Robert Edward Lee was born in Stradford in January 19, 1807. His
father was Light Horse Henry. He had three brothers and two sisters, yet he
was the youngest. His family was also was very rich.
Robert E. Lee went to United States Military Academy. He spent much
of his time in his library. His classmates admired him because of his leadership
and devotion. He graduated in 1829. He had a high honor at West Point, he
even became a superintendent at West Point. He improved the buildings and
Robert married Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee. His children’s names
are Major General Custis Lee, W.H.F. Lee, Captain Robert E. Lee Jr., Mary
Lee, Mildred Lee was the youngest, and Agnes Lee. Robert E. Lee married
two years after he graduated in 1829 and married in 1831. Mary is George
Lee was away so much of the time they almost never got to see each
other. They had to write letters to keep in touch. Lee mostly traveled alone.
Mary inherited many slaves and they stayed with her while she was alone.
After the war Lee went home and nursed his sick wife. Mary had arthritis and
was put in a wheelchair.
Lee was a very brave, honest, and smart man. He was a soldier, yet a
nurturer. Lee wouldn’t allow anything said bad about Grant.
War broke out on the border of Texas between United States and
Mexico. The Generals were impressed with Lee’s supervised buildings of
bridges. In 1855 Lee became a lieutenant cournal of the calvary and was
assigned Texas frontier. He protected settlers from attacks from the Apache
and Comanche Indians.
Lee hated slavery like the North, but he lived in the South. The South
hated Lincoln and the North and the South started to separate. Abraham
Lincoln asked Lee if he wanted to be a general for the North, but Lee said
?No.? He wanted to stay in his home state, Virginia. Lee was the first military
advisor to President Jefferson Davis. On May 1861 Lee became a General.
He helped draw plans for the Confederate forces in Virginia.
In the Spring of 1864 Lee first met Grant in battle. There was a series
of bloody battles called the Wilderness campaign. Grant destroy the
Confederates with large forces and guns. Finally in 1865 Lee became general
and chief of all Confederate forces. After General Johnston was
wounded, Lee became a General. Lee helped plan many battles such as when
they fought General Burnside.
Richmond fell in April 1865,Lee’s army retreated west ward. The
north surrounded the Confederates. Lee surrendered on April 9th, 1865.
Grant tried to make the surrender easy. Grant allowed the Confederate soldiers
to take their horses home for spring plowing. Lee said, ?It is well that war is so
terrible or we would grow to fond of it. Lee made his last ride down enemy
lines on his horse Traveler. Lee won but he also lost. Lee lost because he lost
the war, but he won because the war was over.
Lee became a private citizen for first time in forty years. He could have
been rich, but he came president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia.
This school was named Washington and Lee University. Lee urged students
and friends to keep the peace and to accept the outcome of the war. His
attitude was extremely important a time when bitterness and hatred swept
across the North and the South.
In Lee’s home in Lexington Virginia on October 12, 1870. He died
from an illness. Some people felt his death as a personal loss. He is buried in
the chapel he built on campus in Lexington, along with other members of his
family. They call this chapel ?The Shrine of the South.? It is visited by
thousands of people. Lee’s home is preserved in Arlington National Cemetery.
Lee’s is a legal holiday in most of the southern states near Washington D.C.
January 19. Lee’s tombstone is called Valentine statue.