CHARLESTON AUTUMN - 1861 by Mort Kunstler. In mid-November of 1861, General Robert E. Lee was welcomed to Charleston by the port city's leading citizens. Rank and position - not fame - afforded him Charleston's genteel courtesies. He was not yet the South's most beloved figure; that glory awaited him on countless bloody fields of the future. Such acclaim - and the wartime horrors to come - could hardly be imagined amid sea breezes on a warm autumn night in Charleston.