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Acting Justly

Notes & Transcripts

In June, 1865, just two months after the Civil War had concluded, General Robert E. Lee attended church at St. Paul's Church in Richmond. The pastor invited the congregation to come to the chancel rail to receive communion. A former slave walked to the chancel rail and knelt to receive communion. A stunned hush fell across the congregation. The pastor seemed flustered, and the would-be communicants were immobilized. But then General Lee quietly stood, walked up to the chancel rail, and knelt beside the former

slave to receive communion.

[Emory M. Thomas, Robert E. Lee. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000, p. 99]

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