Freeman, Douglas Southall. Lee’s Lieutenants: A Study in Command. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1942. First edition signed by author. Three volume set in original dust jackets and presented in custom slipcase.
This first edition set of Freeman’s Lee’s Lieutenants is signed by the author on the first title page. The three volumes were published in 1942, 1943, and 1944 and discusses the various leaders of the Army of Northern Virginia serving under Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War. All three dust jackets are original, have undergone conservation, and the books are now housed in an archival slipcase. Each book begins with a photograph and a short narrative on the figures before setting the multiple biographies against the backdrop of the Civil War. Volume III includes a 17” x 17” fold out map detailing the battle sites at the end of the index. Each volume focuses on different biographical figures as Freeman progresses through the war. Volume I begins with Beauregard’s orders to Virginia and ends with the collapse of southern military power and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
The Army of Northern Virginia was arguably the most influential force in the Confederacy during the Civil War. Robert E. Lee took over command of the army in June 1863 and with his command came many battle victories. The Army of Northern Virginia is considered the most successful of the Confederate armies having fought at many of the war’s most famous battles including the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Made up of mostly Virginians, the army also included soldiers from all Confederate states despite the name “Army of Northern Virginia” used by Lee. Lee was known to be an effective general, but was not adept at telling his men and lieutenants what to do. He granted his commanders wide-ranging freedom to make their own military choices, a strategy that occasionally backfired. The Army of Northern Virginia, with its various military leaders, played a major role in the Confederate successes and failures in the Civil War. When the army was defeated and surrendered to the Union General Grant in April of 1965, the war was effectively considered over even though President Johnson would not declare a formal end to the conflict for another 16 months. The Army of Northern Virginia was greatly influential to the American Civil War and Freeman’s work details the leadership that allowed it to function as it did.
Overall good condition. The signature on the first end page of Volume I is clear and legible. The original black cloth boards with gilt embossed title and decoration have some discoloration from age along the edge of the spines. Some bumping to the corners and the bindings are somewhat loose. The pages are trimmed at the top and bottom while the side is deckled. Slight foxing from age and a few pages have been transferred during conservation. The original dust jackets have been repaired, especially along the edges where loss has occurred. Some discoloration from age and creases, but they are now in protective mylar covers.
The custom built archival slipcase matches the black boards. Fitted with a ribbon for easy access to books without damaging them. The slipcase is decorated with a photo of Robert E. Lee set in a recess on the front.
Dimensions: 10” H x 7” W x 7.25” D (all three volumes with slipcase)