Robert E. Lee Autographed Letter Prospectus CoverInv# AU1330
Robert E. Lee (January 19,1807-October 12, 1870) Confederate General Robert E. Lee is perhaps the most iconic and most widely respected of all Civil War commanders. Though he opposed secession, he resigned from the U.S. Army to join the forces of his native state, rose to command the largest Confederate army and ultimately was named general-in-chief of all Confederate land forces. He repeatedly defeated larger Federal armies in Virginia, but his two invasions of Northern soil were unsuccessful. In Ulysses S. Grant, he found an opponent who would not withdraw regardless of setbacks and casualties, and Lee’s outnumbered forces were gradually reduced in number and forced into defensive positions that did not allow him room to maneuver. When he surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, it meant the war was virtually over. Robert Edward Lee was the fifth child of Revolutionary War hero and governor of Virginia Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee. Henry Lee, unfortunately, was fiscally irresponsible, which hurt the family financially, and he left for the West Indies when Robert was six, never to return. Robert’s mother, Ann Carter Lee, raised the boy with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Robert secured an appointment to West Point in 1825. Graduating second in his class in 1829, with no demerits, he entered the prestigious Engineer Corps. Throughout the peace of 1830s and early 1840s, he was assigned to posts from Georgia to New York and rose from second lieutenant to captain. In 1831 he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, great-granddaughter of George Washington’s wife Martha and her first husband, Daniel P. Custis. As a result of wedding Mary, Lee improved his financial position and his name became associated, however distantly, with the Revolutionary War commander and first president, something that added to his reputation during and after the Civil War. Information provided by History.net
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