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R. E. Lee
R. E. Lee

Confederate (CSA)


Robert Edward Lee

(1807 - 1870)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Commanding General, ANV
Branch of Service: Cavalry
Unit: Army of Northern Virginia

see his Battle Report


Before the Antietam Campaign:
He graduated second in his class from the USMA in 1829. He served on engineering duty in the Mexican War and as superintendent of the USMA. He moved to the Cavalry branch from the Engineers in 1855, was LCol. in the US 2nd Cavalry, and led the forces that captured John Brown's body of men at Harper's Ferry. He refused the offer of command of US forces at the outbreak of the War, and resigned his US commission in April 1861.
Earlier War Service: Initially appointed Commander in chief of Virginia state forces. In May 1861 Brig. Gen. in Confederate army, commanded forces in West Virginia, examined coastal defences; August 1861 full General, military adviser to President Davis, took over command of ANV after J E Johnston was wounded during Seven Days.

In the Antietam Campaign:
In command of the Confederate Army of Northern VA (ANV), General Lee was the on-scene leader. Also you may want to read Lee's Letter to President Davis describing some of his reasons for moving into Maryland and his (in)famous Special Orders No. 191 detailing his plans for the Campaign.

The remainder of the War:
Gen Lee commanded the ANV through all of its campaigns until the surrender at Appomattox. In 1865 he was made General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States.

After the War:
He was President of Washington (later Washington and Lee) College (VA).

References, Sources, and other notes:
Considered by many to have been the greatest general of the Civil War.

More on the Web:
For two more details see also a biographical sketch from Stewart Sifakis at Shotgun's Civil War page, with links to others. An interesting site which discusses the post-war 'deification' of Lee is the Apotheosis of Robert E. Lee from some folks at the University of VA. ( - gone 2/2006)

Birth Date: 1/19/1807    Place of Birth: Stratford (Stratford Hall), Virginia    
College: US Military Academy, West Point, NY    Graduating Year: 1829    Class Rank: 2
Death Date: 10/12/1870    Death Place: Lexington, Virginia    Burial Place: Lee Chapel Museum, Lexington, Virginia

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