Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.
Profs and Pints DC presents; “Indicting Robert E. Lee,” with John Reeves, former history instructor at several colleges and author of The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee and A Fire in the Wilderness.
[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]
Many Americans—in both the North and the South—viewed Robert E. Lee favorably up until the recent period of reckoning with our nation’s racist past. What might surprise some, however, is that this positive view of Lee was not a legacy of the Civil War period but the product of a rehabilitation of his image after that time. When the Civil War ended, many American believed he should be hanged for treason and war crimes.
In fact, in June of 1865 Robert E. Lee was indicted for treason by a grand jury in Norfolk, Virginia. The instructions that Judge John C. Underwood had given to grand jurors described the treason as “wholesale murder,” and declared that the instigators of the South’s rebellion had “hands dripping with the blood of slaughtered innocents.”
The actual indictment of Lee went missing for 72 years and somehow we’d seemed to erase this episode from our collective memory. Historian and author John Reeves investigated this forgotten chapter of our nation’s history in depth, however, for his book The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee.
Join Reeves at Washington DC’s Bier Baron Tavern for a provocative talk exploring the forgotten legal and moral case that was made against the Confederate general after the Civil War.
Reeves will explore the many persistent myths relating to Robert E. Lee that the Lost Cause tradition helped entrench. Many Americans, for example, believe that Lee was opposed to slavery and helped heal the nation after the Civil War. A key theme throughout the talk will be Lee’s connection to the institution of slavery.
Reeves also will discuss the perspectives of Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, and President Andrew Johnson on such topics as treason, the treatment of Union prisoners, and the condition of freedmen after the war. His talk is essential viewing not just for history buffs, but for anyone wanting to gain a thorough understanding of our nation’s past. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)