Lee privately opposed the Confederacy in letters in early 1861, denouncing secession as "nothing but revolution" and an unconstitutional betrayal of the efforts of the "Founding Fathers. Writing to his "eldest son in January, Lee stated:
The South, in my opinion, has been aggrieved by the acts of the North, as you say. I feel the aggression, and am willing to take every proper step for redress. It is the principle I contend for, not individual or private benefit. As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for "perpetual union," so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled.
Despite his opposition to secession in principle, Lee's objection on the basis of constitutionality was ultimately outweighed by a sense of personal honor, reservations about the legitimacy of a strife-ridden "Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets," and duty to defend his native Virginia if attacked. Lee held no illusions about the prospect of civil war and was one of few to correctly foresee the protracted and devastating nature of the conflict.
The commanding general of the Union Army, "Winfield Scott, told Lincoln he wanted Lee for a top command. Lee accepted a promotion to colonel on March 28. He had earlier been asked by one of his lieutenants if he intended to fight for the Confederacy or the Union, to which Lee replied, "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty." Meanwhile, Lee ignored an offer of command from the "Confederate States of America. After Lincoln's call for troops to put down the rebellion, it was obvious that Virginia would quickly secede. Lee on April 18 was offered by presidential advisor "Francis P. Blair a role as major general to command the "defense of Washington. He replied:
- Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?
Lee resigned from the U.S. Army on April 20 and took up command of the Virginia state forces on April 23. While historians have usually called his decision inevitable ("the answer he was born to make", wrote one; another called it a "no-brainer") given the ties to family and state, an 1871 letter from his eldest daughter, Mary Custis Lee, to a biographer described Lee as "worn and harassed" yet calm as he deliberated alone in his office. Aside from Mary, a secessionist, his family was overwhelmingly pro-Union. While Lee's immediate family followed him to the Confederacy, others, such as cousins and fellow officers "Samuel Phillips and John Fitzgerald Lee, remained loyal to the Union, as did 40 percent of Virginian officers.
At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command all of Virginia's forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first five "full generals. Lee did not wear the insignia of a Confederate general, but only the three stars of a Confederate colonel, equivalent to his last U.S. Army rank. He did not intend to wear a general's insignia until the Civil War had been won and he could be promoted, in peacetime, to general in the Confederate Army.
Lee's first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western Virginia, where he was defeated at the "Battle of Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate setbacks. He was then sent to organize the coastal defenses along the Carolina and Georgia seaboard, appointed commander, "Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida" on November 5, 1861. Between then and the fall of "Fort Pulaski, April 11, 1862, he put in place a defense of Savannah that proved successful in blocking Federal advance on Savannah. Confederate fort and naval gunnery dictated night time movement and construction by the besiegers. Federal preparations required four months. In those four months, Lee developed a defense in depth. Behind Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River, "Fort Jackson was improved, and two additional batteries covered river approaches. In the face of the Union superiority in naval, artillery and infantry deployment, Lee was able to block any Federal advance on Savannah, and at the same time, well-trained Georgia troops were released in time to meet McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. The City of Savannah would not fall until Sherman's approach from the interior at the end of 1864.
At first, the press spoke to the disappointment of losing Fort Pulaski. Surprised by the effectiveness of large caliber Parrott Rifles in their first deployment, it was widely speculated that only betrayal could have brought overnight surrender to a "Third System Fort. Lee was said to have failed to get effective support in the Savannah River from the three sidewheeler gunboats of the Georgia Navy. Although again blamed by the press for Confederate reverses, he was appointed military adviser to "Confederate President "Jefferson Davis, the former "U.S. Secretary of War. While in "Richmond, Lee was ridiculed as the 'King of Spades' for his excessive digging of trenches around the capitol. These trenches would later play a pivotal role in battles near the end of the war.
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia (June 1862-June 1863)
In the spring of 1862, in the "Peninsula Campaign, the Union "Army of the Potomac under General "George B. McClellan advanced on Richmond from "Fort Monroe to the east. McClellan forced Gen. "Joseph E. Johnston and the Army of Virginia to retreat to just north and east of the Confederate capital.
Then Johnston was wounded at the "Battle of Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862. Lee now got his first opportunity to lead an army in the field - the force he renamed the "Army of Northern Virginia, signalling his confidence that the Union army would be driven away from Richmond. Early in the war, Lee had been called "Granny Lee" for his allegedly timid style of command. Confederate newspaper editorials objected to him replacing Johnston, opining that Lee would be passive, waiting for Union attack. And for the first three weeks of June, he did not attack, instead strengthening Richmond's defenses.
