Robert Edward Lee
(January 19, 1807 â€“ October 12,
1870) was a career United States
, an engineer
, and among the most celebrated generals
in American history. Lee
was the son of Major
General Henry Lee III
Harry" (1756â€“1818), Governor of
, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter (1773â€“1829). He
was also related to Meriwether
graduate of West Point, Lee distinguished himself as an exceptional
soldier in the U.S.
for thirty-two years. He is
best known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
American Civil War
In early 1861, President Abraham
invited Lee to take command of the entire Union Army.
Lee declined because his home state of Virginia was seceding from
the Union, despite Lee's wishes. When Virginia seceded from the
in April 1861, Lee
chose to follow his home state. Lee's eventual role in the newly
established Confederacy was to serve as a senior military adviser
. Lee's first field
command for the Confederate States came in June 1862 when he took
command of the Confederate forces in the East (which Lee himself
renamed the "Army of Northern
greatest victories were the Seven
Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the Battle of Cold Harbor but both of his campaigns to invade the North ended
in failure. Barely escaping defeat at the Battle of
Antietam in 1862, Lee was forced to return to the
South. In early July 1863, Lee was decisively
defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
However, due to ineffectual pursuit by the
commander of Union forces, Major General George Meade
, Lee escaped again to
In the spring of 1864, the new Union commander, Lieutenant General
Ulysses S. Grant
, began a series of campaigns to wear
down Lee's army. In the Overland
Campaign of 1864 and the Siege of Petersburg in 1864â€“1865, Lee inflicted heavy casualties on
Grant's larger army, but was unable to replace his own
losses. In early April 1865, Lee's depleted forces
were turned from their entrenchments near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, and he began a strategic retreat.
subsequent surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865 represented the loss of only one
of the remaining Confederate field armies, but it was a
psychological blow from which the South could not recover.
By June 1865, all of the remaining Confederate armies had
Lee's victories against superior forces won him enduring fame as a
crafty and daring battlefield tactician
, but some of his strategic
decisions, such as invading the
North in 1862 and 1863, have been criticized by many military
In the final months of the Civil War, as manpower reserves drained
away, Lee adopted a plan to arm slaves
to fight on behalf of
the Confederacy, but this came too late to change the outcome of
the war. After Appomattox, Lee discouraged Southern dissenters from
starting a guerrilla campaign to continue the war, and encouraged
reconciliation between the North and the South.
After the war, as a college President, Lee supported President
's program of Reconstruction
inter-sectional friendship, while opposing the Radical Republican
proposals to give
freed slaves the vote and take the vote away from ex-Confederates.
He urged them to re-think their position between the North and the
South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the
nation's political life. Lee became the great Southern hero of the
war, and his popularity grew in the North as well after his death
in 1870. He remains an iconic figure of American military
Early life and career
Robert E. Lee was born January 19, 1807 at Stratford Hall
Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the fifth child of Revolutionary War hero Henry Lee ("Light Horse Harry") and Anne Hill
(nĂ©e Carter) Lee.
Lee's parents were members of the Virginia
class. Lee's paternal ancestors were
among the earliest settlers in Virginia
grew up at Shirley
Plantation, one of the most elegant homes in Virginia.
maternal great-great-grandfather, Robert "King"
Carter of Corotoman, was the wealthiest man in the colonies when he died in 1732.
"Harry Lee" met severe financial reverses from failed investments.
Historian Gary W. Gallagher wrote, "Harry Lee had not been able to
exercise self-control or take care of his family, and so he
abandoned them." That was a stark lesson for young Robert E. Lee."
in Lee of Virginia it is noted that Harry Lee "was very
seriously injured by a mob in Baltimore while attempting to defend the house of a
friend. Later he made a voyage to the West Indies seeking restoration for his shattered
On his way home ... he died..." Lee of
also notes "...in the West Indies, Henry Lee wrote a
series of letters to his son, Carter..."During his young life,.
later described by Robert E. Lee as "'Those letters of love and
Lee's father died when Lee was eleven years old, leaving the family
deeply in debt. When Lee was three years old, his older
half-brother, the heir to the Stratford Hall Plantation, having
reached his majority, established Stratford as his home.
of the family moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where Lee grew up in a series of relatives'
Lee attended Alexandria Academy, where he studied
Greek, Latin, Algebra, and Geometry. Lee was considered a top
student and excelled at mathematics. His mother, a devout
Christian, oversaw his religious instruction at Christ Episcopal
Church in Alexandria.
entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and became the first cadet to achieve the
rank of sergeant at the end of his first year.
graduated in 1829 he was at the head of his class in artillery and
tactics, and shared the distinction with five other cadets of
having received no demerits during the four-year course of
instruction. Overall, he ranked second
in his class of 46. He was
commissioned as a brevet
lieutenant in the Corps of
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.
was completely surrounded by a moat
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
While he was stationed at Fort Monroe, he
served as an assistant in the chief engineer's office in Washington,
D.C. from 1834 to 1837, but spent the summer of 1835
helping to lay out the state line between Ohio and Michigan. As a first lieutenant of engineers
in 1837, he supervised the engineering work for St.
Louis harbor and for the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Among his projects was blasting a channel
through the Des Moines
Rapids on the Mississippi by Keokuk, Iowa, where the Mississippi's mean depth of was the
upper limit of steamboat traffic on the river.
there earned him a promotion to captain
. Circa 1842, Captain Robert E.
Lee arrived as Fort Hamilton
Marriage and family
While he was stationed at Fort Monroe, he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis
great-granddaughter of Martha
by her first husband Daniel Parke Custis
step-great-granddaughter of George
, the first president of the United States. Mary was
the only surviving child of George Washington Parke
, George Washington's stepgrandson, and Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis
of William Fitzhugh
Randolph. They were married on June 30, 1831 at
Arlington House, her parents' house just across from Washington,
The 3rd U.S. Artillery served as honor guard at the
marriage. They eventually had seven children, three boys and four
- George Washington
Custis Lee (Custis, "Boo"); 1832â€“1913; served as Major General
in the Confederate Army and aide-de-camp to President Jefferson
- Mary Custis Lee (Mary, "Daughter"); 1835â€“1918; unmarried
- William Henry Fitzhugh
Lee ("Rooney"); 1837â€“1891; served as Major General in the
Confederate Army (cavalry); married twice; surviving children by
- Anne Carter Lee (Annie); June 18, 1839 â€“ October 20, 1862; died
of typhoid fever, unmarried
- Eleanor Agnes Lee (Agnes); 1841 â€“ October 15, 1873; died of
- Robert Edward Lee, Jr.
