Grand-nephew of Robert E. Lee, his grandmother was Anne Marshall, Robert E. Lee’s eldest sister. She was a staunch Unionist who was married to a judge in Baltimore, MD.
Lee wrote a letter to Anne on the day he resigned from the US Army. The letter described, in very personal terms, his reasons for siding with Virginia against the US Government. He wrote, “With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home…I know you will blame me; but you must think as kindly of me as you can, and believe that I have endeavored to do what I thought right.”
Willie’s father, Louis Marshall, Jr., served in the United States Army during the war.
Paper. L 32.8, W 18.3 cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 1938