Who Was Robert E. Lee?
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Robert E. Lee seemed destined for greatness. His father was a Revolutionary War hero and at West Point he graduated second in his class! In 1861, when the Southern states seceded from the Union, Lee was offered the opportunity to command the Union forces. However, even though he was against the war, his loyalty to his home state of Virginia wouldn’t let him fight for the North. Despite the South’s ultimate defeat, General Robert E. Lee remains one of the United States’ true military heroes.
slaves worked the land. All too soon, Robert’s visit to Arlington came to an end. It was time to return to West Point. ROBERT E. LEE’S VIEWS ON SLAVERY ROBERT GREW UP WITH SLAVES WORKING THE LAND THAT HIS FAMILY OWNED. SOME HISTORIANS SAY THAT ROBERT WAS AGAINST SLAVERY, AND THAT IS WHY HE CONSIDERED FIGHTING FOR THE NORTH DURING THE CIVIL WAR. HOWEVER, OTHER HISTORIANS SAY THAT ROBERT DID NOT OBJECT TO SLAVERY. ONE HISTORIAN UNCOVERED LETTERS WRITTEN BY ROBERT SAYING THAT HE SAW SLAVES AS
Independence. Robert grew up with a great love for his country. Yet, in 1861, the country he so admired was torn apart by the start of the Civil War. Robert was torn, too. He wanted the country to remain united. He did not want the South to break away from the United States and form a separate country. But that is what happened. When asked to lead Northern troops against the South, Robert E. Lee was even more torn. How could he go to war against his friends and family who lived in Virginia? It
their lives. At first it looked as if the Union soldiers were going to capture Fredericksburg. But then the course of the battle turned around. Looking down from his post on a hill, Robert saw thousands of men—his men—in gray uniforms rushing down toward the Union soldiers who charged up the hill. In the end, Robert’s army pushed the Union soldiers out of Fredericksburg. But it was not enough of a victory for Robert. He wrote to Mary, “[The enemy] went as they came, in the night. They suffered
been disloyal to the government and has tried to destroy it. Robert asked to be cleared from the charges. He did not want to go to trial. He did not want to land in jail. No one would agree to this until General Grant stepped in and helped get the charges of treason dropped. Next Robert tried to get back the rights of a US citizen that he had lost when he joined the Confederacy. Robert signed a paper pledging his loyalty to the United States and sent it to the secretary of state. Unfortunately,
behind. Several times during the next few years, Robert was called to Washington. He was asked questions about the Confederacy. The government wanted to bring charges against Jefferson Davis. Robert continued to work hard as college president. But his health was getting worse, and so was Mary’s. By the summer of 1868, it was hard for Robert to ride Traveller. His body ached. His heart was weak. By March 1870, Robert had to take a leave from the college. He needed a rest. Along with his