(Rob); 1843â€“1914; served as Captain in the Confederate Army
(Rockbridge Artillery); married twice; surviving children by second
- Mildred Childe Lee (Milly, "Precious Life"); 1846â€“1905;
All the children survived him except for Annie, who died in 1862.
all buried with their parents in the crypt of the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
Lee is also related
to Helen Keller
, through Helen's
Mexican-American War, West Point, and Texas
Lee distinguished himself in the Mexicanâ€“American War
(1846â€“1848). He was one of Winfield Scott's chief aides in the march
from Veracruz to Mexico
City. He was instrumental in several American
victories through his personal reconnaissance as a staff officer;
he found routes of attack that the Mexicans had not defended because they thought the terrain
He was promoted to brevet
after the Battle of Cerro
on April 18, 1847. He also fought at Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec, and was wounded at the last.
By the end of
the war, he had received additional brevet promotions to Lieutenant
Colonel and Colonel, but his permanent rank was still Captain of
Engineers and he would remain a Captain until his transfer to the
For the first time Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant
met and worked with each other during
the Mexican-American War. Both Lee and Grant participated in the
Scott's march from the coastal town of Vera Cruz to Mexico City.
Grant gained wartime experience as a quartermaster
, Lee as an engineer who
. Both did their share of actual
fighting. At Vera Cruz, Lee earned a commendation
for "greatly distinguished"
service. Grant was among the leaders at the bloody assault at
Molino del Rey
, and both soldiers
were among the forces that entered Mexico City. Close observations
of their commanders constituted a learning process for both Lee and
Grant. The Mexican-American War concluded on February 2,
Robert Edward Lee, as a U.S.
Mexican War, he spent three years at Fort Carroll in Baltimore harbor.
Army Colonel before the Civil War
During this time his service was
interrupted by other duties, among them surveying/updating maps in
Florida, an offer from Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to lead an
attack on Cuba (Lee declined), and a brief military assignment out
September 1852, Lee became the superintendent of West
During his three years at West Point,
Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee improved the buildings and courses,
and spent a lot of time with the cadets. Lee's oldest son, George Washington Custis Lee
attended West Point during his tenure. Custis Lee graduated in
1854, first in his class.
In 1855, Lee's tour of duty at West Point ended and he was
appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the newly formed 2nd U.S. Cavalry
regiment. It was Lee's first substantive promotion in the Army
since his promotion to Captain in 1838, despite having been
brevetted a Colonel, which was an honorary promotion. By accepting
promotion, Lee left the Corps of Engineers where he had served for
over 25 years. The Colonelcy of the regiment was given to Albert Sidney Johnston
, who had
previously served as a Major in the Paymaster Department, and the
regiment was assigned to Camp Cooper, Texas. There he helped
protect settlers from attacks by the Apache
and the Comanche
These were not happy years for Lee, as he did not like to be away
from his family for long periods of time, especially as his wife
was becoming increasingly ill. Lee came home to see her as often as
he could. Robert's wife was treated by homeopath
Executor of Custis will
In 1802, the first slaves to inhabit Arlington arrived at the
estate with their owner, George Washington Parke
. The grandson of Martha Washington and adopted grandson of
George Washington, Custis had
grown up at Mount
Vernon, as had many of his slaves.
Washington's death, Custis inherited her slaves and purchased
others who belonged to his mother, Eleanor Custis Stuart. In all,
Custis owned 196 slaves and as many as 63 lived and worked at
Arlington. Some of these slaves enjoyed relatively more freedom
then other slaves at Arlington. Some of these slaves had close or
personal relationships with their owners.
member of the Virginia aristocracy, Lee lived in close contact with
slavery before he
joined the Army and held variously around a half-dozen slaves under
his own name.
When George Washington Parke
died in October 1857, Robert E. Lee â€”one of four
of the Custis estateâ€”determined
that the slave labor was necessary to improve Arlington's financial
status. The will provided for the slaves to be emancipated "in such
a manner as to my executors may seem most expedient and proper",
providing a maximum of five years for the legal and logistical
details of manumission. Lee found himself in need of funds to pay
his father-in-law's debts and repair the properties he had
inherited. Custis' will stipulated that all the Arlington slaves
should be freed upon his death with any debts and legacies paid for
all within a five year period. The Arlington slaves found Lee to be
a stringent executor of Custis' will. Rather than emancipation, Lee
decided to make money by taking control of the slaves, working them
on the plantation, and hiring them out to neighboring plantations
and to eastern Virginia.
Lee tried to hire an overseer to handle the plantation in his
absence, writing to his cousin, "I wish to get an energetic honest
farmer, who while he will be considerate & kind to the negroes,
will be firm & make them do their duty." Lee failed to find a
man for the job, and had to take a two-year leave of absence from
the army in order to run the plantation himself. He found the
experience frustrating and difficult; some of the slaves were
unhappy and demanded their freedom. Many of them had been given to
understand that they were to be made free as soon as Custis died.
In May 1858, Lee wrote to his son Rooney, "I have had some trouble
with some of the people. Reuben, Parks & Edward, in the
beginning of the previous week, rebelled against my
authority--refused to obey my orders, & said they were as free
as I was, etc., etc.--I succeeded in capturing them & lodging
them in jail. They resisted till overpowered & called upon the
other people to rescue them." Less than two months after they were sent to
the Alexandria jail, Lee decided to remove these three men and
three female house slaves from Arlington, and sent them under lock
and key to the slave-trader William Overton Winston in Richmond, who was instructed to keep them in jail until he
could find "good & responsible" slaveholders to work them until
the end of the five year period.
three of the Arlington slavesâ€”Wesley Norris, his sister Mary, and a
cousin of theirsâ€”fled for the North, but were captured a few miles
from the Pennsylvania border and forced to return to Arlington.
June 24, 1859, the New York Daily
published two anonymous letters (dated June 19,
1859 and June 21, 1859), each of which claimed to have heard that
Lee had the Norrises whipped, and went so far as to claim that Lee
himself had whipped the woman when the overseer refused to. Lee
wrote to his son Custis that "The N. Y. Tribune has attacked me for
my treatment of your grandfather's slaves, but I shall not reply.
