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Robert E. Lee: Remembering An American Legend
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr. Tuesday, January 18, 2011
America has always loved her heroes like: Baseball Legend-Babe Ruth, Golf Great-Ben Hogan, Movie Actor-John Wayne and…..

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, is the 204th birthday of General Robert E. Lee.

Young people will get a school holiday in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King whose birthday is January 15th. But, will anyone tell them that January 19th is also the birthday of Robert E. Lee?

Booker T. Washington, America’s great Black-American Educator wrote in 1910,

“The first white people in America, certainly the first in the South to exhibit their interest in the reaching of the Negro and saving his soul through the medium of the Sunday-school were Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.”

During Robert E. Lee’s 100th birthday in 1907, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., a former Union Army Commander and grandson of United States President John Quincy Adams, spoke in tribute to Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee College’s Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia. His speech was printed in both Northern and Southern newspapers and is said to had lifted Lee to a renewed respect among the American people.

Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson Day events are planned for Saturday, January 15, 2011, in Lexington, Virginia that includes a Memorial at Lee Chapel featuring Guest Speaker Kenny J. Rowlette with topic: Opposites In Command—The Legendary Partnership of Lee and Jackson. For additional information go to:

And the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans will sponsor their 24th Annual Robert E. Lee birthday celebration on Saturday, January 22, 2011, in the Legislative Chambers of Georgia’s Old Capitol in Milledgeville, Georgia that will begin with a parade to the Old Capitol at 10:45 AM.

Many more events are planned for Robert E. Lee….

Who was born at “Stratford” in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on January 19, 1807. The winter was cold and fireplaces were little help for Robert’s mother, Ann Hill (Carter) Lee.

Ann Lee named her son “Robert Edward” after her two brothers.

Robert E. Lee undoubtedly acquired his love of country from those who had lived during the American Revolution. His father, “Light Horse” Harry, was a hero of the revolution and served as Governor of Virginia and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Members of his family also signed the Declaration of Independence.

Lee was educated in the schools of Alexandria, Virginia. In 1825, he received an appointment to West Point Military Academy. He graduated in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit.

Robert E. Lee wed Mary Anna Randolph Custis in June 1831, two years after his graduation from West Point. Robert and Mary had grown up together. Mary was the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington and the adopted son of George Washington.

Mary was an only child; therefore, she inherited Arlington House, across the Potomac from Washington, where she and Robert raised seven children.

In 1836, Lee was appointed to first lieutenant. In 1838, with the rank of captain, Lee fought valiantly in the War with Mexico and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.

He was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1852 and is considered one of the best superintendents in that institution’s history.

General Winfield Scott offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but he refused. He said, “I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children.”

Lee served as adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and then commanded the legendary Army of Northern Virginia.

After four terrible years of death and destruction, General Robert E. Lee met General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, and ended their battles.

In the fall of 1865, Lee was offered and accepted the presidency of troubled Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. The school was renamed Washington and Lee in his honor.

Robert E. Lee died at 9:30 on the morning of October 12, 1870, at Washington-Lee College.

He is buried in a chapel on the school grounds with his family and near his favorite horse, Traveller.

President Theodore Roosevelt described General Robert E. Lee as “the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.”

Click to view image: '62369bc1d01c-johnson011511.jpg'

Added: Jan-18-2011 
By: lebenskuntzler
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  • I remember this debate from when a holiday was proposed to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

    As I recall, many states chose not to recognize Gen. Robert E. Lee's many notable achievements based on the pardon he applied for and accepted which claused among other things that his commendations be nullified (as well as his right to vote).

    Still, he was a great military leader.

    Posted Jan-19-2011 By 

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    • ...but when a historian takes a look and finds out that the Tuskeegee airmen actually did lose a few bombers under their protection he is called a racist.

      Funny how people remember things the way they want.

      Posted Jan-19-2011 By 

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  • to the victors go the spoils...and more importantly the paper and ink, to write history.

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  • Comment of user 'gregory_peckory' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Lee only fought for the South out of a sense of obligation/loyalty to his home state of VA. He did not fight because he believed in the cause(s) of the South. As a reward for his actions, the Union took his property and made it into Arlington National Cemetary.

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  • Comment of user 'htos1' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • true dont know why you were thumbed down

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    • well i just thumbed him back up brako....that war was hell on most, but it was unimaginable for those who's homes lay close to the civil divide...lee was a very honorable man who's homestead put his balls in a vice. he aquitted himself stellarly and with honor....though king had civil rights value...he did'nt have the honor or love of nation that LEE embodied. such things were forbidden to utter these last 50 years...and therefrom arose political correctness...the cancer of the west!

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  • Happy birthday Gen.Robert Edward Lee. One of America's greatest generals. Fought the war because his state(Virgina) sided with the CSA. Did his best, what more can a man do? The north out numbered and out produced the south. Godbless him.

    Posted Jan-20-2011 By 

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  • Comment of user 'downhill2400' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!