The night before the Battle of Fort Stevens, Gen. Robert E. Lee and I trolled the seafood buffet in a crowded restaurant.
His dark-blue Ford F-150 XLT Triton V8 in the parking lot had his name emblazoned across two quarter-panels and the rear, and his Virginia license plate read "GenR Lee," but nobody inside seemed to recognize him, nor did they particularly notice Gen. Jubal Early or Brig. Gen. Maxcy Gregg, who were with us.
It was a Friday evening. A tour bus was parked outside and all attention was focused on the food, even though we were hip-deep in Confederate generals.
They were dressed in civvies yet given away by their luxuriant facial hair. But this being all-you-can-eat heaven, no one noticed any of the three, not even Phil Carpenter of Chincoteague, an island son with an eerie resemblance to Robert E. Lee.
There are many Robert E. Lees in the re-enactment world, and the resemblance varies.
"I am the same height, same eye color, same hair color," Carpenter said. "I am just about 100 pounds overweight. I need to lose that. And I will."
Not if you keep frequenting seafood buffets, General.