What are some of the cutest Robert E. Lee things you can recall at the moment?
god bless you for asking such a nice question… I need it after the day I’ve had so far smh
my head is constantly filled with the cute things he did tbh. most of them come from his son Rob’s book, which is 100% one of my favorite ACW-related readings. here are some of my faves
he loved animals SO much!! Rob doesn’t make it exactly clear in the book, but apparently when Lee was at Fort Hamilton in the 40s he saw a dog who had fallen overboard and he “rescued her and took her home.” I’m not sure if that means he jumped in the water himself, but I wouldn’t doubt it!
they kept that dog and named her Dart, and then they kept one of her puppies named Spec. Robert ADORED Spec and when he was in Mexico, he would include messages to Spec in his letters home: “Cheer him up,” “Tell him I wish he was here with me,” etc.
he had a pet rattlesnake in Mexico, a pet chicken during the war (who went missing during the Gettysburg retreat but turned up only to be eaten for dinner a few months later; rip Nellie), and he was always surrounded by many cats!! his daughters loved cats and in a lot of his post-war letters he writes of being overrun with kittens which is, honestly, the cutest thing I can imagine
still on the subject of animals, there’s a story about how one day Lee was conferring with his men under some pretty serious fire. suddenly he stopped and told them to go take cover on the other side of the yard. they did, but watched as Lee walked the other way (while under fire!), picked up a baby bird that had fallen from its nest, and put it back in the tree. he wanted to save a bird but didn’t want everyone to see it oh my god!!
after the war, everyone wanted to see him and talk to him and get his autograph, and by-and-large he was more than accommodating and polite to everyone who called on him
idk if it’s more sad and strange than cute but once, shortly before the surrender, Lee’s nephew found him standing in a field holding a piece of fried chicken, just standing there looking sad
he loved children so much. that’s one of my favorite things about him, is how delighted he was to be around kids. he had trouble relating to them and could never let down his air of dignity 100%, bc I think he never had the chance to be a carefree child, but he was still so loving and gentle with them. his own kids of course (reading in bed and tickling and snuggling with the younger kids and attempting the high jump with the older boys and their friends) but he was just as affectionate and caring towards all the other children he met
when he was younger, he attended a bridal party shortly after his brother was married. he decided to have some fun with things and said that he was not the brother of the groom, but the younger brother of the bride. the ladies then assumed he was a single, and he wrote “I have not had such soft looks and tender pressure of the hand for many years.”
oh my god one of my favorite stories; during the war, he requested that Mary and her friends send some socks for the soldiers. the number she sent was never the same as the number she said she would send, so Lee insisted that one of the daughters count to make sure it was accurate next time. the next time, the count was correct and Lee wrote back to home: “I am glad to find there is arithmetic enough in my family to count 30.”
he’s so cute I love him
once a soldier didn’t recognize him as General Lee, he only saw some older officer, so he said “howdy do, dad” and Lee replied “howdy do, my man”
“howdy do, my man”
tl:dr Lee is the cutest and there are dozens upon dozens of little anecdotes about his life and the war that make me melt
edit: bc @irohthesecond reminded me, his tiny baby feet! size 4!! how did he stand up with his lil tiny boots!!!!! ahhhh!!!!!