Posted by: Ron DuBour | March 20, 2012

American Heroes~ ROBERT EDWARD LEE (1807-1870) ~by rldubour


ROBERT EDWARD LEE (1807-1870)

Born at Stratford Hall Plantation
The fifth child of Henry Lee.
Mothers name was Anne Hill Carter
Robert E. will make history.

His father was a war hero
Lighthorse Harry was his nickname.
In the Revolutionary War
Like his Dad he would do the same.

Robert was only eleven
When his father passed away.
And left the family deep in debt
To their creditors they were prey.

They lost their home and had to go,
Moved from one house to another.
All were in Alexandria, they
Kept their pride instilled by mother.

Lee considered a top student at
Alexandria Academy.
He had studied Greek and Latin,
Algebra and geometry.

In eighteen-hundred-twenty-five
In the Military Academy.
Graduated in twenty-nine
Was honored academically.

First assigned to Fort Pulaski
And then transferred to Fort Monroe.
To build this fort on man made island
Robert E. Lee played a major role.

Mary Anna Randolph Custis.
While at Fort Monroe he married.
They would have seven children
All had lived but one, they buried.

He was instrumental in the
Mexican-American war.
Fought in several major battles
For Lee there would be many more.

When John Brown seized Harper’s Ferry
Lee was sent to suppress the band.
When Brown refused to surrender
Took Lee three minutes to end the stand.

Lee resigned the U.S. Army
And now would face a Civil War.
When Virginia did secede
The Confederacy Lee fought for.

At the Battle of Gettysburg
He was defeated by George Meade.
Then in Richmond by General Grant
Ending the Confederacy.

Lee was revered among the south
As a Confederate hero.
Even more after his surrender
For Virginia his heart did show.

AUTHOR NOTES*

 


(January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870)
He entered the United States Military Academy in 1825. When he graduated in 1829, second in his class of 46, not only had he attained the top academic record, but he had no demerits. He was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. Lee served for just over seventeen months at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island, Georgia. In 1831, he was transferred to Fort Monroe at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula and played a major role in the final construction of Fort Monroe and its opposite, Fort Calhoun. Fort Monroe was completely surrounded by a moat. Fort Calhoun, later renamed Fort Wool, was built on a man-made island across the navigational channel from Old Point Comfort in the middle of the mouth of Hampton Roads. When construction was completed in 1834, Fort Monroe was referred to as the “Gibraltar of Chesapeake Bay.” While he was stationed at Fort Monroe, he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis (1808-1873), the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, at Arlington House, her parents’ home just across from Washington, D.C. They eventually had seven children, three boys and four girls: George Washington Custis, William H. Fitzhugh, Robert Edward, Mary, Annie, Agnes, and Mildred. All the children survived him except for Annie, who died in 1862. Lee privately ridiculed the Confederacy in letters in early 1861, denouncing secession as “revolution” and a betrayal of the efforts of the Founders. The commanding general of the Union army, Winfield Scott, told Lincoln he wanted Lee for a top command. Lee said he was willing as long as Virginia remained in the Union. Lee was asked by one of his lieutenants if he intended to fight for the Confederacy or the Union, to which he replied, “I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty.” After Ft. Sumter fell on April 14 it was obvious that Virginia would quickly secede and so Lee turned down the 
offer on April 18, resigned from the U.S. Army on April 20, and took up command of the Virginia state forces on April 23. Following his defeat at Gettysburg, Lee sent a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis on August 8, 1863, but Davis refused Lee’s request. There was no more major fighting for Lee until spring 1864. As the Confederate army was decimated by casualties, disease and desertion, the Union attack on Petersburg succeeded on April 2, 1865. Lee abandoned Richmond and retreated west. His forces were surrounded and he surrendered them to Grant on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Other Confederate armies followed suit and the war ended. On Wednesday, September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke that made speech impossible. Lee died from the effects of pneumonia, a little after 9 a.m., October 12, 1870, two weeks after the stroke, in Lexington, Virginia. He was buried underneath Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, where his body remains today. 


Responses

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