Walter Taylor, Robert E. Lee, and George Washington Custis Lee
Robert E. Lee is flanked by his eldest son, George Washington Custis Lee (left), and his loyal wartime adjutant, 26-year-old Walter H. Taylor (right), in this famous Mathew Brady glass-plate image taken on April 16, 1865, a week after the Confederate general surrendered at Appomattox. The three men are pictured on the back porch of Lee's house at 707 East Franklin Street in Richmond, Virginia.
Taylor, who had developed a close relationship with the Confederate general during the Civil War, wrote several books in the postwar years that were aimed at establishing Lee's military prowess. Drawing upon the authority of his position as an adjutant during the war to bolster his claims, Taylor used official reports and his own recollections to create a picture of a small army struggling mightily against an impossible foe. Taylor argued that Lee had been defeated only by superior numbers and that the general had accomplished great feats in spite of limited resources.