Book Review
David E. Johnson

Pelican Publishing Company
476 pages including Appendix, Bibliography, and Index

Reviewed by Danny Witt
When Mr.  Johnson spoke to  the  Richmond  Civil  War  Round
Table in June of 2000, we could tell that we had a good book
to look forward to, but the finished biography  has  by  far
exceeded all expectations.                                  

Born  in  Lynchburg  and moving to Richmond at an early age,
Freeman grew up in the former  capital  of  the  Confederacy
with  a  father  that  was  a  veteran  of  the 4th Virginia
Artillery, and when he  attended  the  re-enactment  of  the
Battle  of  the  Crater  on  the  30th  anniversary, Freeman
decided at age 17 that a history of  the  Army  of  Northern
Virginia had to written.                                    

Freeman  first published A Calendar of Confederate Papers in
1908, and later edited Unpublished Letters of General Robert
E.  Lee, CSA, to Jefferson Davis and Jefferson Davis and The
War Department of The Confederate States  of  America.   His
first  best  known  work would take a little longer.  He was
contacted by Charles Scribner's Sons to write a biography of
Robert  E.  Lee, and at the beginning of the project neither
he nor the publisher knew it would take so  long  to  write,
but  four  volumes  and  nineteen  years  later  Freeman had
produced his first Pulitzer Prize winner.                   

Still not ready to leave the subject of the "War Between The
States,"  as  Freeman  preferred to call it, between 1942 an
1944 Freeman wrote Lee's Lieutenants: A  Study  in  Command,
and  instantly  had  another  sought  after  book.  His next
biography was another Pulitzer Prize winner, and  about  the
father  of our country, George Washington.  Although part of
this seven volume set was published after his death in 1953,
Freeman is as well know for this as his Lee book.           

Keeping  a  strict  schedule  that  started  at  2:30 in the
morning and ended at 8:45 at night, Freeman not only  was  a
noted  author,  but  also  served 34 years as editor for the
Richmond News Leader, and as a professor at Columbia (1  day
a  week  for 7 years).  The boards he served on are too many
to list here, and he was also an adviser during  both  World
Wars.   Churchill  and Eisenhower are included among some of
the  world  leaders  that  visited  Richmond  to  meet  with

Always  a  great family man, historian, editor, broadcaster,
and civil leader, the world lost a  great  man  on  Saturday
June  13,  1953 at 4:30 P.M.  If you only read one biography
this year, this should be the one.  Congratulations and many
thanks to Mr. Johnson for such a great book.                

Availability: June 2002 Available soon for $38.23 through Barnes & Noble.
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