Reprise: Robert E. Lee’s Unionist Sister

[This is one of the most popular posts of this site and so worth repeating in full:]

Many families were torn apart by the war, a fact that buttresses my fictional creation Parthenia Leila Ellis, the Unionist widow of Confederate Major Clayton Ellis of Knoxville.

Many such divisions were unsung at the time, the principals being little known to anyone outside their family circles. But some were quite famous, though the divisions are seldom recalled today.

Not only was Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s sister, Laura Jackson Arnold, devoted to the Union, for instance, so was the sister of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“Lee’s sister Anne Lee Marshall also disagreed with her brother. Her son fought with General John Pope against his uncle. No one in that family ever spoke to Lee again.”

Marshall, who died before the war was over, nevertheless was said to have often bragged that none of the Federals “can whip Robert,” according to Lee biographer Elizabeth Brown Pryor.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Families Divided By The War, Laura Jackson Arnold, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Robert E. Lee and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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