Freeman, Douglas Southall

Freeman, Douglas Southall sŭᵺˈôl, –əl [key], 1886–1953, American editor and historian, b. Lynchburg, Va. He was editor of the Richmond News Leader from 1915 to 1949, when he retired to devote most of his time to historical writing. An authority on military strategy and on the military history of the Civil War, Freeman wrote R. E. Lee (4 vol., 1934–35), which won the 1935 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942–44). He edited A Calendar of Confederate Papers (1908) and also wrote Virginia, a Gentle Dominion (1924), The South to Posterity (1939), and John Stewart Bryan (1947). His biography of George Washington (7 vol., 1949–57), the last volume of which was written by his assistants John Alexander Carroll and Mary Wells, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1958. In 2021, a research team led by Lauranett Lee at the University of Richmond produced a study on Freeman's life, work, and legacy. The report claimed that Freeman's prominent and publicized views were based on white supremacist beliefs that led him to venerate the Confederacy, promote eugenics, and support segregation.

See A. Fahs and J. Waugh , eds., The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture (2004); K. D. Dickson, Sustaining Southern Identity: Douglas Southall Freeman and Memory in the Modern South (2011).

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