But then he launched a series of bold attacks against McClellan's forces, the "Seven Days Battles. Despite superior Union numbers, and some clumsy tactical performances by his subordinates, Lee's attacks derailed McClellan's plans and drove back part of his forces. Confederate casualties were heavy, but McClellan was unnerved, retreated 25 miles (40 km) to the lower "James River, and abandoned the Peninsula Campaign. This success completely changed Confederate morale, and the public's regard for Lee. After the Seven Days Battles, and until the end of the war, his men called him simply "Marse Robert", a term of respect and affection.
The setback, and the resulting drop in Union morale, impelled Lincoln to adopt a new policy of relentless, committed warfare. After the Seven Days, Lincoln decided he would move to emancipate most Confederate slaves by executive order, as a military act, using his authority as commander-in-chief. But he needed a Union victory first.
Meanwhile, Lee defeated another Union army under Gen. "John Pope at the "Second Battle of Bull Run. In less than 90 days after taking command, Lee had run McClellan off the Peninsula, defeated Pope, and moved the battle lines from 6 miles (9.7 km) outside Richmond, to 20 miles (32 km) outside Washington.
Lee now invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, hoping to collect supplies in Union territory, and possibly win a victory that would sway "the upcoming Union elections in favor of ending the war. But McClellan's men found a lost Confederate dispatch, "Special Order 191, that revealed Lee's plans and movements. McClellan always exaggerated Lee's numerical strength, but now he knew the Confederate army was divided and could be destroyed in detail. However, McClellan moved slowly, not realizing a spy had informed Lee that McClellan had the plans. Lee quickly concentrated his forces west of Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where McClellan attacked on September 17. On "the bloodiest single day of the war, with both sides suffering enormous losses, Lee's army barely withstood the Union assaults, then retreated to Virginia the next day. This narrow Confederate defeat gave President "Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue his "Emancipation Proclamation, which put the Confederacy on the diplomatic and moral defensive.
Disappointed by McClellan's failure to destroy Lee's army, Lincoln named "Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Burnside ordered an attack across the "Rappahannock River at "Fredericksburg, Virginia. Delays in bridging the river allowed Lee's army ample time to organize strong defenses, and "the Union frontal assault on December 13, 1862 was a disaster. There were 12,600 Union casualties to 5,000 Confederate; one of the most one-sided battles in the Civil War. After this victory, Lee reportedly said "It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it." At Fredericksburg, according to historian Michael Fellman, Lee had completely entered into the "spirit of war, where destructiveness took on its own beauty."
After the bitter Union defeat at Fredericksburg, President Lincoln named "Joseph Hooker commander of the Army of the Potomac. In May 1863, Hooker maneuvered to attack Lee's army via "Chancellorsville, Virginia But Hooker was defeated by Lee's daring maneuver: dividing his army and sending "Stonewall Jackson's corps to attack Hooker's flank. Lee won a decisive victory over a larger force, but with heavy casualties, including Jackson, his finest corps commander, who was accidentally killed by his own troops.
Battle of Gettysburg
The critical decisions came in May–June 1863, after Lee's smashing victory at the "Battle of Chancellorsville. The western front was crumbling, as multiple uncoordinated Confederate armies were unable to handle General "Ulysses S. Grant's campaign against Vicksburg. The top military advisers wanted to save Vicksburg, but Lee persuaded Davis to overrule them and authorize yet another invasion of the North. The immediate goal was to acquire urgently needed supplies from the rich farming districts of Pennsylvania; a long-term goal was to stimulate peace activity in the North by demonstrating the power of the South to invade. Lee's decision proved a significant strategic blunder and cost the Confederacy control of its western regions, and nearly cost Lee his own army as Union forces cut him off from the South. Lee had to fight his way out at Gettysburg.
