 weeks each, or until employment is secured, and gives each unfortunate a chance to pay back same to the Association in easy installments of 25 cents a month until the amount has been paid, so advanced by the Association's Treasurer. The brotherhood requires its members to help those find employment who are not employed.
I have some gavels made out of the poplar where Marse Robert bade farewell to his comrades and instructed them to go home and make themselves good citizens and may I urge those who read this book, especially my people, to take the advice of the humble writer, try to make yourselves good citizens by being industrious, save your money, educate yourselves, buy property, etc., let your religion be more practical and less sentimental. The best friends we have are the Southern people who know all about our raising, and if we colored people want to get along well with the white people, we must show our behavior to, respect and be obedient to them. These are my views to our race.
Your respectable, obedient servant,
REV. WM. MACK LEE.
REV. WM. MACK LEE.
General Robert E. Lee's cook and body servant of the Civil War.
Still limping from a yankee bullet, an old darkey, with a grizzled beard and an honest face, hobbled into the office of the World-News at a busy hour yesterday.
"Kin you white folks gimme a little money fur my church?" he asked, doffing his tattered as he bowed.
Typewriters tickled their hurried denial.
The aged negro cocked his head on one side. "What, I ain't gwine ter turn away Ole Marse Robert's main servant is yer? You didn't know dat I was Gen. Robert Lee's cook all through de wah, did yer?" Every reporter in the office considered that introduction sufficient, and listened for half an hour to William Mack Lee, who followed General Robert E. Lee as body guard and cook throughout the Civil War. When the negro lifted his bent and broken figure from a chair to take his leave every man in the office reached into his pocket, for a contribution.
"The onliest time that Marse Robert ever scolded me," said William Mack Lee, "in de whole fo' years dat I followed him through the wah, was, down in de Wilderness--Seven Pines-- near Richmond. I remembah dat day jes lak it was yestiday. Hit was July the third, 1863.
"Whilst we was in Petersburg, Marse Robert had done got him a little black hen from a man and we named the little black hen Nellie. She was a good hen, and laid mighty nar every day. We kep' her in de ambulants, whar she had her nest.
Prepared Feast From Small Supply.
"On dat day--July the third--we was all so hongry and I didn't have nuffin in ter cook, dat I was jes' plumb bumfuzzled. I didn't know what to do. Marse Robert, he had gone and invited a crowd of ginerals to eat wid him, an' I had ter git de vittles. Dar was Marse Stonewall Jackson, and Marse A. P. Hill, and Marse D. H. Hill, and Marse Wade Hampton, Gineral Longstreet, and Gineral Pickett and sum others.
"I had done made some flanel cakes, a little tea, and some lemonade, but I 'lowed as how dat would not be enuff fo' dem gemm'n. So I had to go out to de ambulants and cotch de little black hen, Nellie.
There was a tear in William Mack Lee's voice, but in his eye I fancied that I saw the happy light that always dances in the eyes of his race at the thought of a fowl for cooking.
"I jes' had to go out and cotch little Nellie. I picked her good, and stuffed her with breod stuffin, mixed wid butter. Nellie had been gwine wid us two years, and I hated fer to lose her. We had been gettin' all our eggs from Nellie.
"Well, sir, when I brung Nellie inter de commissary tent and set her fo' Marse Robert he turned to me right fo' all dem gimmin and he says: 'William, now you have killed Nellie. What are we going to do for eggs?"
"'I jes' had ter do it, Marse Robert.' says I.
'No, you didn't William; I'm going to write Miss Mary about you. I'm going to tell her you have killed Nellie.'
"Marse Robert kep' on scoldin' me mout dat hen. He never scolded 'bout naything else. He tol' me I was a fool to kill de her whut lay de golden egg. Hit made Marse Robert awful sad ter think of anything bein' killed, whedder der 'twas one of his soljers, or his little black hen."
Lee Wept Over Jackson's Death.
"I have even seed him cry. I never seed him sadder dan dat gloomy mownin' when he tol' me 'bout how Gineral Stonewall Jackson had been shot by his own men.
"He muster hurd it befo' but he never tol' me til' nex' mawnin'.
"'William,' he says ter me, 'William, I have lost my right arm.'
"'How come yer ter say dat, Marse Robert?' I axed him. 'Yo ain't bin in no battle sence yestiddy, an' I doan see yo' arm bleedin'.
"'I'm bleeding at the heart, William,' he says, and I slipped out'n de tent, 'cause he looked lak he wanted to be by hisself.
"A little later I cum back an' he tol' me dat Gineral Jackson had bin shot by one of his own soljers. The Gineral had tol' 'em to shoot anybody goin' or comin' across de line. And den de Gineral hisself puts on a federal uniform and scouted across de lines. When he comes back, one of his own soljers raised his gun.
"'Don't shoot. I'm your general,' Marse Jackson yelled.
"'Dey said dat de sentry was hard o' hearin'. Anyway, he shot his Gineral an' kilt him.
"'I'm bleeding at the heart, William,' Marse Robert kep' a sayin'.
Tells of His Own Wounds.
"On July de twelf, 1863, I was shot myself," continued the old darkey, heaving a deep sigh as he withdrew his thoughts from the death of General Stonewall Jackson.
"Yer see dat hole in my head? Dat whar a piece er de shell hit me. Anudder piece struck me nigh de hip.
"I had jes give Marse Robert his breakfas' an' went to git old Traveler fer him to ride ter battle. Traveler was Marse Robert's horse what followed him 'round same as a dog would, and would never step on de dead men, but allers walked betwixt and aroun' 'em.
"I went out an' curried and saddled Traveler. I hyeard dem jack battery guns begin to pop an' bust an' roah. I saddled Traveler and tuck him in front o' Marse Robert's tent.
"Jes' as Marse Robert cum out'n his tent a shell hit 35 yards away. It busted, and hit me, an' I fell over.
"I must o' yelled, 'cause Marse Robert said he ain't never hyeard no noise like de wan I hollered. He cum over and tried to cheer me up, an' I hollered lak one o' dem jackass guns.
"Marse Robert laffed so hard 'cause he said he ain't never seed a black man holler so loud. An' den he called for de ambulants an' dey tuck me ter de hospital."
Loyal to Famous Master.
William Mack Lee has all the praise in the world for "Marse Robert." He tells many interesting incidents of the Southern hero's life in the tent and field.
The old negro is here now trying to raise $418 with which to complete a fund of $5,000, most of which he has already secured, for building a church. He has built four churches and is now working on his fifth.
Among the white churches contributing to his fund are nine Baptist, eight Methodist, and six Episcopalians, in Norfolk, four Baptist in Danville, and churches in Lynchburg, Bedford, Crew, Blackstone and Appomattox.
William Mack Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Va., at the old Stafford House, on the Potomac River, 1835. He is 84 years old. He was raised by General Lee as his personal servant.
"Tell de white folks heah to be good ter me an' my church," says William. "Tell 'em not ter turn away Robert's ole soldier ."