General Lee’s Photographer

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As award-winning popular culture author, scholar, and fellow Virginia native Dr. Marshall Fishwick himself states in his introductory pages, “This book is about a Southerner of the Reconstruction period whose work has been almost completely ignored to date. His name was Michael Miley, and his field was photography. The record of his life and of his work indicates that he deserves a distinctive place for both his scientific contributions and his aesthetic achievements in this field.”

Michael Miley (1841-1918) was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, and while still young moved south onto a farm in Rockbridge County. Following his service in General Thomas J. Jackson’s “Stonewall Brigade” during the war, he began his photographic career. Portraiture would go on to comprise the majority of Michael Miley’s work, with his famous images of Robert E. Lee as popular then as they are now.

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