Robert E Lee
Robert Edward Lee was born on a farm in Virginia called Stratford Hall to a family that was both affluent and renowned in society at the time. His mother, Anne Hill Carter, was also raised on a plantation. His father, Colonel Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, was a Revolutionary War commander who served three terms as governor of Virginia. Both of his parents were descended from colonists. However, the family fell on hard times due to Lee's father making a series of poor investments, which ultimately resulted in his being sentenced to debtors' jail.
Lee attended the United States Military Academy at West Point despite having very little money available for schooling. In 1829, he was awarded second place in his class, but the following month, he experienced the loss of his mother. Following his graduation, Lee decided to pursue a career in the military and joined the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This decision allowed him to jumpstart his military career almost immediately.
Robert Edward Lee, who later became a Confederate commander and commanded southern troops against the Union Army during the American Civil War, was born on January 19, 1807, in Stratford Hall, located in the northeastern part of the state of Virginia.
The Virginia aristocracy disowned Lee as a member. His ancestors included both a president of the United States and the chief justice of the United States, in addition to many signers. As a cavalry commander during the Revolutionary Combat, his father, Colonel Henry Lee, widely known as "Light-Horse Harry," was acclaimed by General George Washington as a war hero and received accolades from him.
Lee saw his own success as a natural continuation of his family's achievements. He completed his education with excellent grades in guns, infantry, and cavalry and finished in second place in his graduating class. During his four years of academic excellence, he did not get a single failing grade. When he turned 18, he enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he could put his grit, determination, and focused mind to good use.
After receiving his degree from West Point, in 1831, Lee wed Mary Custis, who was the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington (from her first marriage before she met George Washington). They were blessed with seven children as a couple: three boys (Custis, Rooney, and Rob) and four girls (Mary, Annie, Agnes, and Mildred).
While Mary and their children lived on the plantation owned by Mary's father, Lee continued to fulfill his commitments as a military member. His loyalties took him across the United States, from Savannah to St. Louis and finally to New York City.
When America went to War with Mexico in 1846, Robert E. Lee was finally presented with the opportunity he had been hoping for during his whole military career. While working under General Winfield Scott, Lee made a name for himself as a brave battlefield leader and a smart thinker. Following the triumph that the United States had over its rival, Lee was hailed as a national hero at the end of the conflict. Scott heaped special admiration on General Lee and said that if the United States became involved in yet another conflict, the government had to think about purchasing a life insurance policy for the leader, but the life that Lee had to lead away from the battlefield was hard for him to manage. He had difficulty dealing with the routine responsibilities of his job and life.
Management of the Plantation
After his father-in-law passed away, he took over management of the plantation that belonged to his wife's family for some time before returning to his home and family. The estate comprised thousands of acres of land, three major plantations, and the management of almost 200 enslaved persons that G.W.P. Custis had previously held. The will named Lee as the executor of the estate.
The regeneration of the farms that Lee oversaw had a major negative effect on the lives of enslaved families working on the estates. Lee started dividing families, selling and "hiring out" many enslaved individuals to decrease costs and as a way of behavior management. At Arlington, Lee took at least one child away from almost every slave family. By 1860, the number of people who were enslaved at Arlington had dropped from 63 to 38.
The fact that Lee served as the executor of Arlington House was the first time he came into contact with public notice. The will of George Washington Parke Custis was the subject of debate. The will requires that Lee "manumit" (release) all enslaved families within five years. Several enslaved individuals confirmed that Custis had guaranteed them immediate manumission upon his death. The dispute was reignited in 1859 when three enslaved people escaped as a direct result of increased labor requirements imposed by Lee and his unwillingness to give speedy manumission. The three people who were attempting to escape slavery were arrested by Lee and brought back to Arlington House. Some of the enslaved people said that beatings were used as a form of punishment. When abolitionists became more popular, the story got a lot of attention because it showed how cruel enslavers were in the South and how long they kept people as enslaved people.
Leader of Confederate Armies in the American Civil War
General Robert E. Lee commanded Confederate armies throughout American history's deadliest and most destructive conflict. Despite his many successes in combat, he finally admitted defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest generals in global history. He stands among Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, and Frederick the Great. He accomplished more with fewer resources than other generals did in numerous situations.
He was placed on Winfield Scott's staff after the Mexican War started and performed well there. As a direct consequence of Lee's bravery, intelligence, and boldness during the Mexican War, he was regarded as one of the most fearless commanders in the army at that period. Following the conclusion of the War, Lee accepted a post as the superintendent of West Point, a role he held until 1855 when he resigned to accept a cavalry job in Texas. In 1859, he was told to end John Brown's slave revolt at Harpers Ferry, which he did in one hour.
Abraham Lincoln wanted Robert E. Lee to head the Union troops at the start of the Civil War. Still, since Robert E. Lee considered himself a Virginian first and foremost, he refused to do so and resigned from his office. Even though he was a staunch opponent of secession and thought that slavery wasn't wrong, he did not take up weapons against his fellow southerners.
Lee won acclaim for his bravery on the battlefield and, in 1862, was given leadership of the military organization that he would later call the Army of Northern Virginia. He did not join the Confederate forces until his native state of Virginia was attacked by the Northern forces. During the seven-day struggle for Seng, Robert Lee defeated George McClellan outside Richmond. This victory led to the withdrawal of the Union Army from their positions immediately outside of Richmond.
He was significantly outnumbered in the Second Manassas War in 1862 and the War of Chancellorsville in 1863. Still, he could outmaneuver and surprise his opponent, which allowed him to overcome much bigger troops.
However, once the Confederate troops were defeated at the Battle of Antietam and again at Gettysburg in July 1863, the tide began to shift against them. Lee's ability to keep the battle going in the face of such superior soldiers and supplies from the north is a credit to his skill as a commander. In 1865, the odds were too enormous, and supplies were too low for Robert E. Lee to continue fighting, so on April 9, 1865, he surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.
Lee ultimately was elected president of Washington College, now Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia. During this period, he made all efforts possible toward achieving peace and reconciliation between the northern and southern states. On October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia, Robert E. Lee, president of the institution at the time of his death, passed away. Today, Robert E Lee is regarded in the South as a hero, but in the north, he may be remembered as a traitor. He was a man of integrity who fought for a cause he believed in.
Robert E. Lee Day
Although Robert E. Lee's birthday is not recognized as an official holiday in every state, many people honor his life and achievements on either the third Monday of January or January 19. In honor of Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the State of Virginia observes a holiday known as Lee-Jackson Day on Friday before Martin Luther King Day.
The Last Years
September 28, 1870, was the day when Lee had a stroke. He passed just two weeks later, on October 12, 1870, just after 9 a.m., in Lexington, Virginia, as a result of the complications caused by pneumonia.
At first, it was impossible to find a casket that was appropriate for the body. Nobody could enter or leave the town of Lexington because the muddy roads were flooded to such an extent that they were impassable. An undertaker had ordered three coffins to be sent from Richmond to Lexington, and they had made it that far. However, the caskets were lost along the Maury River due to unusual flooding caused by prolonged and persistently heavy rain. Two young boys discovered a casket washed up on the beach. Because it was undamaged, the General's body was placed inside of it, even though it was too short for him. As a direct result of this, Lee was laid to rest barefoot. His body still rests in the tomb under what is now called University Chapel at Washington & Lee University.
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