He has left me an unpleasant legacy." Biographers of Lee have
differed over the credibility of the Tribune
Douglas S. Freeman
, in his 1934 biography of Lee,
described the letters to the Tribune
as "Lee's first
experience with the extravagance of irresponsible antislavery
agitators" and asserted that "There is no evidence, direct or
indirect, that Lee ever had them or any other Negroes flogged. The
usage at Arlington and elsewhere in Virginia among people of Lee's
station forbade such a thing." Michael Fellman, in The Making of Robert E.
found the claims that Lee had personally whipped Mary Norris
"extremely unlikely", but not at all unlikely that Lee had had the
slaves whipped: "corporal punishment (for which Lee substituted the
euphemism 'firmness') was (believed to be) an intrinsic and
necessary part of slave discipline. Although it was supposed to be
applied only in a calm and rational manner, overtly physical
domination of slaves, unchecked by law, was always brutal and
Wesley Norris' testimony
There was, however, direct testimony given by Wesley Norris that
the whipping and brining occurred. Wesley Norris himself discussed
the incident after the war, in an 1866 interview printed in the
. Norris stated that after they had been captured,
and forced to return to Arlington, Lee told them that "he would
teach us a lesson we would not soon forget." According to Norris'
testimony, Lee then had the three of them firmly tied to posts by
Mr. Gwin, the overseer, and ordered them whipped with fifty lashes
for the men and twenty for Mary Norris, Wesley Norris' sister.
According to Norris, Lee encouraged the whipping, but did not
personally inflict the whipping on any of the slaves, male or
female. The overseer, Mr. Gwin, had refused to do the whipping. Lee
then called in the county constable
Williams, who did the actual whipping. Norris claimed that Lee then
had the overseer, Mr. Gwin, rub their lacerated backs with brine
(this was a common, if cruel, way to prevent
infection from the lacerations). Norris even claimed there were
dozens of witnesses to the whipping and brining event.
Norris brothers were then sent by Lee's agent to work on the
railroads in Richmond and Alabama.
Wesley Norris gained his freedom in January
1863 by slipping through the Confederate lines near Richmond to
Union-controlled territory. Lee freed all the other Custis slaves
after the end of the five year period in the winter of 1862, filing
the deed of manumission on December 29, 1862.
Robert E. Lee was late in emancipating the Custis slaves, even by
the technicalities of the will. George Washington Parke
's will legally required Lee to emancipate the slaves
that passed into his control within five years of Custis' death.
Custis died October 10, 1857 and his will was probated December 7,
kept the slaves over the five year limit and finally filed
the deed of manumission with Court of
the City of Richmond,
Virginia on December 29, 1862â€”five years, two months, and
nineteen days after Custis' death.
The text of the Custis'
will is as follows:
Lee used the 5 year limit as qualification to run a slave
plantation rather than to set the slaves free. The matter of the
five years was supposed to be time for Custis' executors
to do the legal paperwork for
emancipation "in such manner as to my executors may seem most
expedient and proper
". There is good reason
to read the clause as intending for the five years to serve as an
upper bound on settling the legal details, not as five more years
for driving the slaves for whatever last bits of forced labor could
be gotten. Rather than just trying to settle the debts, pay for
legacies, and then emancipate the slaves, Lee set the slaves as
forced labor for his own profit during the 5 year period allotted
for the will. No ownership was given to Lee or any other executors
of the slaves for hiring out slaves to other slave owners.
According to Norris' 1866 testimony Lee had told the slaves they
"must remain slaves for 5 years". There was no requirement the
slaves remain in slavery for 5 years in the Custis will.
it should be noted that the Battle of Cheat Mountain, also known as the Battle of Cheat Summit
Fort, took place September 12-15,
1861, in Pocahontas County and Randolph County, Virginia (now West Virginia) as part of the Operations in Western Virginia
Campaign during the American Civil
Lee directed his first offensive of the war. This would have
allowed Lee about 25 days to emancipate the Custis slaves after the
battle to be within the 5 year limit of the Custis will. Lee's
responsibilities as an officer in the Confederate Army
may have delayed the
Lee's views on slavery
Since the end of the Civil War, it has often been suggested that
Lee was in some sense opposed to slavery. In the period following
the Civil War and Reconstruction
after his death, Lee became a central figure in the Lost Cause
the war, and as succeeding generations came to look on slavery as a
terrible immorality, the idea that Lee had always somehow opposed
it helped maintain his stature as a symbol of Southern
honor and national
Some of the evidence cited in favor of the claim that Lee opposed
slavery, are the manumission
slaves, as discussed above, and his support, towards the end of the
war, for enrolling slaves in the Confederate States Army, with
manumission offered as an eventual reward for good service. Lee
gave his public support to this idea two weeks before Appomattox,
too late for it to do any good for the Confederacy.
In December 1864, Lee was shown a letter by Louisiana Senator
, written by General
St. John R. Liddell
, which noted that Lee would be
hard-pressed in the interior of Virginia by spring, and the need to
consider Patrick Cleburne
's plan to
emancipate the slaves and put all men in the army that were willing
to join. Lee was said to have agreed on all points and desired to
get black soldiers, saying that "he could make soldiers out of any
human being that had arms and legs."
Another source is Lee's 1856 letter to his wife, which can be
interpreted in multiple ways:
Freeman's analysis puts Lee's attitude toward slavery and abolition
in historical context:
Harpers Ferry and Texas, 1859-61
Ferry and the secession of
Texas were monumental events leading up to the Civil
Robert E. Lee was at both events. Lee initially
remained loyal to the Union after Texas succeeded.
John Brown led a band of
21 men (including five African
Americans) and seized the federal arsenal at Harpers
Ferry, Virginia in October 1859, Lee was given command of
detachments of Maryland and Virginia militia, soldiers, and United States Marines, to suppress the
uprising and arrest its leaders.
By the time Lee arrived
later that night, the militia on the site had surrounded Brown and
his hostages. When on October 18 Brown refused the demand for
surrender, Lee attacked and after three minutes of fighting, Brown
and his followers were captured.
Robert E. Lee made a summary report of the events that
took place at Harpers
Ferry to Colonel Samuel Cooper, the U.
Adjutant General. According to Lee's notes Lee believed John Brown
was insane,"...the plan [raiding the Harpers Ferry Arsenal] was the
attempt of a fanatic or madÂman". Lee also believed that the
African Americans used in the raid were forced to by John Brown
himself. "The blacks, whom he [John Brown] forced from their homes
in this neighborhood, as far as I could learn, gave him no
voluntary assistance." Lee attributed John Brown's "temporary
success" by creating panic and confusion and by "magnifying" the
number of participants involved in the raid.
When Texas seceded from the Union
in February 1861, General
David E. Twiggs
surrendered all the American forces
(about 4,000 men, including Lee, and commander of the Department of
Texas) to the Texans. Twiggs immediately resigned from the U. S.
Army and was made a Confederate general. Lee went back to
Washington, and was appointed Colonel of the First Regiment of
Cavalry in March 1861. Lee's Colonelcy was signed by the new
President, Abraham Lincoln. Three weeks after his promotion,
Colonel Lee was offered a senior command (with the rank of Major
General) in the expanding Army to fight the Southern States that
had left the Union.
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 accepted a promotion to colonel on March 28.
Lee had earlier been 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."
