Skip to comments.140th Anniversary of Robert E. Lee's death
Posted on 10/01/2010 4:15:03 PM PDT by BigReb555
General Lee died at his home at Lexington, Virginia at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, October 12, 1870.
(Excerpt) Read more at huntingtonnews.net ...
The headline from a Richmond newspaper read, quote; News of the death of Robert E. Lee, beloved chieftain of the Southern army, whose strategy mainly was responsible for the surprising fight staged by the Confederacy, brought a two-day halt to Richmond's business activities. unquote
The American flag, which Robert E. Lee had defended as a soldier, flew at half mast in Lexington, Virginia.
General Lee died at his home at Lexington, Virginia at 9:30 AM on Wednesday, October 12, 1870. His last great deed came after the War Between the States when he accepted the presidency of Washington College, now Washington and Lee University. He saved the financially troubled college and helped many young people further their education.
Some write that Robert E. Lee suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on September 28, 1870, but was thought to greatly improve until October 12th, when he took a turn for the worse. His condition seemed more hopeless when his doctor told him, "General you must make haste and get well---Traveller---has been standing too long in his stable and needs exercise."
Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Cadet William Nalle said in a letter home to his mother, dated October 16, 1870, quote;
I suppose of course that you have all read full accounts of Gen Lee's death in the papers. He died on the morning of the 12th at about half past nine. All business was suspended at once all over the country and town, and all duties, military and academic suspended at the Institute, and all the black crape and all similar black material in Lexington, was used up at once, and they had to send on to Lynchburg for more. Every cadet had black crape issued to him, and an order was published at once requiring us to wear it as a badge of mourning for six months. unquote
Read entire letter on Virginia Military Institute website at:
The rains and flooding were the worse of Virginia's history on the day General Lee died. On Wednesday, October 12, 1870, in the presence of his family, Lee quietly passed away.
The church bells rang as the sad news passed through Washington College, Virginia Military Institute, the town of Lexington and the nation. Cadets from VMI College carried the remains of the old soldier to Lee Chapel where he laid in state.
Memorial meetings were held throughout the South and as far North as New York. At Washington College in Lexington eulogies were delivered by: Reverend Pemberton, Reverend W.S. White--Stonewall Jackson's Pastor and Reverend J. William Jones. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis brought the eulogy in Richmond, Virginia. Lee was also eulogized in Great Britain.
When all settled down, Mrs. Robert E. Lee said, "If he had succeeded in gaining by the sword all the South expected and hoped for, he could not have been more honored and lamented."
Many thousands witnessed Lee's funeral procession marching through the town of Lexington, Virginia, with muffled drums and the artillery firing as the hearse was driven to the school's chapel where he was buried. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower knew and appreciated our nations rich history. President Eisenhower was criticized for displaying a portrait of Robert E. Lee in his office. This was part of his response; quote "Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by this nation." unquote
This Christian-gentleman's last words were, "Strike the Tent."
Let me start the thread in the proper fashion: Lee is probably the most unfortunate loser in American history.
Considering the apologies coming from this administration, I wonder if they are going to apologize for stealing his home-place and land which is now Arlington National Cemetery.
I ma proud to say I am one of his direct descendants, and a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Rest in Peace General.
He most likely the most talented one and more talented than a lot of “winners”.
If he’d have been born 100 miles to the east in Maryland and had the same opportunity to go to West Point the war probably would have been a couple of years shorter. You can list thopse with that big of an impact on our history on one or two hands.
“Lee was against slavery and a number of years before the war he freed his own slaves. He was so highly respected, that when war looked imminent, President Abraham Lincoln offered him the Field Command of the United States Army. He struggled all night with his decision, finally resolving to the obligation of loyalty to his home state and the South. He resigned from the U.S. Army and in a letter to his sister explained:
‘With all my devotion to the union and the feelings of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.’
On December 27, 1856, Robert E. Lee wrote to his wife:
‘Slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil in any country.... I think, however, a greater evil to the whites than to the black race...
The doctrines and miracles of our Savior have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small part of the human race, and even among the Christian nations what gross errors still exist.’”
A friend of mine is a direct descendant of Lee. You can see it in her eyes.
He did go to West Point and would have been hung for treason, but for the graciousness of West Pointers.
Do your duty in all things;
you cannot do more;
you should never wish to do less.
-R. E. Lee
(my grandmother was named for him)
Can I throw a question out there. What would everone say is the best book to read on Robert E Lee? I read a book called 1858 a few years ago and the chapters on Lee were interesting.
NAw, that joke was on the yankees. They thought they were putting him down by putting a graveyard on his property, but in reality they hallowed the grounds he walked beyond measure in a gesture that he would have found entirely appropriate.
“I am proud to say I am one of his direct descendants,
and a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.”
I want you to bear my children! :-)
Please explain how he differed from Benedict Arnold.
” How far do you stand from an attack upon your home ? “
Robert E. Lee
Robert Duvall is also a descendant of this great gentleman.
