By Stephen D. Lutz When the Civil War began in April 1861, there was more talk in Richmond, Virginia—certainly among the ladies—about Sydney Smith Lee than about his younger brother. Many, including leading Southern socialite Mary Chesnut, considered Smith, Robert E. Lee’s older brother, to be “the handsomest man in the Confederacy,” and given his illustrious record in the United States Navy prior to the war, great things were expected of him. Indeed, had the war not come about, the e


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