January 19, 1807-Born
1818-Henry Lee "Light Horde Harry" died.
1825-Admitted to West Point
1829-Graduated (with honors)
1831-Married Mary Ann Randolph Cutis
1829 - Corp of Engineers
1838-Promoted to captain in the Mexican War
1852-1855 -Superintendent at West Point
1855- promoted to lieutenant colonel of the Second Cavalry
1859 -Suppressed the Raid by John Brown on Harpers Ferry
1861-Sent to Set up Atlantic Defenses
1862-Appointed advisor to Jefferson Davis.
May 1862- Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia
Sept. 1862- Defeated the Union at Anteitem
December 1862-Defeated the Union at Fredericksburg
May 1863- Won at Chancellorsville
July 1863- Defeated at Gettysburg
April 9th 1865-Surrendered at Appomatox Court House
October 12, 1870 Robert E. Lee passed away.
All About Lee.
Robert Edward Lee, son of Henry lee was born on January 19, 1807. His
father had been a Cavalry Officer during the American Revolution, and had
been a close friend of George Washington. Most of the family's money had
been gambled away by his father, who died in 1818. Lee lived his youth
in Alexandria Virginia. He was appointed to West point in 1825 were he
exceeded in his scholastics and graduated with honors in 1829. After graduation,
he joined the Corps of Engineers, and assisted in a variety of projects
and construction of military bases and ports. Martha Washington's great
granddaughter, Mary Ann Randolph Curtis married Lee in 1831. In 1838, Lee
was finally promoted to captain in 1838 during the Mexican War. Lee gained
a reputation during the battles of Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, and Chapultepec
during the Mexican War. in 1852 he was a superintendent at West point,
where he remained for 3 years until 1855 ,when he was made lieutenant colonel
of the Second Cavalry. Lee was in charge of the force that suppressed John
Brown at Harpers Ferry.
Robert E. Lee feeling that his loyalty belonged more to the state than
the Union (STATES RIGHTS). He declined an offer the lead a union army,
and joined up with the south, offering his services to Virginia in the
April of 1861. Jefferson Davis appointed Robert a General in the Confederate
Army. While a general, he failed to stop the invasion of Virginia, and
was put in charge of Coastal Defenses, after which he became an advisor
to Jefferson Davis. During May of 1862, Joseph E. Johnston was wounded
during the Peninsular Campaign. and Lee was thrust into the command of
the Confederate's strongest army, which he renamed the Army of Northern
Lee then won a number of victories in the following months. In June
of '62, Lee drove the Union army away from the Richmond area in the Seven
Days' Battle. Lee then drove the northern army back into Washington D.C.
after the second Battle of Bull Run.
Antietam soon followed on September 17, 1862, where he won a costly battle
with northern general McClellan. Soon after,
Lee began his with drawl through Virginia, where again he won a costly battle
on the Union at Fredericksburg
In May of 1863, Lee staged a brilliant but costly victory over the
Union at Chancellorsville, Where he lost one of his most useful and bold
commanders, Lieutenant Stonewall Jackson. During
this battle Lee split his force into three parts to confuse and defeat
a much larger union force, which he did successfully, but casualties were
as severe on his own forces as they were to the northern forces.
Lee, although hindered by the lose of his most successful Lieutenant
Jackson, began his second invasive maneuvers in the summer of 1863. That
summer, he led his forces to Gettysburg Pennsylvania, where he engaged
the north in the largest Battle of the war, and the turning point of the
war. After this battle, he was forced back into Virginia in a series of
bloody skirmishes. He was hindered by the lose of a number of his leading
officers, such as James Longstreet, and J.E.B.
Stuart. Although weakened, he brilliantly held off Grant, and inflicted
heavy loses on the Northerners. Although brilliantly maneuvering, he was
unable to seize the initiative and take the offensive. Lee was forced to
retreat into Richmond and Petersburg. In April of 1865, Grant broke through
Southern lines, and Lee attempted to retreat to Confederate Forces in North
Carolina, but was trapped by Grant at Appomatox Court House. On April 9th,
1865 Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant,
and the Symbol of the South and the General in Chief was no longer.
Letters by Lee:
His Excellency Jefferson Davis Hdqrs E. N. V. near Hagerstown, Md,
July 5, 1863.
My letter of yesterday should have informed you of the position of
this army. Though reduced in numbers by the hardships and battles through
which it has passed since leaving the Rappahannock its condition is good
and its confidence unimpaired. When crossing the Potomac into Maryland,
I had calculated upon the river remaining fordable during the summer, so
as to enable me to recross at my pleasure, but a series of storms commencing
the day after our entrance into Maryland has placed the river beyond fording
stage and the present storms will keep it so for at least a week. I shall
therefore have to accept battle if the enemy offers it, whether I wish
to or not, and as the result is in the hands of the Sovereign Ruler of
the universe and known to him only, I deem it prudent to make every arrangement
in our power to meet any emergency that may arrive.
From information gathered from the papers I believe that the troops
from the North Carolina and the coast of Virginia, under Generals Foster
and Day have been ordered to the Potomac and that recently additional reinforcements
have been sent from the coast of South Carolina to General Banks. If I
am correct in my opinion this will liberate most of the troops in those
regions and should not your Excellency have already done so I earnestly
recommend that all that can be spared be concentrated on the upper Rappahannock
under General Beauregard with directions to cross the river and make demonstration
upon Washington. This course will answer the double purpose of affording
protection to the capital at Richmond and relieving the pressure upon this
army. I hope your Excellency will understand that I am not in the least
discouraged or that my faith in the protection of an All merciful Providence,
or in the fortitude of this army is at all shaken. But though conscious
that the enemy has been much shattered in the recent battle I am aware
that he can be
easily reinforced while no addition can be made to our numbers. The
measure therefore that I have recommended is altogether one of a prudential
I am most respectfully your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee, General
Farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia:
written the day after the surrender to Grant.
by Robert E. Lee
After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage
and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield
to overwhelming numbers and resources.
I need not tell the survivors of so many hard-fought battles who have
remained steadfast to the last that I have consented to this result from
no distrust of them; but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish
nothing that could compensate for the loss that would have attended the
continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice
of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. By
the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes
and remain until exchanged.
You may take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness
of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God
will extend to you his blessing and protection.
With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your
country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration
of myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.