In the summer of 1863, Lee invaded the North again, marching through western Maryland and into south central Pennsylvania. He encountered Union forces under "George G. Meade at the three-day "Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania in July; the battle would produce the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War. With some of his subordinates being new and inexperienced in their commands, "J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry being out of the area, and Lee being slightly ill, he was less than comfortable with how events were unfolding. While the first day of battle was controlled by the Confederates, key terrain that should have been taken by "General Ewell was not. The second day ended with the Confederates unable to break the Union position, and the Union being more solidified. Lee's decision on the third day, against the sound judgment of his best corps commander "General Longstreet, to launch a massive frontal assault on the center of the Union line was disastrous. The assault known as "Pickett's Charge was repulsed and resulted in heavy Confederate losses. The general rode out to meet his retreating army and proclaimed, "All this has been my fault." Lee was compelled to retreat. Despite flooded rivers that blocked his retreat, he escaped Meade's ineffective pursuit. Following his defeat at Gettysburg, Lee sent a letter of resignation to President Davis on August 8, 1863, but Davis refused Lee's request. That fall, Lee and Meade met again in two minor campaigns that did little to change the strategic standoff. The Confederate Army never fully recovered from the substantial losses incurred during the 3-day battle in southern Pennsylvania. The historian "Shelby Foote stated, "Gettysburg was the price the South paid for having Robert E. Lee as commander."
Ulysses S. Grant and the Union offensive
In 1864 the new Union general-in-chief, Lt. Gen. "Ulysses S. Grant, sought to use his large advantages in manpower and material resources to destroy Lee's army by "attrition, pinning Lee against his capital of Richmond. Lee successfully stopped each attack, but Grant with his superior numbers kept pushing each time a bit farther to the southeast. These battles in the "Overland Campaign included the "Wilderness, "Spotsylvania Court House and "Cold Harbor.
Grant eventually was able to stealthily move his army across the "James River. After stopping a Union attempt to capture "Petersburg, Virginia, a vital railroad link supplying Richmond, Lee's men built elaborate trenches and were besieged in Petersburg, a development which presaged the "trench warfare of "World War I. He attempted to break the stalemate by sending "Jubal A. Early on a raid through the "Shenandoah Valley to Washington, D.C., but was defeated early on by the superior forces of "Philip Sheridan. The "Siege of Petersburg lasted from June 1864 until March 1865, with Lee's outnumbered and poorly supplied army shrinking daily because of desertions by disheartened Confederates.
On January 31, 1865, Lee was promoted to general-in-chief of Confederate forces.
As the South ran out of manpower the issue of arming the slaves became paramount. By late 1864, the army so dominated the Confederacy that civilian leaders were unable to block the military's proposal, strongly endorsed by Lee, to arm and train slaves in Confederate uniform for combat. Lee explained, "We should employ them without delay ... [along with] gradual and general emancipation." The first units were in training as the war ended. As the Confederate army was devastated by casualties, disease and desertion, the Union attack on "Petersburg succeeded on April 2, 1865. Lee abandoned Richmond and retreated west. Lee then made an attempt to escape to the southwest and join up with Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee in North Carolina. However, his forces were soon surrounded and he surrendered them to Grant on April 9, 1865, at the "Battle of Appomattox Court House. Other Confederate armies followed suit and the war ended. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his "Farewell Address to his army.
Lee resisted calls by some officers to reject surrender and allow small units to melt away into the mountains, setting up a lengthy guerrilla war. He insisted the war was over and energetically campaigned for inter-sectional reconciliation. "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South."
