Lee Robert E

Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), 4th cousin 7x removed

General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, the most successful of the Southern armies during the American Civil War (1861-65)

General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, the most successful of the Southern armies during the American Civil War (1861-65)

Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.  The son of U.S. Revolutionary War hero Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee III and a top graduate of West Point, Robert E. Lee distinguished himself as an exceptional officer and combat engineer in the United States Army for 32 years before resigning to join the Confederate cause.  By the end of the American Civil War, he was commanding general of the Confederate army. He became a postwar icon of the South’s “lost cause”, and is still admired to this day.  In early 1861, President Abraham Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the entire Union Army.  Lee declined because his home state of Virginia was, despite his wishes, seceding from the Union.  When Virginia declared its secession from the Union 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 to President Jefferson Davis.  Lee soon emerged as the shrewdest battlefield tactician of the war.  His abilities have been praised by many military historians.  They were made evident in his many victories such as the Battle of Fredericksburg (1862), Battle of Chancellorsville (1863), Battle of the Wilderness (1864), Battle of Cold Harbor (1864), Seven Days Battles, and the Second Battle of Bull Run.  His strategic vision was more doubtful—his invasions of the North in 1862 and 1863 were designed to help gain foreign recognition, seize supplies, take the pressure off his beloved Virginia, and mobilize antiwar elements in the North.   After a defeat at Antietam in 1862 and disaster at Gettysburg in 1863, hopes for victory were dashed, and defeat for the South was almost certain.  In the spring of 1864, the new Union commander, Ulysses S. Grant, began a series of campaigns to wear down Lee’s army.  In early April 1865, Lee’s depleted forces were overwhelmed at Petersburg; he abandoned Richmond and retreated west as Union forces encircled his army.  Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on 9 Apr 1865, marking the end of Confederate hopes.  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 leadership.

Robert E Lee (1807 – 1870), 4th cousin 7x removed – Henry Lee (1756 – 1818) – Henry Lee (1729 – 1787) – Henry Lee (1691 – 1747) – Richard Henry Lee (1647 – 1715) – Richard Lee I (1617 – 1664) – Anne Lee (1654 – 1701) – Penelope Ann Youell (1670 – 1703) – Patrick Spence (1693 – 1740) – Jemima Spence (1730 – 1786) – John Suggett (1751 – 1834) – Elizabeth Betsey Suggett (1782 – 1857) – Marion Wallace Thomson (1821 – 1896) – Allen Thomson Gunnell (1848 – 1907) – Seddie Gunnell (1875 – 1946) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom

Confederate General Robert E. Lee at his home in Richmond, Va. less than a week after surrendering (Color by Reddit User Zuzahin/Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee at his home in Richmond, Va. less than a week after surrendering. (Color by Reddit User Zuzahin/Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress)

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