Civil War Leaders


Robert E Lee

{ January 19, 1807 - October 12, 1870 }

1807 January 19
Robert E. Lee was born at Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia: Parents, Henry Lee ("Light-horse Harry" Lee) of Leesylvania, and Ann Hill Carter of Shirley.

Removed to Alexandria with his family.

His father received injuries in Baltimore riot from which he never recovered and which necessitated his leaving Alexandria for a warmer climate. He died six years later, at Cumberland Island, Georgia, March 25, 1818. Robert was reared by his mother. He spent his holidays and vacations at Stratford and Shirley.

His father died while Lee was in the midst of his schooling.

Entered West Point.

Graduated from West Point second in his class. His mother died at Ravensworth, Virginia. He was assigned to duty at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

1831 June 30
He married Mary Randolph Custis of Arlington.

Served as Assistant to Chief Engineer of the Army.

Took charge of improvement of Mississippi at St. Louis.

Made Captain of Engineers.

In charge of defense at Fort Hamilton, New York.

Appointed Visitor to West Point.

Rendered distinguished services in Mexican War.

1848 January to June
Stationed in Mexico.

At work on the defenses of Baltimore.

Superintendent of West Point Academy.

1855 April
Appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Cavalry.

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Saw service against Indians in Texas.

1856-59 October
Suppressed the John Brown insurrection.

1860 February
Took charge of Department of Texas where he stayed one year.

1861 March 16
Appointed Colonel of First Cavalry.

1861 April 16
Offered command of United States Armies.

1861 April 23
Accepted command of Virginia forces.

1861 May - July
Organized troops and advised President Davis in Richmond.

1861 November
Had charge of coast defense in South Carolina and Georgia.

1862 March
Became military advisor to President Davis.

1862 June 1
Assumed command of Army of Northern Virginia.

1862 June 26 - July 2
Commanded Confederates in Seven Days' fighting around Richmond.

1862 September 5
Crossed the Potomac. Began advance into Maryland.

1862 September 12
Drew Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg. Abandoned campaign of invasion.

1862 December 13
won a victory over Burnside at Fredericksburg.

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1862 December
In winter quarters until March

1863 May 2 - 3
Won a victory over Hooker at Chacellorsville.

1863 May 10
His great lieutenant, "Stonewall" Jackson, died.

1863 June
Began movements leading up to second invasion of the North.

1863 July 1 -3
Defeated at Gettysburg.

1863 July 4 - 13
Made a masterly retreat and re-crossed the Potomac.

1864 May 5 - 6
Fought the Battle of the Wilderness against Grant.

1864 May 8 - 18
Conducted fighting about Spotsylvania Courthouse.

1864 June 2 - 3
Fought a fierce battle at Cold Harbor.

1864 June 18
Joined Beauregard at Petersburg. Siege of Petersburg began.

1865 February 9
Issued his first general order as Commander-in-Chief.

1865 April 9
Surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

1865 April 10
Issued his Farewell Address to the Army of Northern Virginia. With the war now over, Lee set an example to all in his refusal to express bitterness. "Abandon your animosities," he said, "and make your sons Americans." He then set out to work for a permanent union of the states.

1865 June 13
Applied for Pardon.but it was lost and Lee was not pardoned. Therefore, he lacked the right to hold public office.

1865 August 4
Elected President of Washington College, Lexington, Virginia (now Washington and Lee University.)

1867 February 4
Declined to be a candidate for the governorship of Virginia.

1870 March - April
Visited Georgia in search of health.

1870 October 12
Robert E. Lee died at Lexington.

An employee of the National Archives found Lee's oath that had been lost

Gerald Ford pardoned Robert E. Lee posthumously of all crimes of treason.

Congress restored Lee's full citizenship.

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