From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War, Day by Day, 1861-1865

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Charles R. Knight
Pub Date:
June 2021
Hardcover, 7 x 10
10 maps, 50 images, 576 pages
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Click HERE to see a text excerpt (May 1862, unedited). 

Click HERE to see a few pages of the photo insert.

High quality materials, sewn binding, 7 x 10, 576pp. jammed with explanatory notes, and includes maps, photos, bibliography, index. 

About the Book

Douglas S. Freeman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning four-volume study on Robert E. Lee remains the most thorough history of the man. After spending so many years with his subject, Freeman claimed he knew where Lee was every day of his life, from West Point until his death. In fact, there are many gaps in Freeman’s Lee, and hundreds of sources have been discovered in the decades since that have changed many of the accepted “facts” about the general. In From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War, Day by Day, 1861-1865 author Charles Knight does for Lee and students of the war what E. B. Long’s Civil War Day by Day did for our ability to understand the conflict as a whole. This is not another Lee biography, but it is every bit as valuable as one, and perhaps more so.

Lost in all of the military histories of the war, and even in most of the Lee biographies, is what the general was doing when he was out of history’s “public” eye. We know Lee rode out to meet the survivors of Pickett’s Charge and accept blame for the defeat, that he tried to lead the Texas Brigade in a counterattack to save the day at the Wilderness, and took a tearful ride from Wilmer McLean’s house at Appomattox. But what of the other days? Where was Lee and what was he doing when the spotlight of history failed to illuminate him?

Focusing on where he was, who he was with, and what he was doing day by day offers an entirely different appreciation for Lee. Readers will come away with a fresh sense of his struggles, both personal and professional, and discover many things about Lee for the first time using his own correspondence and papers from his family, his staff, his lieutenants, and the men of his army.

General Lee intended to write a history of the Army of Northern Virginia but died before he could complete his work. Much of what he would have written is in this study, which is based on hundreds of first-person accounts. From Arlington to Appomattox recreates, as far as such a thing is now possible, a Lee-centric study of what the man experienced on a daily basis.

It is a tremendous contribution to the literature of the Civil War.



“Knight’s study will become the standard reference work on Lee’s daily wartime experiences.” — R. E. L. Krick, author of Staff Officers in Gray

“Charles R. Knight’s From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War Day by Day is a staggering work of scholarship based upon meticulous research. The entries are detailed, illuminating, and well-written. Nuggets of information abound and will please the most avid students of those crucial four years of Lee’s life.” — Jeffry D. Wert, author of A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee’s Triumph, 1862-1863

“I have reviewed this in some detail, and my first impression is that it is brilliant. The level of detail and research is quite impressive, and it shows. The campaigns and battles are presented in enough detail for people to understand, without getting bogged down in the details. The monthly headings also help. I especially like how Knight brings forward the administrative detail. This day-by-day look really gives one a sense of what it took to both lead and run an army in the Civil War. Congratulations, this is just superb.” — Chris Kolakowski, author of The Virginia Campaigns, March-August 1862

“Charlie Knight’s From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War Day by Day is a pleasure to read, and I learned many things from just perusing it. I think the whole project is brilliant. . . . I got lost in all of the minute details (which I love).” — Michael C. Hardy, award-winning author of General Lee’s Immortals: The Battles and Campaigns of the Branch-Lane Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861–1865


“This is great. The footnotes are very Freeman-esque—packed full of information.” — Robert Orrison, co-author of To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862

Charles Knight is a native of Richmond, Virginia, where he developed a love of history at an early age. He has worked at museums and historic sites for more than two decades, and has given historical presentations to audiences across the country. Charlie, the author of "Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market and the Opening of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, May 1864" (2010), is currently at work on a biography of Confederate general William Mahone. He resides with his wife and children in North Carolina.