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Fitzhugh Lee

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Nice fountain pen signature of the Confederate general

Fitzhugh Lee, 1835–1905.  Confederate Cavalry General.  Large signature, Fitzhugh Lee / Virginia, on a card.

Lee, the nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, signs this large 4¼" signature as the Governor of Virginia, a position that he held four years, 1886–1890.  He has signed on the back of a on the blank back of a 1 brown Jefferson postal card, which measures 3" x 5⅛". 

Lee led Confederate cavalry forces in several principal actions during the Civil War.  Among them were the Battle of First Bull Run, the Maryland Campaign of 1862, the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns of 1864.  General J.E.B. Stuart's report following Gettysburg praised no officer in his command except Lee, whom he called "one of the finest cavalry leaders on the continent, and richly [entitled] to promotion."  Lee was promoted to Major General on August 3, 1863.

After the Civil War, Lee devoted himself to reconciling the Southern people to the outcome, which he believed had finally settled the questions at issue.  After Leeʼs term as Governor of Virginia, President Grover Cleveland appointed him Consul General at Havana in 1896.  He had duties of a diplomatic and military character along with the usual consular business.  As Consul General, he dealt with the diplomatic difficulties inherent in Cuba's dispute with Spain, which culminated in the explosion in Havana harbor of the USS Maine, which was anchored there to protect American interests in Cuba.  Upon the declaration of war between the United States and Spain, Lee resigned as Consul General to enter the Army as a Major General of the United States Volunteers, one of three former Confederate generals to do so.  

This card is evenly toned and has a tiny bend at the lower right corner.  The card is self-addressed on the front by the collector who solicited Lee's response, and mounting traces prior mounting in an album cover part of the collector's name and address.  Overall the piece is in fine condition, and the handwriting and signature are very fine.


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