Meanwhile, Lee ignored an offer of command from the CSA. After
Lincoln's call for troops to put down the rebellion, it was obvious
that Virginia would quickly secede and so Lee turned down an April
18 offer to become a major general in the U.S. Army, resigned on
April 20, and took up command of the Virginia state forces on April
At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command all of
Virginia's forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States
Army, he was named one of its first five full generals
. Lee did not wear the
insignia of a Confederate general, but only the three stars of a
Confederate colonel, equivalent to his last U.S. Army rank; he did
not intend to wear a general's insignia until the Civil War had
been won and he could be promoted, in peacetime, to general in the
first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western
Virginia, where he was defeated at the Battle of
Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate
He was then sent to organize the coastal defenses
along the Carolina and Georgia seaboard, where he was hampered by
the lack of an effective Confederate navy. Once again blamed by the
press, he became military adviser to Confederate President
, former U.S. Secretary of War
Richmond, Lee was ridiculed as the 'King of Spades' for his
excessive digging of trenches around the capitol.
trenches would later play an important role in battles near the end
of the war.
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia
In the spring of 1862, during the Peninsula Campaign
, the Union Army of the Potomac
George B. McClellan advanced upon Richmond from
Monroe, eventually reaching the eastern edges of the
Confederate capital along the Chickahominy River.
Following the wounding of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at the Battle of
Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862, Lee assumed command of the
Army of Northern Virginia,
his first opportunity to lead an army in the field.
Newspaper editorials of the day objected to his appointment due to
concerns that Lee would not be aggressive and would wait for the
Union army to come to him. Early in the war his men called him
"Granny Lee" because of his allegedly timid style of command. After
the Seven Days Battles
end of the war his men called him simply "Marse Robert." He oversaw
substantial strengthening of Richmond's defenses during the first
three weeks of June and then launched a series of attacks, the
Seven Days Battles
McClellan's forces. Lee's attacks resulted in heavy Confederate
casualties and they were marred by clumsy tactical performances by
his subordinates, but his aggressive actions unnerved McClellan,
who retreated to a point on the James River
where Union naval forces
were in control. These successes led to a rapid turn-around of
public opinion and the newspaper editorials quickly changed their
tune on Lee's aggressiveness.
McClellan's retreat, Lee defeated another Union army at the
of Bull Run.
Within 90 days of taking command, Lee had
run McClellan off the Peninsula, defeated Pope at Second Manassas,
and the battle lines had moved from 6 miles outside Richmond, to 20
miles outside Washington. Instead of a quick end to the war that
the Peninsula Campaign had promised in its early stages, the war
would go on for almost another 3 years and claim a half million
more lives. He then invaded Maryland, hoping to replenish his
supplies and possibly influence the Northern elections to fall in
favor of ending the war. McClellan's men recovered a lost order
that revealed Lee's plans. McClellan always exaggerated Lee's forces,
but now he knew the Confederate army was divided and could be
destroyed by an all-out attack at Antietam.
Yet McClellan was too slow in moving, not
realizing Lee had been informed by a spy that McClellan had the
plans. Lee urgently recalled Stonewall
and in the bloodiest day of the war, Lee withstood the
Union assaults. He withdrew his battered army back to Virginia
while President Abraham Lincoln
the reverse as sufficient pretext to announce the Emancipation Proclamation
the Confederacy on the diplomatic and moral defensive.
Disappointed by McClellan's failure to destroy Lee's army, Lincoln
named Ambrose Burnside
of the Army of the Potomac. Burnside ordered an attack across the
River at Fredericksburg.
Delays in getting bridges built across the
river allowed Lee's army ample time to organize strong defenses,
and the attack on December 12, 1862, was a disaster for the Union.
Lincoln then named Joseph Hooker
commander of the Army of the Potomac. Hooker's advance to
attack Lee in May, 1863, near Chancellorsville, Virginia, was defeated by Lee and Stonewall Jackson's daring plan to divide
the army and attack Hooker's flank.
It was a victory over a
larger force, but it also came with a great cost; Jackson, one of
Lee's best subordinates, was accidentally wounded by his own
troops, and soon after died of pneumonia.
General orders #59
issued an order or speech after the Battle of
Chancellorsville on May 6, 1863.
The order was printed in
Harpers Weekly May 23, 1863. Lee was expecting Jackson, "one", to
be back in battle, who at the time was still living but mortally
wounded. Lee recommended that the troops
meet on Sunday to give thanks to God
. It was not
a direct order, but just a recommended commemorative
Battle of Gettysburg
Confederate General-in-Chief Robert
Lee photographed in 1865.
In the summer of 1863, Lee invaded the North again, hoping for a
Southern victory that would shatter Northern morale. A young
Pennsylvanian woman who watched from her porch as General Lee
passed by remarked, "I wish he were ours." He encountered Union
forces under George G. Meade at the three-day Battle of
Gettysburg in Pennsylvania in July; the battle would produce
the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War.
Some of his subordinates were new and inexperienced in their
commands, J.E.B. Stuart
's cavalry was out of the area, slightly
ill, and thus Lee was less than comfortable with how events were
unfolding. While the first day of battle was controlled by the
Confederates, key terrain which should have been taken by General
Ewell was not. The Second day ended with the Confederates unable to
break the Union position, and the Union more solidified. Lee's
decision on the third day, against the sound judgment of his best
corps commander General Longstreet, to launch a massive frontal
assault on the center of the Union line was disastrous.
assault known as Pickett's
Chargeâ€” was repulsed and resulted in heavy Confederate
The General rode out to meet his retreating army and
proclaimed, "This is all my fault." Lee was compelled to retreat.
Despite flooded rivers that blocked his retreat, he escaped Meade's
ineffective pursuit. Following his defeat at Gettysburg, Lee sent a
letter of resignation to President Davis on August 8, 1863, but
Davis refused Lee's request. That fall, Lee and Meade met again in
two minor campaigns that did little to change the strategic
standoff. The Confederate army never fully recovered from the
substantial losses incurred during the three-day battle in southern
Pennsylvania. The historian Shelby
stated, "Gettysburg was the price the South paid for
having Robert E. Lee as commander."
Ulysses S. Grant and the Union offensive
In 1864, the new Union general-in-chief, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
, sought to use his large advantages
in manpower and material resources to destroy Lee's army by
, pinning Lee against his
capital of Richmond. Lee successfully stopped each attack, but
Grant with his superior numbers kept pushing each time a bit
farther to the southeast. These battles in the Overland Campaign included the Wilderness, Spotsylvania
Court House, and Cold Harbor.
Grant eventually was able to stealthily
move his army across the James
. After stopping a Union attempt to capture
Virginia, a vital railroad link supplying Richmond, Lee's
men built elaborate trenches and were besieged in
(This development presaged the trench warfare of
World War I, exactly 50 years later.) He attempted to break the
stalemate by sending Jubal A.
