Lot 52: ROBERT E. LEE Signed CDV - His Last Photograph Ever Taken - by Boude + Miley, VA
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Robert E. Lee Signed Carte-de-Visite Photograph of His Last Photograph Ever Taken by Boude & Miley, Lexington, Virginia
ROBERT E. LEE (1807-1870). U.S. Army Officer, a West Point Commandant, and the legendary Commanding General of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War (1861-65).
Rare Carte-de-Visite bust Portrait Sepia Photograph Signed, "R. E. Lee" boldly on the image surface at low right center, Fine. The Photo image measures 2.25" x 3.75" being affixed to 4.25" x 2.5" photographer's card which is imprinted at lower edge, "Boude & Miley, Lexington, Va." There is a minor surface flaw to the right of Lee's face near his ear with slight fading to image which actually may have been the way it was printed. Lee's own signature dominates, only the first stroke at upper loop of "R" being very fine and thin, yet overall boldly Signed "R. E. Lee" in brown ink.
Of interesting coincidence, an identical Signed Carte-de-visite image of Lee in his civilian attire was sent by Robert E. Lee from Lexington to a woman in Louisiana on January 10, 1870, just nine months before his death, according to Roy Meredith in, "The Face of Robert E. Lee" (revised edition, 1981). That letter from Lee, was sent to Miss Len Campbell of Jackson, Louisiana (not present). It reads, in full: "In compliance with your request I send you my Photograph. It is the last that has been taken & is the only kind I have. I wish I had a better. Very respy R.E. Lee."
Robert E. Lee (1807-70) served as a military officer in the U.S. Army, a West Point commandant and the legendary general of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-65).
In June 1861, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, which he would lead for the rest of the war. Lee and his army achieved great success during the Peninsula Campaign and at Second Bull Run (Mansassas) and Fredericksburg, with his greatest victory coming in the bloody Battle of Chancellorsville.
In the spring of 1863, Lee invaded the North, only to be defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg. With Confederate defeat a near certainty, Lee continued on, battling Union General Ulysses S. Grant in a series of clashes in Virginia in 1864-65 before finally surrendering what was left of his army in April 1865. Lee has been praised by many for his tactical brilliance, and remains a revered figure in the American South.