Karl A. Bickel


The career of General Robert E. Lee is so overwhelmingly associated with the valleys of Virginia and the great and decisive battles of the Civil War that his very real personal interest in Florida and the fact that as one of the commission of United States Army officers in 1849 he made a detailed and personal examination of the entire coast line of Florida from Pensacola to Jacksonville and Fernandina, has been largely obscured. During this tour of inspection as secretary of the commission, he recorded the results of the examination of every bay, river mouth of any importance, or estuary, and with his brother officers reported not only upon the military significance of these but likewise commented upon their present and possible commercial or agricultural future.