Rest in Peace General.
America’s greatest general.
For one thing — Lee didn’t switch sides in the middle of the war.
You beat me, but this Northerner agrees.
Didn’t he play him in Gettysburg?
The progressivist-communist-cryptomarxists have smeared this great man’s name. It is time for him to be rehabilitated.
“He did go to West Point and would have been hung for treason, but for the graciousness of West Pointers.”
No Confederates were charged with treason.
Whatever for? There was no treason committed. Or perhaps you have a document that says otherwise? Something that says secession was unconstitutional perhaps?
I don't know about that but Robert Duvall did portray General Robert E. Lee in Gods and Generals, a film released in 2003.
It all depends on which perspective you want to take. From the British perspective, all of the founding fathers were traitors that should have been hung or imprisoned.
Lee chose to fight not for a still young country, one with a tremendously divisive flaw, but for the land of his birthplace, Virginia. His father fought to overcome tyranny and was a hero.
Lee may not have agreed with all issues of the southern cause but he did choose to fight to help overthrow that which many in the south saw as tyranny against them.
Not only did he go to West Point, he graduated at the top of his class, and he served as superintendent.
Martin Sheen portrayed Lee in Gettysburg
I don’t know what kind of an America we would be living in today if Lee’s efforts had help the South prevail. My ancestors fought for The Army of the Potomac. Still in General Robert E. Lee is proof that men are capable of fighting bravely and skillfully for a wrong cause.
Pretty select group of "best generals": Washington, Lee, Pershing, Patton and Eisenhower, have to be in the top five. Each had strengths, some more so then the others.
Few of them had any glaring weaknesses, Patton being the notable exception.
“Never do a wrong thing to make or keep a friend”
Robert E. Lee
I’ve been to Lexington. Nice little town. Saw the house Lee lived and died in with the stable for Traveller still attached. Unfortunately, couldn’t tour it with the president of the college living there. Nice stuff to visit including Stonewall Jackson’s house and, of course, Stonewall is buried there as well with his stuffed horse Little Sorrel in the VMI museum. Lot of Confederate history in that town. I was able to visit the cottage where General Grant spent the last month of his life finishing his memoirs and died and that is something to see in Wilton, NY on Mt. McGregor if you ever get a chance. Lot of original stuff from Grant there and it’s something to take in what our country went through in that era.
Harry Turtldove wrote a series of books which takes this perspective and treats it seriously.
He goes from the Civil War through WWII with the CSA and the USA fighting a second time, and if memory serves even on opposite sides in WWI.
You can also ask how he’s any different than Washington was to the British.
It was a prequel. Martin Sheen was tied up on the west wing and couldn’t reprise his Lee, and so Duvall stepped in. Good sign for a sequel when a better actor steps in. Not that Sheen is bad, he’s just a bad American, and Duvall is a better actor.
I wouldn’t say Patton had any weaknesses as a field general. What about Grant and Sherman? What about Chesty Puller? But you are right, for the thousands upon thousands of generals this country has had, there are precious few who are memorable.
Very PC put,oilstick.
I'm not sure how unfortunate he was. With his proven leadership ability he had class and dignity and attained a (kind of) immortality in life.
In spite of his flawed decision, he belongs in the Pantheon of Americans who made this an infinitely interesting nation.
What about Grant -- Weak on strategy (Vicksburg), but excelled at dogged determination. If equally equipped, Lee would have made mincemeat out of him.
and Sherman? A man who allowed his men to become ruthless against civilians and a war criminal for allowing these actions in Georgia.
This is a fitting assignment to the Lee home. It also adds to the immortalitry of the Lee name. It's kind of awesome to walk the same paths that Lee walked in and about his home.
I think that was Martin Sheen.
General Benedict Arnold was by far the best field commander we had during the American revolution. H did not however feel that we could win the war and was privately talking with the British on the possibility of a truce. He was not tried for treason as many people think,he never actually betrayed our country. He was hanged for misuse of government property( thumped up charges). He was hanged and buried in full military uniform. General Robert E. Lee fought to restore the original Constitution of the United States for the citizens of the South. Lee was a man of honor, something you will not find in Washington D.C.
He finished either 1st or 2nd in his class and
no demerits over the 4 years he was there.
I’m not sure but I think that record still stands.
I doubt thinking people think he needs to be rehabilitated.
Wasn’t it Major General Meigs from Georgia who turned Lee’s home into a burial ground? He knew Lee prior to the war when he worked with him in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and wasn’t happy about all the dying that was going on.
There is no doubt in my mind that, had Lee prevailed, the Confederacy would - to this day - be the most Christian and conservative country in the world.
If I understand it right, Lee was fighting to get the North to leave the South alone, especially his beloved Virginia. His excursion into Pennsylvania was to get the North to sue for peace.
I've been accused of controversial thinking, but I think Hiram Ulysses Grant was the greatest soldier ever to don a uniform for the United States. He certainly performed the greatest service.