Thursday, January 19, 2006

Today In 1807

January 19, 1807 in Westmoreland County, VA a boy was born. His parents were Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee and Anne Hill Lee. He picked up a scholarship to West Point, where he graduated second only to Charles Mason. After that he became a second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, the greatgranddaughterr of Martha Washington.

In the Mexican War he climbed the ranks to major after distinguishing himself in multiple battles. Soon after the Mexican War ended, Lee was asked to command the Union Army, but he declined, since his loyalties were tosecedingg Virginia, and his family there.

He was given the rank of general, and command of The Army of Northern Virginia, and eventually the entire Confederate Army. However in respect for his rank as a Colonel in the Union, he only wore 3 stars, for the rank of Confederate Colonel.

Lee led the Confederacy through 4 long years of war until finally at Appomattox Courthouse, he signed the formal surrender to theUnionn Army, against the will of Jefferson Davis, as well as some of his otherconstituentss who wanted to start a guerrilla war in theAppalachiann Mountains.

After the war, Lee filed for amnesty, but it was never granted, since the Secretary of State put it in his drawer and forgot about it for decades. Lee declined an offer of $50,000 per year to be the president of the Valley Railroad, but he declined, and instead took a later job as president of Washington University in Lexington Virginia. For the next 5 years he transformed the school into one of recognition and was added into the name of the college, now called Washington and Lee University.

Robert E. Lee died from pneumonia after a stroke on October 12, 1870 at the age of 67. He was buried underneath the chapel at Washington and Lee University.