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Education and political career of robert edward lee

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Robert E. Lee

Lee graduated second in his class from West Point in 1829. He did not receive a single demerit during his four years at the academy. In 1852 he was appointed superintendent of West Point. Three years later, with the approval of Jefferson Davisthen secretary of war, he transferred as a lieutenant colonel to the newly raised Second Cavalry and served in West Texas.

Arsenal and Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia now West Virginiain October 1859 occurred while Lee was at his home on extended leave in Arlington, Virginia, he was placed in command of a detachment of marines and, with Second Lieutenant J. Stuart, captured Brown and his band.

On April 20, 1861, at the outbreak of the American Civil Warhe resigned his commission and three days later was appointed by Governor John Letcher of Virginia to be commander in chief of the military and naval forces of the state. Soon after he was promoted to full general. He was recalled to Richmond, and from March 1862 he was military adviser to President Davis.

When General Joseph E. Here, even after the bloodiest day of the entire war, Lee held on and was willing to fight on the same field another day. On December 13, he defeated General Ambrose Burnside at Fredericksburg, and it was here that he made the remark to General James Longstreet that many of his admirers have tried to explain away: It is one of the most elemental rules of generalship, indeed one might feel it elemental common sense, that the general of a numerically inferior force refrain from dividing that force in the face of his enemy.

Yet Lee had done that just before Antietam, detaching Jackson to capture Harpers Ferry; at Chancellorsville he did it not merely once, leaving part of his army at Fredericksburg, but twice, for he detached Jackson with the larger portion of his remaining force to come in on the Union right flank while he stood with only two education and political career of robert edward lee in front of the massive federal army.

Such actions seemed so unthinkable to Hooker that he could not take it in. He paused to think about it, and his pause was fatal. The courteous, calm Lee was daring to the point of rashness.

  • Here, even after the bloodiest day of the entire war, Lee held on and was willing to fight on the same field another day;
  • He laid him out gently on the ground, kissed him, and got back to advancing.

The rifle, which had largely replaced the musket in the Union armies, had made such attacks hopeless. Lee failed to recognize the effect of improved weapons. From the Battle of the Wilderness in May-June 1864 until the siege of Petersburg from July 1864 until April 1865, Lee fought what was essentially a rearguard action.

  • Howard, to whom Lee as West Point superintendent had been kind when Howard was an unpopular cadet, and Maj;
  • On 3 June 1863 Lee set out for Pennsylvania, but he did so without Stonewall Jackson, who had died on 10 May of complications from wounds suffered at Chancellorsville;
  • Not according to him.

In the winter of 1865, President Davis appointed Lee general in chief of the armies of the Confederate states. But by that time the Confederates had lost the war.

Lee has been charged with being too bloody-minded, of fighting on even when he must have known that his cause was lost. Viewed realistically, this was certainly true; but what the mind knows, the heart cannot always accept.

Making Sense of Robert E. Lee

Lee was not alone in failing to admit defeat in a cause to which he was emotionally attached. He fought to the bitter end, and that end came on April 9, 1865, when he surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. He applied to have his citizenship restored, but the application was mislaid.

  • On 3 June 1863 Lee set out for Pennsylvania, but he did so without Stonewall Jackson, who had died on 10 May of complications from wounds suffered at Chancellorsville;
  • On June 30 a Confederate brigade, pursuing the report that there were shoes to be had in Gettysburg, ran into Federal cavalry west of town, and withdrew;
  • Lee moves to west Texas for the position;
  • He was, however, able to withdraw the remnants across the Potomac , to reorganize his army, and to resume his series of victories at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December of that year;
  • October 15, 1870 Lee's coffin is paraded through the small town of Lexington, Virginia;
  • Grant assumed command of the Federal armies.

It was found in 1970 and granted. He died in Lexington of heart disease on October 12, 1870. His last words were said to have been: Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker.