“…How Real Soldiers Live”
Jackson and Lee, Moss Neck, December 25, 1862
This painting can be considered a prequel to the painting “Merry Christmas, General Lee” in which General Robert E. Lee is riding away from the famous Corbin family estate of Moss Neck. On Christmas night, as guests arrived for a party at the mansion, Lee was leaving the small office building of the grand estate where he had attended a Christmas dinner at the invitation of Stonewall Jackson.
“I always wanted to do a painting of that dinner, but could not bear to do a totally indoor scene for my annual winter snow print. After years of trying to come up with a composition that would say ‘snow’ and ‘Christmas dinner,’ I finally composed this painting. It was inspired by the single paragraph in Douglas Southall Freeman’s monumental biography of Robert E. Lee.