Short Biography of Robert E. Lee
A general in the Confederate army of Virginia in the mid-1800s, Robert E. Lee and his forces were one of the strongest, most cunning, and longest-lasting forces in the Civil War in the United States. In fact, it was his surrender to the forces of the north that signaled an end to the war.
As a young lad, Robert was treated as a member of the gentry due to his father’s leadership in the American Revolution, a governor of Virginia, and a plantation owner. Upon his father’s death, the Lee family was still able to hold their societal rank, even though they bordered bankruptcy. However, Lee had a desire to succeed no matter the odds and he thereby enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point. Here, Robert E. Lee learned all about the tactics of war, how to keep command, and how to keep his soldiers together. He graduated second in his class with the highest honors.
Almost drawn into the Civil War due to Virginia’s Confederate sympathies, Robert E. Lee was made an advisor to the President of the south, Jefferson Davis. Lee was able, mostly on his own, to put together a key defensive strategy against the northern states. And, after several key battles and a massive defensive campaign to protect Richmond, which was the center of armament manufacturing for the southern states, Lee and his men were fatigued, weary, and often sick. Even with his well-known and feared Army of Northern Virginia, the units were suffering. In the Seven Days’ Battle, Lee’s men gained confidence that they would survive. However, his soldiers weren’t well supplied and even clothing became an issue.
fter the northern forces surrounded his army, he surrendered and eventually took a position at Washington College, which after his death would change their name to Washington and Lee College in his memory. In his years at Washington College, he taught his students about the importance of working to reunite the states and about how they should teach their children to be unified citizens, with no ill feelings towards the north. In fact, Lee often taught about how war should be avoided at all costs and how war was the saddest and should be the last method ever employed.