Summaries of Lee's Civil War battles
The following are summaries of Civil War campaigns and major battles where Robert E. Lee was the commanding officer:
|Battle||Date||Result||Opponent||Confederate troop strength||Union troop strength||Confederate casualties||Union casualties||Notes|
|"Cheat Mountain||September 11–13, 1861||Defeat||"Reynolds||5,000||3,000||~90||88||Lee's first battle of the Civil War. Severely criticized, Lee was nicknamed "Granny Lee". Lee was sent to SC and GA to supervise fortifications.|
|"Seven Days||June 25 – July 1, 1862||Victory
||"McClellan||95,000||91,000||20,614||15,849||Lee acquitted himself well, and remained in field command for the duration of the war under the direction of Jefferson Davis. Union troops remained on the Lower Peninsula and at Fortress Monroe, which became a terminus on the Underground Railroad, and the site terming escaped slaves as "contribands", no longer returned to their rebel owners.|
|"Second Manassas||August 28–30, 1862||Victory||"Pope||49,000||76,000||9,197||16,054||Union forces continued to occupy northern Virginia|
|"South Mountain||September 14, 1862||Defeat||McClellan||18,000||28,000||2,685||1,813||Confederates lost control of westernmost Virginian congressional districts which would later be the core counties of West Virginia.|
|"Antietam||September 16–18, 1862||Defeat||McClellan||52,000||75,000||13,724||12,410||Confederates lost an opportunity to gain foreign recognition, Lincoln moved forward on his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.|
|"Fredericksburg||December 11, 1862||Victory||"Burnside||72,000||114,000||5,309||12,653||With Lee's troops and supplies depleted, Confederates remained in place south of the Rappahannock. Union forces did not withdraw from northern Virginia.|
|"Chancellorsville||May 1, 1863||Victory||"Hooker||57,000||105,000||12,764||16,792||Union forces withdrew to ring of defenses around Washington, DC.|
|"Gettysburg||July 1, 1863||Defeat||"Meade||75,000||83,000||23,231
|23,049||The Confederate army was physically and spiritually exhausted. Meade was criticized for not immediately pursuing Lee's army. This battle become known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. Lee would never personally invade the North again after this battle. Rather he was determined to defend Richmond and eventually Petersburg at all costs.|
|"Wilderness||May 5, 1864||Inconclusive||"Grant||61,000||102,000||11,400||18,400||Lee's tactical victory, yet Grant continued his offensive, circling east and south advancing on Richmond and Petersburg|
|"Spotsylvania||May 12, 1864||Inconclusive||Grant||52,000||100,000||12,000||18,000||Although beaten and unable to take Lee's defenses, Grant continued the Union offensive, circling east and south advancing on Richmond and Petersburg|
|"Cold Harbor||June 1, 1864||Victory||Grant||62,000||108,000||2,500||12,000||Although Grant was able to continue his offensive, Grant referred to the Cold Harbor assault as his "greatest regret" of the war in his memoirs.|
|"Fussell's Mill||August 14, 1864||Victory||"Hancock||20,000||28,000||1,700||2,901||Union attempt to break Confederate siege lines at Richmond, the Confederate capital|
|"Appomattox Campaign||March 29, 1865||Defeat||Grant||50,000||113,000||no record available||10,780||General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant. After the surrender Grant gave Lee's army much-needed food rations, they were paroled to return to their homes, never to take up arms against the Union again.|
After the war
After the war, Lee was not arrested or punished, but he did lose the right to vote as well as some property. Lee supported President Johnson's plan of "Reconstruction, but joined with Democrats in opposing the Radical Republicans who demanded punitive measures against the South, distrusted its commitment to the abolition of slavery and, indeed, distrusted the region's loyalty to the United States. Lee generally supported civil rights for all, as well as a system of free public schools for blacks, but forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote. "My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways," Lee stated. Emory Thomas says Lee had become a suffering Christ-like icon for ex-Confederates. President Grant invited him to the White House in 1869, and he went. Nationally he became an icon of reconciliation between the North and South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the national fabric.
Lee's prewar family home, the "Custis-Lee Mansion, was seized by Union forces during the war and turned into "Arlington National Cemetery. The family was compensated in 1883.
Lee hoped to retire to a farm of his own, but he was too much a regional symbol to live in obscurity. From April to June 1865, he and his family resided in Richmond at the "Stewart-Lee House. He accepted an offer to serve as the president of Washington College (now "Washington and Lee University) in "Lexington, Virginia, and served from October 1865 until his death. The Trustees used his famous name in large-scale fund-raising appeals and Lee transformed Washington College into a leading Southern college expanding its offerings significantly and added programs in commerce, journalism, and integrated the "Lexington Law School. Lee was well liked by the students, which enabled him to announce an ""honor system" like West Point's, explaining "We have but one rule here, and it is that every student be a "gentleman." To speed up national reconciliation Lee recruited students from the North and made certain they were well treated on campus and in town.
Several glowing appraisals of Lee's tenure as college president have survived, depicting the dignity and respect he commanded among all. Previously, most students had been obliged to occupy the campus dormitories, while only the most mature were allowed to live off-campus. Lee quickly reversed this rule, requiring most students to board off-campus, and allowing only the most mature to live in the dorms as a mark of privilege; the results of this policy were considered a success. A typical account by a professor there states that "the students fairly worshipped him, and deeply dreaded his displeasure; yet so kind, affable, and gentle was he toward them that all loved to approach him. ... No student would have dared to violate General Lee's expressed wish or appeal; if he had done so, the students themselves would have driven him from the college."