Early on a raid through the Shenandoah
Valley to Washington, D.C., but was defeated early on by the superior forces
of Philip Sheridan.
Petersburg lasted from June 1864 until March 1865, with Lee's
outnumbered and poorly supplied army shrinking daily because of
desertions by disheartened Confederates.
On January 31, 1865, Lee was promoted to general-in-chief of
As the South ran out of manpower the issue of arming the slaves
became paramount. By late 1864 the army so dominated the
Confederacy that civilian leaders were unable to block the
military's proposal, strongly endorsed by Lee, to arm and train
slaves in Confederate uniform for combat. In return for this
service, slave soldiers and their families would be emancipated.
Lee explained, "We should employ them without delay ... [along
with] gradual and general emancipation." The first units were in
training as the war ended. As the Confederate army was decimated by
casualties, disease, and desertion, the Union attack on Petersburg succeeded on April 2, 1865.
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. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his
Lee resisted calls by some officers to reject surrender and allow
small units to melt away into the mountains, setting up a lengthy
guerrilla war. He insisted the war was over and energetically
campaigned for inter-sectional reconciliation. "So far from
engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery
is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the
Lee's civil war battle summaries
The following are summaries of Union and Confederate battles where
Robert E. Lee is the Commanding Officer. Battles that did not end
in a decisive victory are labeled "Inconclusive" or "Draw".
September 11-13 - Union victory
first battle of the Civil War. Lee was severely criticized for the
defeat and named "Granny Lee". Lee was sent to South Carolina to
- Lee's troop strength - 15,000, casualties - 100
- Reynolds's troop strengths - 2,000, casualties - 21
6/25/1862 to 7/1/1862 -
- Lee's troop strength - 95,000, casualties - 20,614
- McClellan's troop strengths - 91,000, casualties - 15,849
- Oak Grove - Draw (Union
- Beaver Dam Creek - Union victory
- Gaine's Mill - Confederate
- Savage's Station - Draw
- Glendale - Draw (Union
- Malvern Hill - Union victory
8/28/1862 to 8/30/1862 Confederate
- Lee's troop strength - 49,000, casualties - 9,197
- Pope's troop strengths - 76,000, casualties - 16,054
9/14/1862 Union victory
- Lee's troop strength - 18,000, casualties - 2,685
- McClellan's troop strength - 28,000, casualties - 1,813
9/16/1862 to 9/18/1862 - Inconclusive
(Union strategic victory.)
- Lee's troop strength - 52,000, casualties - 13,724
- McClellan's troop strength - 75,000, casualties - 12,410
12/11/1862 - Confederate victory
troops and supplies depleted.)
- Lee's troop strength - 72,000, casualties - 5,309
- Burnside's troop strength - 114,000, casualties - 12,653
5/1/1863 - Confederate victory
- Lee's troop strength - 57,000, casualties - 12,764
- Hooker's troop strength - 105,000, casualties - 16,792
7/1/1863 - Union Victory
army that returned from the fight at Gettysburg was physically and
spiritually exhausted. Lee would never again attempt an offensive
operation of such monumental proportions. Meade, who had forced Lee
to retreat, was criticized for not immediately pursuing Lee's army.
This battle become known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy.
Lee would never personally invade the North again after this
battle, but rather, was determined to defend Richmond and
eventually Petersburg at all costs.)
- Lee's troop strength - 75,000, casualties - 28,063
- Meade's troop strength - 83,000, casualties - 23,049
5/5/1864 - Inconclusive
- Lee's troop strength - 61,000, casualties - 11,400
- Grant's troop strength - 102,000, casualties - 18,400
5/12/1864 - Inconclusive
- Lee's troop strength - 52,000, casualties - 12,000
- Hancock's troop strength - 100,000, casualties - 18,000
6/1/1864 - Confederate victory
- Lee's troop strength - 62,000, casualties - 2,500
- Grant's troop strength - 108,000, casualties - 12,000
8/14/1864 Confederate victory
attempt to attack Richmond, the Confederate Capital.)
- Lee's troop strength - 20,000, casualties - 1,700
- Hancock's troop strength - 28,000, casualties - 2,901
3/29/1865 - Union victory
E. Lee Surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant. Casualties on
Confederate side are enormous. After the surrender Grant gave Lee's
army much-needed food rations, made them lay down their arms and
return to their homes, never to take up arms against the Union
- Lee's troop strength - 50,000, casualties - No Record
- Grant's troop strength - 113,000, casualties - 10,780
After the war
the Civil War, Lee and his wife had lived at his wife's family
home, the Custis-Lee Mansion on Arlington Plantation. The plantation had
been seized by Union forces during the war, and became part of
National Cemetery; immediately following the war, Lee spent two
months in a rented house in Richmond, and then escaped the unwelcome city life by moving
into the overseer's house of a friend's plantation near
Cartersville, Virginia. (In December 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, returned the property to Custis
Lee, stating that it had been confiscated without due process of
One of the last known images of Lee,
On March 3, 1883, the Congress purchased the property
from Lee for $150,000.)
living in the country, Lee wrote his son that he hoped to retire to
a farm of his own, but a few weeks later he received an offer to
serve as the president of Washington College (now Washington
and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia.
Lee accepted, and remained president of the
College from October 2, 1865 until his death. Over five years, he
transformed Washington College from a small, undistinguished school
into one of the first American colleges to offer courses in
, and Spanish. He also imposed a simple
concept of honorâ€”"We have but one rule here, and it is that every
student be a gentleman
that endures today at Washington and Lee and at a few other schools
that continue to maintain "honor
." Importantly, Lee focused the college on attracting
male students from the North as well as the South.
President Johnson's Amnesty Pardon
President Andrew Johnson, in a proclamation dated December 25, 1868
(15 Stat. 711), gave an unconditional pardon to those who "directly
or indirectly" rebelled against the United States.
- ...unconditionally, and without reservation, to all and every
person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion, a full pardon and amnesty for the
offence of treason against the United
States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war,
with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under
the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance
Lee, with this full amnesty pardon by President Johnson could not
be held liable for treason or insurrection against the United
States. Lee was posthumously officially reinstated as a United States citizen
Lee, who had opposed secession and remained mostly indifferent to
politics before the Civil War, supported President Johnson's plan
of Presidential Reconstruction
took effect in 1865â€“66. However, he opposed the Congressional
Republican program that took effect in 1867. In February 1866, he
was called to testify before the Joint Congressional Committee on
Reconstruction in Washington, where he expressed support for
President Andrew Johnson
's plans for
quick restoration of the former Confederate states, and argued that
restoration should return, as far as possible, the status quo ante
in the Southern states' governments (with the exception of
Lee told the Committee, "...every one with whom I associate
expresses kind feelings towards the freedmen. They wish to see them
get on in the world, and particularly to take up some occupation
for a living, and to turn their hands to some work." Lee also
expressed his "willingness that blacks should be educated, and ...
that it would be better for the blacks and for the whites." Lee
forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote: "My own opinion is
that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote
intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a
great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various
ways." Lee also recommended the deportation of
African Americans from Virginia and even mentioned that Virginians would give aid
in the deportation.
