Skip to comments.140th Anniversary of Robert E. Lee's death
Posted on 10/10/2010 2:24:00 PM PDT by BigReb555
The American flag, which Robert E. Lee had defended as a soldier, flew at half mast in Lexington, Virginia.
(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...
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."
Rest in peace, General.
Oh...don’t get me started...
Or me either. The South lost. End of story.
Round 2 is coming up, bud.
Few Americans will know of Lee’s greatness and impeccable integrity since he has been vilified and diminished in classrooms for decades.
A former slave, who Lee freed long before the war, stayed with him as his cook throughout the war. Later becoming a minister, he said “No man borne of woman was ever greater than Robert E. Lee.”
I have a real hard time honoring a man who led a group that started a war against the United States.
Oh please. Get over it. Living under The Stars and Stripes isn’t good enough for you? Haven’t enough brave men and women died for that flag?
Yet we always honored him, until this new, post sixties, doper America.
There's no doubt he did great things, but the biggest mistake of his life was joining the enemy of the United States and leading it in battle against said United States. That alone, in my opinion, ranks him at the level of Benedict Arnold, which keeps me from honoring him.
“I have a real hard time honoring a man who led a group that started a war against the United States.”
You must mean that war that put a stake in the heart of State’s rights. Is that the war that you refer to?
Since you refer to yourself as a youth I will assume that you have never been taught the true history of this country, if you had you might have a different outlook. I have yet to meet a person under forty, regardless of his level of education who knows even the history we were taught in grade school back in the fifties. No, I don’t refer to the history of the American civil war, I refer to history of all types, World history, American history etc. I have spoken to recent college graduates who majored in history but could not name one battle in the American Revolutionary war and in fact some cannot even name the country we fought for our independence. I don’t meant to be unfair, you may be the exception but unless you are the exception you probably don’t know enough about the real facts to have an opinion.
nah. he is referring to “The War of Northern Aggression “
or as the Baldwin Sisters say...The late unpleasntness between the States.
“I have a real hard time honoring a man who led a group that started a war against the United States.”
I have served this country militarily (USMC) and all of my ancestors of military age at the time served in the Confederate Army. In fact, my family has participated in every war we have ever been in except the Spanish-American War. I have a nephew leaving for his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq next month. I am a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and have no problem honoring my kinfolks who have passed on before me who happened to have served in the Confederate Army. In fact, had I been around at the time, I’m sure I would have served in the CSA too.
I’m also am proud to honor the memory of their leader and one of the finest Christian gentlemen to have ever graced our fair country, General Robert Edward Lee of Virginia.
R.E. Lee ping
If you're referring to that war over a state's right to enslave a human being, then yeah, that one. Which party ran the south? I'm not going to mention any names, but the initials were Democrats.
You mean the war where the confederacy/richmond was more important then the states it defended.
Due to the nature of the rebellion, and the definition of honor in a time when it meant something, it was recognized that both sides were honorable men that loved America.
That is why the United States Army uses both North and South leaders when naming their military posts.
"Although naming forts and camps after distinguished military veterans from both the U.S. and Confederate Armies had become a common practice, it was not the official policy until the publication of a War Department memorandum dated 20 November 1939. This memorandum stated that The War Department has enunciated a policy of naming military reservations in honor of deceased distinguished officers regardless of the arm or service in which they have served. In the years 1939-1946, almost all military installations designated as forts or camps were named after distinguished military individuals, including veterans of the Confederate Army."
Robert E.Lee = traitor to the USA!
The North had slave states also, slavery ended in the South before it ended in the North.
Many people today forget that States prior to the Civil War were viewed much differently than they are today. There wasnt nearly as much sense of Nationalism as we have now. We didnt even have a national currency at the time, like every other country on the planet.
Robert E. Lee was especially reluctant to join the other U.S. officers who resigned to join the confederacy. He was tempted by Lincolns offer to command the Union Army. Yet he could not persuade himself to raise his hand against Virginia.
I think Lee would of had no problems lighting a cigar with the Constitution of the Confederacy, but when he saw his state was in the cross hairs of the Army of the Potomac, what else could he do?
quote: “There’s no doubt he did great things, but the biggest mistake of his life was joining the enemy of the United States and leading it in battle against said United States. That alone, in my opinion, ranks him at the level of Benedict Arnold, which keeps me from honoring him.”
And yes, I understand that perspective. However, the war was vastly more complex than one side being totally right and one side being totally wrong, which is why it must be studied and understood.
My post was not about the war. It was simply about Lee, from an opinion of someone who knew him well.
Who was it that lead the US forces at Harpers Ferry?
The Forces that captured John Brown...
Hint, several interesting men where there.
I make a comment about ME not honoring Robert E. Lee, then you go and make it personal by questioning my lack of education? You know absolutely nothing about me, outside of what you may read on FR. I'm pretty sure that my educational background hasn't been mentioned much on here.
As for my name, it was chosen almost 11 years ago when I joined FR. Again, that tells you absolutely nothing about how educated I am.
