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The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee by Thomas…

The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee

by Thomas Fleming

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I remember very little about the Civil War from my school days. I remember even less about specific characters who participated in it other than Abraham Lincoln. He was always characterized as a saint, Grant was a drunk. And Robert Lee was simply a mystery. This book, although it is Historical Fiction, began clearing some of the cobwebs for me concerning this subject. For one example, I don't remember the Civil War being such a politically charged subject. It becomes clear early in [The Secret Trial Of Robert E. Lee], that politics played a huge role in why that war took place at all. It also became clear to me early on that I did not like Lee at all. I found his peculiar need to be impeccably outfitted particularly distasteful in view of the fact that his soldiers were dressed in tatters and few, if any, had uniforms at all. All of that said, I enjoyed this book very much. Because I read it, I want to read more about the Civil War both for the political angles and also for perspective from soldiers who had to fight it. History books issued in school classrooms don't begin to cover the many facets to this horrible chapter in US history, and from my experience, history teachers drop the ball when it comes to making this period take on real dimensions. I'd recommend this book to any fan of historical fiction as well as Civil War knowledge. ( )
  GabbyHayze | Mar 5, 2013 |
This novel is based on a true story of how Robert E. Lee was secretly tried by Northern abolitionists for treason immediately after the war and Lincoln assassination. The narrator is a young Irish immigrant who was given a job as a newspaper reporter by Charles Dana, a journalist turned politician. Dana brought charges against Lee and convened a military tribunal to conduct a trial that he believed had a given conclusion. However, there are surprises in the witnesses and testimony, while events in the community threaten to derail the proceedings.

Fleming brings these historical characters to life. A recommended read for anyone who enjoys Civil War history and historical fiction. ( )
  meacoleman | Sep 26, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765313529, Hardcover)

1865. The Civil War is over and the South lies in ruins. But for some, the former slaveholders have not been punished enough. A cabal of powerful men, led by Charles A. Dana, the Assistant Secretary of War, plot to break the spirit of the South once and for all--by convicting General Robert E. Lee of treason and hanging him like a common criminal.
To this end, they have convened a secret military tribunal in Lee's former home in Arlington, Virginia.
Jeremiah O'Brien of The New York Tribune, a long-time protege of Dana's, is the only reporter allowed to attend the trial. His exclusive reports on this momentous event, and the book he intends to write, will surely make his fortune. Yet as the trial proceeds, pitting the general against his accusers, O'Brien finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dana, his love for a beautiful Confederate spy, and his growing respect and compassion for Lee himself. The young reporter is supposed to be only an observer, but, in the end, it is O'Brien who must evaluate the evidence . . . and determine the true meaning of honor.
Written by acclaimed author and historian Thomas Fleming, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee brings to life a fascinating chapter in American history that might well have happened--and perhaps truly did.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:49 -0400)

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In the wake of the Civil War and the destruction of much of the South, a group of powerful men, led by Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, plans to convict and execute General Robert E. Lee for the crime of treason.

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