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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Celebration of a General

This Day in History: January 19, 1807


Lee at age 31 in 1838, as a
Lieutenant of Engineers in the U. S. Army
It is on this day, January 19, 1807, that Robert Edward Lee was born in Stratford of Westmoreland County, Virginia. It was not of an unusual nature that Robert E. Lee would become a great military leader. Lee's father was known as “Light Horse Harry Lee”, an American Revolutionary War hero. Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point, earning no demerits for discipline infractions during his tenure there. Because of his brilliant battlefield leadership Robert E. Lee earned the reputation as one of the greatest military leaders in history as he consistently defeated larger Union armies.

Abraham Lincoln, who later became president of the United States, offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861 but Lee refused. He would not raise arms against his native state. Lee resigned his commission and headed home to Virginia. Lee served as adviser to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, and then commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. After four years of death and destruction, Robert E. Lee met Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, where both generals ended their battles. Lee told his comrades, “Go home and be good Americans”. Source: timeanddate.com

Lee, General of the Confederate Army.
(1863, Julian Vannerson)
Robert E. Lee is also known to history as "The Marble Man" possibly due to the stone veneer that historians have used to cloak his demeanor since his death in 1870. Lee remained a regional hero until the early 20th century when he evolved into a national icon. He was a man of exceptional character devoted to his beloved state of Virginia.  

"What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world." ~General Robert E. Lee