19 January 2013

Happy Birthday General Lee


The following is taken from Stratford Hall's Website:

Robert E. Lee’s birthday may not be an official public holiday in other states, but there are many people who remember his life and achievements on either the third Monday of January or on January 19, which is his actual birthday. Lee-Jackson Day is a state holiday in Virginia on the Friday before Martin Luther King Day to honor both Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Robert E. Lee is also remembered as part of Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Heroes Day, which falls in different times of the year, depending on the states.

Robert E. Lee was a commander of the Confederate army during the American Civil War (1861–1865). He was born at Stratford, Virginia, on January 19, 1807. His father, known as “Light Horse Harry" Lee, was a Revolutionary War hero. Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point, earning no demerits for discipline infractions during his years there.

Robert E. Lee’s first military action after graduation from West Point was in 1845, in the war with Mexico. He met and worked with later key players in the Civil War, including James Longstreet, Ulysses S. Grant, George Pickett and Thomas J. Jackson. Lee worked as an army engineer prior to the Civil War. He helped build the waterfront in St Louis and coastal forts in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia. He was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1852 and is considered one of the best superintendents in the institution's history. Abraham Lincoln offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but Lee refused. He would not raise arms against his native state, Virginia. Lee resigned his commission and headed home to Virginia. Lee served as adviser to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, and then commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. After four years of grueling warfare, Robert E. Lee met Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, where both generals ended their battles. Lee surrendered his army and told his comrades, “Go home and be good Americans.”

Lee was appointed President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, in 1865. The school was later renamed to include his name in honor of his leadership there. Lee died at Washington College on October 12, 1870, and was buried in a chapel on the school grounds.

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