While at Washington College, Lee told a colleague that the greatest mistake of his life was taking a military education.
President Johnson's amnesty pardons
On May 29, 1865, President "Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of "Amnesty and "Pardon to persons who had participated in the "rebellion against the United States. There were fourteen excepted classes, though, and members of those classes had to make special application to the President. Lee sent an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13, 1865:
Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto; I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Virginia 9 April '65.
On October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of "Washington College in "Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation. Lee was not pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored.
Three years later, on December 25, 1868, Johnson proclaimed a second amnesty which removed previous exceptions, such as the one that affected Lee.
Lee, who had opposed secession and remained mostly indifferent to politics before the Civil War, supported President Johnson's plan of Presidential "Reconstruction that took effect in 1865–66. However, he opposed the Congressional Republican program that took effect in 1867. In February 1866, he was called to testify before the Joint Congressional Committee on Reconstruction in Washington, where he expressed support for President "Andrew Johnson's plans for quick restoration of the former Confederate states, and argued that restoration should return, as far as possible, the status quo ante in the Southern states' governments (with the exception of slavery).
Lee told the Committee, "...every one with whom I associate expresses kind feelings towards the freedmen. They wish to see them get on in the world, and particularly to take up some occupation for a living, and to turn their hands to some work." Lee also expressed his "willingness that blacks should be educated, and ... that it would be better for the blacks and for the whites." Lee forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote: "My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways." Lee also recommended the deportation of African Americans from "Virginia and even mentioned that Virginians would give aid in the deportation. "I think it would be better for Virginia if she could get rid of them [African Americans]. ... I think that everyone there would be willing to aid it."
In an interview in May 1866, Lee said, "The Radical party are likely to do a great deal of harm, for we wish now for good feeling to grow up between North and South, and the President, Mr. Johnson, has been doing much to strengthen the feeling in favor of the Union among us. The relations between the Negroes and the whites were friendly formerly, and would remain so if legislation be not passed in favor of the blacks, in a way that will only do them harm."
In 1868, Lee's ally "Alexander H. H. Stuart drafted a public letter of endorsement for the "Democratic Party's "presidential campaign, in which "Horatio Seymour ran against Lee's old foe Republican "Ulysses S. Grant. Lee signed it along with thirty-one other ex-Confederates. The Democratic campaign, eager to publicize the endorsement, published the statement widely in newspapers. Their letter claimed paternalistic concern for the welfare of freed Southern blacks, stating that "The idea that the Southern people are hostile to the negroes and would oppress them, if it were in their power to do so, is entirely unfounded. They have grown up in our midst, and we have been accustomed from childhood to look upon them with kindness." However, it also called for the restoration of white political rule, arguing that "It is true that the people of the South, in common with a large majority of the people of the North and West, are, for obvious reasons, inflexibly opposed to any system of laws that would place the political power of the country in the hands of the negro race. But this opposition springs from no feeling of enmity, but from a deep-seated conviction that, at present, the negroes have neither the intelligence nor the other qualifications which are necessary to make them safe depositories of political power."
In his public statements and private correspondence, Lee argued that a tone of reconciliation and patience would further the interests of white Southerners better than hotheaded antagonism to federal authority or the use of violence. Lee repeatedly expelled white students from Washington College for violent attacks on local black men, and publicly urged obedience to the authorities and respect for law and order. In 1869–70 he was a leader in successful efforts to establish state-funded schools for blacks. He privately chastised fellow ex-Confederates such as "Jefferson Davis and "Jubal Early for their frequent, angry responses to perceived Northern insults, writing in private to them as he had written to a magazine editor in 1865, that "It should be the object of all to avoid controversy, to allay passion, give full scope to reason and to every kindly feeling. By doing this and encouraging our citizens to engage in the duties of life with all their heart and mind, with a determination not to be turned aside by thoughts of the past and fears of the future, our country will not only be restored in material prosperity, but will be advanced in science, in virtue and in religion."