"I think it would be better for Virginia
if she could get rid of them [African Americans]. ... I think that
everyone there would be willing to aid it."
In an interview in May 1866, Lee said, "The Radical party are
likely to do a great deal of harm, for we wish now for good feeling
to grow up between North and South, and the President, Mr. Johnson,
has been doing much to strengthen the feeling in favor of the Union
among us. The relations between the Negroes and the whites were
friendly formerly, and would remain so if legislation be not passed
in favor of the blacks, in a way that will only do them
In 1868, Lee's ally Alexander
H. H. Stuart
drafted a public letter of
endorsement for the Democratic Party's presidential
, in which Horatio
ran against Lee's old foe Republican Ulysses S. Grant
. Lee signed it along with thirty-one
other ex-Confederates. The Democratic campaign, eager to publicize
the endorsement, published the statement widely in newspapers.
Their letter claimed paternalistic concern for the welfare of freed
Southern blacks, stating that "The idea that the Southern people
are hostile to the negroes and would oppress them, if it were in
their power to do so, is entirely unfounded. They have grown up in
our midst, and we have been accustomed from childhood to look upon
them with kindness." However, it also called for the restoration of
white political rule, arguing that "It is true that the people of
the South, in common with a large majority of the people of the
North and West, are, for obvious reasons, inflexibly opposed to any
system of laws that would place the political power of the country
in the hands of the negro race. But this opposition springs from no
feeling of enmity, but from a deep-seated conviction that, at
present, the negroes have neither the intelligence nor the other
qualifications which are necessary to make them safe depositories
of political power."
In his public statements and private correspondence, however, Lee
argued that a tone of reconciliation and patience would further the
interests of white Southerners better than hotheaded antagonism to
federal authority or the use of violence. Lee repeatedly expelled
white students from Washington College for violent attacks on local
black men, and publicly urged obedience to the authorities and
respect for law and order. In 1869-70 he was a leader in successful
efforts to establish state-funded schools for blacks. He privately
chastised fellow ex-Confederates such as Jefferson Davis
and Jubal Early
for their frequent, angry responses
to perceived Northern insults, writing in private to them as he had
written to a magazine editor in 1865, that "It should be the object
of all to avoid controversy, to allay passion, give full scope to
reason and to every kindly feeling. By doing this and encouraging
our citizens to engage in the duties of life with all their heart
and mind, with a determination not to be turned aside by thoughts
of the past and fears of the future, our country will not only be
restored in material prosperity, but will be advanced in science,
in virtue and in religion."
attended a meeting of ex-Confederates in 1870, during which he
expressed regrets about his surrender at Appomattox Court House, given the effects of Republican Reconstruction
policy on the South.
Speaking to former Confederate Governor
of Texas Fletcher Stockdale
Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people
[Yankees] designed to make of their victory, there would have been
no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by
Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would
have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in
my right hand.
Illness and death
On September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke
that left him without the ability to speak. Lee died from the
effects of pneumonia shortly after 9 a.m.
on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia. He was buried underneath Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, where his body remains today.
J. William Jones' Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes, and
Letters of Gen. Robert E. Lee
, his last
words, on the day of his death, were "Tell Hill
he must come up. Strike the tent", but this
is debatable because of conflicting accounts. Since Lee's stroke
resulted in aphasia
, last words may have
been impossible. Lee was treated homeopathically
for this illness.
Among Southerners, Lee came to be even more revered after his
surrender than he had been during the war (when Stonewall Jackson
had been the great
Confederate hero, particularly after Jackson's death at
Chancellorsville). Admirers pointed to his character and devotion
to duty, not to mention his brilliant tactical successes in battle
after battle against a stronger foe. Military historians continue
to pay attention to his battlefield tactics and maneuvering, though
many think he should have designed better strategic plans for the
Confederacy. However, it should be noted that he was not given full
direction of the Southern war effort until very late in the
conflict. His reputation continued to build and by 1900 his
followers had spread into the North, signaling a national apotheosis
.Today among the devotees of "The Lost
Cause", General Lee is referred to as "The Marble Man."
Civil War-era letters
On September 29, 2007, General Lee's three Civil War-era letters
were sold for $61,000 at auction by Thomas Willcox, much less than
the record of $630,000 for a Lee item in 2002. The auction included
more than 400 documents of Lee's from the estate of the parents of
Willcox that had been in the family for generations. South
Carolina sued to
stop the sale on the grounds that the letters were official
documents and therefore property of the state, but the court ruled
in favor of Wilcox.
On May 29, 1865, President Andrew
issued a Proclamation of Amnesty
to persons who had participated in
against the United States.
There were fourteen excepted classes, though, and members of those
classes had to make special application to the President. Lee sent
an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13,
Lee's lost oath
October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president
College in Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying
fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation.
not pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. The fact that he
had submitted an amnesty oath at all was soon lost to
Apparently Secretary of
State William H. Seward
had given Lee's application to a
friend as a souvenir, and the State Department had pigeonholed the
oath. More than a hundred years later, in 1970, an archivist
at the National Archives
discovered Lee's Amnesty
Oath among State Department records (reported in Prologue, Winter
1970). For 110 years Lee remained without a country, the
Confederacy had dissolved and Lee's United States application and
oath were lost and disregarded. It is very probable that someone at
the State Department did not want Robert E. Lee to regain
citizenship while Lee was alive. It can only be speculated if
Secretary of State Seward was involved in the matter of Lee's
U.S. Congress resolution
On January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, A joint
resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to
General R. E. Lee
was introduced into the
Senate by Senator Harry F.
VA. The resolution was
to restore the U.S. citizenship to Robert E. Lee effective June 13,
1865. This resolution was the result of a 5 year campaign to
posthumously restore Robert E. Lee's U.S. citizenship.
- NOTE: The 10 objecting Congressmen against
Lee's citizenship resolution argued it should include amnesty for
Vietham war draft dodgers (subsequently granted in 1977).
- 1/30/1975 S. J. Res. 23 introduced.
- 3/19/1975 Reported to Senate from the Committee on the
Judiciary, S. Rept. 94-44.
