Robert Edward Lee Biography taken from the Confederate Military History, Volume I Robert Edward Lee, general-in-chief of the Confederate States army, is placed by general fame as well as by the cordial suffrage of the South, first among all Southern military chieftains. By official rank he held that position in the Confederate States army, and his right to the primacy there is none to dispute. Considered as a true type of the American developed through the processes by which well-sustained free government proves and produces a high order of manly character, he fully and justly gained the distinguished esteem with which all America claims him as her own. Unaware he was of his own distinction.
See Article History Alternative Title: Robert Edward Lee Robert E. In February he was given command of all the Southern armies. Heritage and youth Robert Edward Lee was the fourth child of Col. On both sides, his family had produced many of the dominant figures in the ruling class of Virginia.
Henry had been a cavalry leader during the American Revolutiona post-Revolution governor of Virginia, and the author of the famous congressional memorial eulogy to his friend, George Washington. With all his aristocratic connections, Robert lacked the advantages of wealth. His father had no aptitude for finance and, dying when Robert was a child, left in straitened circumstances an ailing widow with seven children.
Robert, the youngest boy, was the closest of the children to his mother and was deeply influenced by her strength of character and high moral principles. All reports of his childhood and youth stress that the pinched gentility of his formative years, in such marked contrast to the life on the great plantations of his kinspeople, was a strong influence goading him to excel at whatever task he was assigned.
Unable to afford a university education, Lee obtained an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Pointwhere his high aspirations and native gifts produced what a fellow cadet and future Confederate general, Joseph Johnstoncalled his natural superiority.
Always near the top of his class, he won the appointment to corps adjutant, the highest rank a cadet could attain, and was graduated second in his class in Not until the Mexican-American War —48when he was a captain on the staff of Gen.
Although Lee put down the insurgency in less than an hour, the very fact that it was led by a white man made him aware of the gathering crisis between the North and the South. Lee was back at his command in Texas when, on February 1,Texas became the seventh Southern state to secede, and, with the rest of the U.
Army forces, he was ordered out of the state. Without a command, he returned to Arlington to wait to see what Virginia would do. On April 18 he was called to Washington and was offered command of a new army being formed to force the seceded states back into the Union.
Abraham Lincoln called on Virginia to furnish troops for the invasion. A Virginia convention, which had previously voted 2 to 1 against secession, now voted 2 to 1 against furnishing troops for an invasion and to secede, and Lee resigned from the army in which he had served for 36 years.
He explained his decision in a letter to his sister Anne Marshall: Now we are in a state of war, which will yield to nothing. The whole South is in a state of revolution…and though I recognize no necessity for this state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end for redress of grievances, real or supposed…I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native state.
With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and, save in defense of my native state, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.
The attempt at a quick suppression of the Southern states was over and, as Lee was one of the first to realize, a long all-out war began.
Between July and JuneConfederate Pres. Jefferson Davis appointed Lee to several unrewarding positions, the last of which was the trying post of military adviser to the president. During MayGeneral Johnston was leading a heterogeneous collection of Confederate troops back toward RichmondVirginia, from the east, before the methodical advance of Union Gen.
The battle became a turning point for Lee: Johnston was seriously wounded, and Lee was at last given field command. In three weeks he organized Confederate troops into what became the famed Army of Northern Virginia ; he tightened command and disciplineimproved morale, and convinced the soldiers that headquarters was in full command.
McClellan, waiting vainly for McDowell to join the wing of his army on the north side of the Chickahominy River, was moving heavy siege artillery from the east for the subjugation of Richmond when Lee struck. Combining with Jackson, who moved in from the valley, Lee defeated Gen.
Until the spring ofhe was successful in keeping the enemy away from Richmond and from the northern part of the state, twice expelling the enemy out of Virginia altogether. He inflicted several severe defeats on the enemy, most strikingly at the Second Battle of Bull Run Second ManassasAugust 29—30, To shift the fighting out of Virginia, Lee crossed into Marylandwhere he hoped for support from Southern sympathizers.
But his plans fell into Northern hands, and his forces were nearly destroyed at Antietam Sharpsburg on September 17, The Life of Robert E.
Lee Robert Edward Lee was born on January 19th, in Stratford, Virginia. Robert's father was thrown in debtors jail many times for not paying on time. He was introduced to war early in his life; his brother Sydney had shown him a cannon ball and told him about the revolution. If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade.
Robert Edward Lee (January 19, – October 12, ) was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from until his surrender in News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.
Watch video · Robert E. Lee Biography General (–) Robert E. Lee was the leading Confederate general during the U.S. Civil War and has been venerated as a . Oct 29, · Watch video · Robert E.
Lee () served as a military officer in the U.S. Army, a West Point commandant and the legendary general of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (). In June.