As for my opinion of Robert E. Lee, and the democrats who ran the south during and after the Civil War, I don't need a elementary/middle school/high school/college professor to tell me how to think, or to tell me what happened. I am smart enough to read on my own, form my own opinions, and to debate them without questioning someone's educational background.
Well said. Thank you for your and your ancestors’ service. Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest American generals that has ever served the US Army, as well as the CSA.
Stories don't end, except in fiction.
I spent my Freshman year as a “Rat” at VMI back in 1970. Lee was greatly honored as a man, but Jackson was at least his peer among the faculty and Cadets.
Both were great men in different ways. Their likes are increasingly rare, like the fading echos of the generation that founded our nation. Who of their stature will emerge to lead us in the upcoming conflagration?
I'm not jumping on people who want to honor him. I understand those who honor him, and I don't hold a grudge against them. I personally just choose not to do so.
Trust me, I'm southern born and raised, and there's something special about the south that the northern states don't have. This just happens to be one of the sore spots for my heritage, in my honest opinion.
vilifying General Lee, in my opinion, is a useless exercise. He, like others on both sides, were fighting for things they believed in. For us to properly understand that over 150 years after the war is, I submit, somewhat difficult. My feeling is that all participants in that exercise were driven by local concerns and beliefs. Judging that should be left to the Almighty.
Good men can fight well for a bad cause. Fiction? The South lost in 1865. That’s fiction? Just what is that makes all these ‘’Confederates in the Attic’’ want to re-live 1861-65?
Im reminded of a short piece of grainy black & white film, showing old bearded men in their 80s and 90s, many wearing pieces of their old uniforms and medals, embracing each other and shaking hands with those who they once tried to kill. If they would have known, they would have been embarrassed, no sickened, at the thought that 145 years after the war some of their great great great grand children would still think like you.
Here are some more honors that reinforce the respect that the United States has always shown General Lee. If it still puzzles you, then taking a look at some pre 1980 textbooks and history books should explain it.
“Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion and located in present-day Arlington National Cemetery, is maintained by the National Park Service as a memorial to Lee.”
“The USS Robert E. Lee, a George Washington class ballistic missile submarine built in 1958, was named for Lee.”
“In 1900, Lee was one of the first 29 individuals selected for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (the first Hall of Fame in the United States), designed by Stanford White, on the Bronx, New York, campus of New York University, now a part of Bronx Community College.”
“On September 21, 1955, the United States Postal Service released a 30¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Lee.”
The stake to the heart of states' rights occurred in Philadelphia, in 1787.
WADR: Personally, if I am allowed to have a favorite Confederate, MY favorite Confederate General is Gen. James Longstreet; who TRIED to prevent Marse Robert from launching Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg.
Longstreet told Lee it COULD NOT SUCCEED. Marse Robert, by this time in the war, thinking he was INVINCIBLE, wouldn’t listen.
“Those whom the gods would destroy they first make drunk with power.” — Historian Arnold Toynbee
That's all it was good for. It had all the same fatal flaws as the US Constitution. Hence, the 'confederacy' was in name only. In reality, it was a consolidated centralized system on all fours with ours. It wasn't a confederacy. Ironic, isn't it?
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion and located in present-day Arlington National Cemetery, is maintained by the National Park Service as a memorial to Lee.
The history of that cemetery wasn't exactly started as a memorial to Lee. In fact, it was started to make sure he wouldn't return to live there. I'm glad the house is now kept and funded. It's a part of history, and I'm not of the opinion that we should wipe the slate of all historical references. And I'll go one step more and say that it's a beautiful house.
People should realize that the South was deeply divided. Many, esp. in border states, opposed secession, but they could not abandon their homeland when the imperialist forces of the Federal govt. invaded and waged total war on civilians, just as their ancestors had fought against the British imperialists. This country was not founded as another empire. It was a voluntary confederation of diverse people and their States.
I recommend this book for anyone who wants a look at Lee's character and a balanced feel for the times.
The United States Army, and the United States Navy, and the United States Government, do choose to honor him, along with of lots of other Confederates.
You want to run cover for these two despicable creatures, have at it. Just stop your whining already.
Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan!
(in THE SANTA FE TRAIL).
Marse Robert was a man of honor. It’s a sign of maturity and the unique gift of the USA that so bitter a Civil War could be transcended by the people on both sides. They were all Americans. At least that’s my humble opinion.
If I were around, I would help you. Lee surrendered, I didn’t.
Lincoln had his good points.
Your animus toward youth may be well intentioned, but your superior attitude leaves you vulnerable to criticism of your utter lack of grammar, capitalization and punctuation rules. sd
Haha, that’s right.
Interesting times they lived in, imagine the
conflict of loyalty and duty.
Quote: “I’m not jumping on people who want to honor him. I understand those who honor him, and I don’t hold a grudge against them. I personally just choose not to do so.”
That’s your opinion, and no one was asking you to honor him.
For all the angst many have about Lee (because of the way the war is presented in schools), consider this: Grant had reverence and great respect for Lee, as shown in his memoirs and personal account of the surrender at Appomattox. Perhaps you will find Grant’s opinion easier to trust than opinions in textbooks and internet postings about Lee 140 years later.
BnBlFlag. I was refering to your post before it was deleted.
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