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George Washington Custis Lee (September 16, 1832 – February 18, 1913), also known as Custis Lee, was the eldest son of Robert E. Lee and Mary Anna Custis Lee. He served as a Confederate general in the American Civil War, primarily as an aide-de-camp to President Jefferson Davis, and succeeded his father as president of Washington and Lee Universitymarker in Lexington, Virginiamarker.

Early life

Lee was born in Fort Monroe, Virginiamarker. From 1850 to 1854 he attended West Pointmarker, graduating first in his class. His father was the superintendent at the time of his graduation. Custis Lee was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers as his father before him and served until he resigned from the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in the spring of 1861 after Virginiamarker seceded from the Union.

Civil War

During the American Civil War, Custis Lee rose to the rank of major general and spent most of the war as an aide-de-camp to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Shortly before the end of the war, he commanded troops in the field and was captured at Sayler's Creekmarker three days before his father surrendered to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court Housemarker.

Postbellum career

After his father died, Custis Lee successfully sued in a case that went all the way to the United States Supreme Courtmarker to regain title to the family mansion.

Lee served on the faculty of the Virginia Military Institutemarker and upon the death of his father, he served as the ninth president of Washington and Lee Universitymarker, between 1871 and 1897. He died in Alexandria, Virginiamarker, and is buried in the Lee Chapelmarker, near his family members.

See also



  1. Eicher, p. 343.

External links

  • Retrieved on 2009-04-14

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