- 4/10/1975 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Measure passed
- 6/24/1975 Reported to House from the Committee on the
Judiciary, H. Rept. 94-324.
- 7/22/1975 Passed/agreed to in House: Measure passed House, roll
call #415 Vote: 407 Yea 10 Nay
- 7/22/1975 Cleared for White House
Signed by President Ford
On July 24, 1975, after passing the Senate and House of
Representatives the resolution was presented to President Gerald Ford
. The resolution, S.J. Res. 23, was
signed on August 5, 1975 by the President and became Public Law
94-67 (89 Stat. 380). The signing took place at a ceremony at
Virginia. The house was formerly known as the Custis-Lee Mansion,
and was the home of General Lee. The ceremony was attended by a
dozen of Lee's descendants including Robert E. Lee V, Robert E.
Lee's great-great-grandson. Also attending were: Governor Godwin,
Senator Byrd, Congressman Butler, Congressman Harris, Congressman
Satterfield, Congressman Downing, and Congressman Daniel.
- Note: The ten Congressmen who objected to Lee's citizenship
resolution argued it should include amnesty for
Vietham war draft dodgers (subsequently granted in 1977).
- 7/24/1975 Measure presented to President.
- 8/5/1975 Signed by President.
- 8/5/1975 Public law 94-67
Before signing President Ford spoke at 2:12 p.m. at the signing
Monuments, memorials and commemorations
it was built in 1884, the most prominent monument in New Orleans has been a -tall monument to General Lee. A
sixteen and a half foot statue of Lee stands tall upon a towering
column of white marble in the middle of Lee Circle. The statue of
Lee, which weighs more than 7,000 pounds, faces the North. Lee
Circle is situated along New Orleans' famous St. Charles Avenue. The New Orleans streetcars roll past
Lee Circle and New Orleans' best Mardi Gras parades go around Lee
Circle (the spot is so popular that bleachers are set up annually
around the perimeter for Mardi Gras). Around the corner from Lee
Circle is New Orleans' Confederate Museum, which contains the
second largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the world.
In a tribute to Lee Circle (which had formerly been known as Tivoli
Circle), former Confederate soldier George Washington Cable wrote:
- :"In Tivoli Circle, New Orleans, from the centre and apex of
its green flowery mound, an immense column of pure white marble
rises in the ... majesty of Grecian proportions high up above the
city's house-tops into the dazzling sunshine ... On its dizzy top
stands the bronze figure of one of the worlds greatest captains. He
is alone. Not one of his mighty lieutenants stand behind, beside or
below him. His arms are folded on that breast that never knew fear,
and his calm, dauntless gaze meets the morning sun as it rises,
like the new prosperity of the land he loved and serve so masterly,
above the far distant battle fields where so many thousands of his
gray veterans lie in the sleep of fallen heroes." (Silent
South, 1885, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine)
Unveiling of the Equestrian Statue of
- A large equestrian statue of Lee by French sculptor Jean Antonin MerciĂ© is the
centerpiece of Richmond, Virginia's famous Monument Avenue, which boasts four other
statues to famous Confederates. This monument to Lee was unveiled
on May 29, 1890. Over 100,000 people attended this dedication.
- Robert E. Lee is shown mounted on Traveller in Gettysburg
National Park on top of the Virginia Monument
- A large double equestrian statue of Lee and Jackson in
Baltimore's Wyman Park, directly across from the Baltimore Museum
of Art, was dedicated in 1948. Designed by Laura Gardin Fraser,
Robert E. Lee is depicted astride his horse Traveller next to
Stonewall Jackson who is mounted on "Little Sorrel." Architect John
Russell Pope created the base, which was dedicated on the
anniversary of the eve of the Battle of Chancellorsville.
The birthday of Robert E. Lee is celebrated or commemorated in:
- The state of Virginia as part of Lee-Jackson Day, which was separated from
the Martin Luther King, Jr.
holiday there in 2001. The King holiday falls on the third Monday
in January while the Lee-Jackson Day holiday is celebrated on the
Friday preceding it.
- The state of Texas celebrates, as part of Confederate Heroes
Day on January 19, Lee's actual birthday.
- The states of Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi on the third
Monday in January, along with Martin Luther King, Jr.
- The state of Georgia on the day after Thanksgiving.
- The state of Florida, as a legal holiday and public holiday, on
- Robert Lee, Texas
Leesville half of Batesburg-Leesville, South
Lee in Prince George County,
- Lee County, Alabama; Lee County, Arkansas; Lee County, Florida; Lee County, Kentucky; Lee County, Mississippi; Lee County, North Carolina; Lee County, South Carolina; Lee County, Texas.
Drive, Baton Rouge,
Louisianaâ€”one of the city's major streets, it is located near
State University. Robert E. Lee High School is located on the
- Lee Highway, a
National Auto Trail in the
United States connecting New York City and San
Francisco, California via the South and
Avenue, in Manassas,
Virginia, was named after Robert E. Lee and
intersects with Grant Avenue in front of the old Prince William
County Courthouse. Grant Avenue was named after General Ulysses S. Grant.
- Robert E. Lee Memorial Park, Baltimore, MD
- Robert E. Lee is on the carving on Stone Mountain in
- Robert E. Lee Blvd in New Orleans
- Lee Circle, New Orleans, with doric column surmounted by a
statue of Lee
Schools and universities
- Robert E. Lee Academy, Bishopville, South Carolina
- Lee High
School, Houston, Texas
- Lee-Davis High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia
- Southern Lee High School, Sanford, North Carolina
- Lee County High School, Sanford, North Carolina
- Robert E. Lee High School, Baytown, Texas
- Upson-Lee High School, Thomaston, Georgia
- Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia
- Robert E. Lee Junior High School, Monroe, Louisiana
- Robert E. Lee Junior High School, San Angelo, Texas
- Robert E. Lee Middle School, Orlando, Florida
E Lee Monument, Charlottesville, Virginia, Leo Lentilli, sculptor,
Lee, Virginia Monument, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Frederick
William Sievers, sculptor, 1917Image:Lee-Mercie-Richmond.jpg|Lee by
MerciĂ©, Monument Avenue, Richmond, Virginia, 1890Image:Robert E Lee Univ of Texas.jpg|Statue
of Lee on the grounds of the University
of Texas at AustinImage:RobertELeeStatuteDallas.jpg|Statue of
Lee in Dallas, Texas
- Arlington House, The Robert
E. Lee Memorial, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion and located
in present-day Arlington National Cemetery, is maintained by the National Park Service as a memorial to
Virginia State Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield is topped by an equestrian statue of Lee by
Frederick William Sievers, facing roughly in the direction of
is one of the figures depicted in bas-relief carved into Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia. Accompanying him on horseback in the relief
are Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis.
