Lee’s Headquarters Tent
A career U.S. military officer before the war, Robert E. Lee had spent 30 years enduring the elements. As a Confederate general, Lee was acutely conscious of inconveniencing civilians, or living better than his men. During those rare occasions when Lee’s chief of staff, Walter Taylor, secured accommodations as headquarters, Taylor observed of the general, “It was entirely too pleasant for him as he is never so uncomfortable as when comfortable.
All of the items in this scene, including the camp bed, were Lee’s. Lee used some of them daily, and were fondly remembered by his staff. One of whom recollected: "His dress was always a plain, gray uniform, with Calvary boots reaching nearly to his knees, and a broad-brimmed gray felt hat.” Lee wore the hat in post war years, and when the family’s silver turned black from storage, youngest son of R. E. Lee, Jr., described how “My father opened his camp-chest and we used his forks, spoons, plate, etc…”