In this week’s TBR Radio Presents: The Dixie Heritage Hour Dr. Ed calls Margaret Samdahl.
Margaret recently retired from Washington and Lee University where she managed the Lee Chapel and Museum. Additionally, Margaret is the author of the 2018 book My Colt: The Story of Traveller.Margaret’s book is unique because it is a biography, not of General Robert E. Lee, but of his horse.
In addition to discussing the book, Margaret shares several little-known snippets such as how General Lee met and purchased Traveller, how the General and his horse never spent a day apart, how the General’s home was modified after the war so that horse and General could live under the same roof and how Traveller and Lee eventually were buried together at the Lee Chapel Museum that Margaret managed. This interview tells the heartwarming story of a man and his horse. The guest also shares less-often-told stories of General Lee’s postwar career as the president of Washington College.
The interview concludes with a discussion of how Margaret and other long-term Washington and Lee staff may have felt pressured to retire as the university has been separating itself from its Confederate heritage and from the reputation of its namesakes, primarily General Robert E. Lee. For a time, the university even refused to sell Margaret’s book, even though it had been written, edited and illustrated by several of the university’s own faculty and staff members.