- A statue of Lee on horseback, located in Robert E. Lee Park, in
- Despite his presidential pardon by Gerald Ford and his continuing to being held in
high regard by many Americans, Lee's portrayal on a mural on
Richmond's Flood Wall on the James River was considered offensive
by some, was removed in the late 1990s, but currently is back on
the flood wall.
- The was a submarine named for Lee, built in 1958
- The Mississippi River steamboat, Robert E. Lee, was named for Lee after
the Civil War. It was the participant in an 1870 St. Louis - New
Orleans race with the Natchez VI, which was
featured in a Currier and Ives
lithograph. The Robert E. Lee won the said
race. The steamboat also inspired a song Waiting for the Robert
E. Lee (Lewis Muir-L. Wolfe Gilbert).
1900, Lee was one of the first 29 individuals selected for the
Hall of Fame for Great
Americans (the first Hall of Fame in the United States),
designed by Stanford White, on the
York, campus of New York University, now a part of Bronx Community College.
In other media
Robert E. Lee served as a main character in the Shaara novels
Gods and Generals
and The Killer Angels
, as well as in their
film adaptions Gods and
played by Robert Duvall in Gods
and Martin Sheen in Gettysburg
- Moses, Grace McLean. The Welsh Lineage of John Lewis
(1592-1657), Emigrant to Gloucester, Virginia. Baltimore, MD, USA:
Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002
Robert E. Lee's Report Concerning the Attack at Harper's
Ferry|October 19, 1859|Colonel Lee to the Adjutant
General|HEADQUARTERS HARPER'S FERRY
- Foot Soldier: The Rebels. Prod. A&E Television
Network. Karn, Richard. The History Channel. 1998. DVD. A&E
Television Networks, 2008.
- Robert E. Lee, Joint Committee on Reconstruction in Washington,
D.C., Feb. 17, 1866
- Blount, Roy, Jr. Robert E. Lee Penguin
Putnam, 2003. 210 pp., short popular biography
- Carmichael, Peter S., ed. Audacity Personified: The
Generalship of Robert E. Lee Louisiana State U. Pr.,
- Connelly, Thomas L., "The Image and the General: Robert E. Lee
in American Historiography." Civil War History 19 (March 1973):
- Connelly, Thomas L., The Marble Man. Robert E. Lee and His
Image in American Society. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
- Connelly, Thomas L., "Robert E. Lee and the Western
Confederacy: A Criticism of Lee's Strategic Ability." Civil War
History 15 (June 1969): 116-32
- Cooke, John E., "A Life of General Robert E. Lee" Kessinger
- Dowdey, Clifford. Lee 1965.
- Fellman, Michael (2000), The Making of Robert E.
Lee. New York: Random House (ISBN 0-679-45650-3).
- Fishwick, Marshall W. Lee after the War 1963.
- Flood, Charles Bracelen. Lee â€” The Last Years
- Gary W. Gallagher; Lee the Soldier. University of
Nebraska Press, 1996
- Gary W. Gallagher; Lee & His Army in Confederate
History. University of North Carolina Press, 2001
- McCaslin, Richard B. Lee in the Shadow of Washington.
Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
- Pryor, Elizabeth Brown; Reading the Man: A Portrait of
Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:
- Reid, Brian Holden. Robert E. Lee: Icon for a
Nation, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.
- Thomas, Emory Robert E. Lee W.W. Norton &
Co., 1995 (ISBN 0-393-03730-4) full-scale biography
Military campaign sources
- Bonekemper, III, Edward H. How Robert E. Lee Lost
the Civil War. Sergeant Kirkland's Press, Fredericksburg,
Virginia. 1997. ISBN 1-887901-15-9
- Brown, Kent Masterson. Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee,
Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign. U. of North Carolina
- Cagney, James "Animations of the Campaigns of Robert E. Lee"
Click Here for the Animations (2008)
- Cavanaugh, Michael A., and William Marvel, The Petersburg
Campaign: The Battle of the Crater: "The Horrid Pit", June
25-August 6, 1864 (1989)
- Davis, William C. Death in the Trenches: Grant at
- Dowdey, Clifford. The Seven Days 1964.
- Freeman, Douglas S.,
Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command (3 volumes),
Scribners, 1946, ISBN 0-684-85979-3.
- Fuller, Maj. Gen. J.
F. C., Grant and Lee, A Study in
Personality and Generalship, Indiana University Press, 1957,
- Gott, Kendall D., Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis
of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862,
Stackpole Books, 2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6.
- Grimsley, Mark, And Keep Moving On: The Virginia Campaign,
May-June 1864 University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
- Harsh, Joseph L. Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee
and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 Kent
State University Press, 1999
- Johnson, R. U., and Buel, C. C., eds., Battles and Leaders
of the Civil War. 4 vols. New York, 1887-88; essays by leading
generals of both sides; online edition
- McWhiney, Grady, Battle in the Wilderness: Grant Meets
- Maney, R. Wayne, Marching to Cold Harbor. Victory
and Failure, 1864 (1994).
- Marvel, William. Lee's Last Retreat: The Flight to
Appomattox. University of North Carolina Press, 2002.
- Matter, William D., If It Takes All Summer: The Battle of
- Rhea, Gordon C., The Battle of the Wilderness May 5â€“6,
1864, Louisiana State University Press, 1994, ISBN
- Rhea, Gordon C., The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House
and the Road to Yellow Tavern May 7â€“12, 1864, Louisiana State
University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8071-2136-3.
- Rhea, Gordon C., To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee,
May 13â€“25, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2000, ISBN
- Rhea, Gordon C., Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26 â€“ June
3, 1864, Louisiana State University Press, 2002, ISBN
- Miller, J. Michael, The North Anna Campaign: "Even to Hell
Itself", May 21-26, 1864 (1989).
- Steere, Edward, The Wilderness Campaign (1960)
- Dowdey, Clifford. and Louis H. Manarin, eds. The Wartime Papers
of R. E. Lee. Boston: Little, Brown, 1961.
- Freeman, Douglas Southall. ed. Unpublished Letters of
General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A., to Jefferson Davis and the
War Department of the Confederate States of America, 1862-65.
Rev. ed., with foreword by Grady McWhiney. 1957.
- Johnson, R. U., and Buel, C. C., eds., Battles and Leaders
of the Civil War. 4 vols. New York, 1887-88; essays by leading
generals of both sides; online edition
- Missouri History Museum. Robert E. Lee Collection
- Taylor, Walter H. Four Years with General Lee Reprint.
- Taylor, Walter H. General Lee â€” His Campaigns in Virginia,
1861-1865. Reprint. 1975
- Primary sources
- Monuments and memorials
- Sister projects