Illness and death
On September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke. He died two weeks later, shortly after 9 a.m. on October 12, 1870, in "Lexington, Virginia, from the effects of "pneumonia. According to one account, his last words on the day of his death, were "Tell "Hill he must come up. Strike the tent", but this is debatable because of conflicting accounts and because Lee's stroke had resulted in "aphasia, possibly rendering him unable to speak.["citation needed]
At first no suitable coffin for the body could be located. The muddy roads were too flooded for anyone to get in or out of the town of Lexington. An undertaker had ordered three from Richmond that had reached Lexington, but due to unprecedented flooding from long-continued heavy rains, the caskets were washed down the "Maury River. Two neighborhood boys, C.G. Chittum and Robert E. Hillis, found one of the coffins that had been swept ashore. Undamaged, it was used for the General's body, though it was a bit short for him. As a result, Lee was buried without shoes. He was buried underneath "Lee Chapel at "Washington and Lee University, where his body remains.
Among the supporters of the confederacy, Lee came to be even more revered after his surrender than he had been during the war, when "Stonewall Jackson had been the great Confederate hero. In an address before the Southern Historical Society in "Atlanta, Georgia in 1874, "Benjamin Harvey Hill described Lee in this way:
He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbour without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guile. He was a Caesar, without his ambition; Frederick, without his tyranny; Napoleon, without his selfishness, and Washington, without his reward.
His reputation continued to grow. By the end of the 19th century, his popularity had spread to the North. Lee's admirers have pointed to his character and devotion to duty, and his brilliant tactical successes in battle after battle against a stronger foe.
According to my notion of military history there is as much instruction both in strategy and in tactics to be gleaned from General Lee's operations of 1862 as there is to be found in Napoleon's campaigns of 1796.
Military historians continue to pay attention to his battlefield tactics and maneuvering, though many think he should have designed better strategic plans for the Confederacy. However, it should be noted that he was not given full direction of the Southern war effort until late in the conflict.
Robert E. Lee has been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps at least five times, the first one being a commemorative stamp that also honored "Stonewall Jackson, issued in 1936. A second 'regular issue' stamp was issued in 1955. He was commemorated with a 32-cent stamp issued in the American Civil War Issue of June 29, 1995. His horse Traveller is pictured in the background. Explanatory text is imprinted on the back of each stamp, issued in a sheet of 20 commemorative Civil War stamps. Stamp Ventures printed the stamps in the gravure process. An image of the stamp is available at Arago online at the link in the footnote.
Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia was commemorated on its 200th anniversary on November 23, 1948, with a 3-cent postage. The central design is a view of the university, flanked by portraits of generals George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Lee was again commemorated on a commemorative stamp in 1970, along with Jefferson Davis and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, depicted on horseback on the 6-cent Stone Mountain Memorial commemorative issue, modeled after the actual Stone Mountain Memorial carving in Georgia. The stamp was issued on September 19, 1970 in conjunction with the dedication of the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial in Georgia on May 9, 1970. The design of the stamp replicates the memorial, the largest high relief sculpture in the world. It is carved on the side of Stone Mountain 400 feet above the ground.
"Barracks at West Point built in 1962 are named after him.
On September 29, 2007, General Lee's three Civil War-era letters were sold for $61,000 at auction by Thomas Willcox, much less than the record of $630,000 for a Lee item in 2002. The auction included more than 400 documents of Lee's from the estate of the parents of Willcox that had been in the family for generations. "South Carolina sued to stop the sale on the grounds that the letters were official documents and therefore property of the state, but the court ruled in favor of Willcox.
On January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, A joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee was introduced into the Senate by Senator "Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (I-VA), the result of a five-year campaign to accomplish this. The resolution, which enacted Public Law 94-67, was passed, and the bill was signed by President "Gerald Ford on September 5.
Monuments, memorials and commemorations
Since it was built in 1884, the most prominent monument in "New Orleans has been a 60-foot (18 m)-tall monument to General Lee. A 16.5-foot (5.0 m) statue of Lee stands tall upon a towering column of white marble in the middle of "Lee Circle. The statue of Lee, which weighs more than 7,000 pounds, faces the North. Lee Circle is situated along New Orleans' famous "St. Charles Avenue. The "New Orleans streetcars roll past Lee Circle and New Orleans' best "Mardi Gras parades go around Lee Circle (the spot is so popular that bleachers are set up annually around the perimeter for Mardi Gras). Around the corner from Lee Circle is "New Orleans' Confederate museum, which contains the second-largest collection of Confederate memorabilia in the world. In a tribute to Lee Circle (which had formerly been known as Tivoli Circle), former Confederate soldier "George Washington Cable wrote:
In Tivoli Circle, New Orleans, from the centre and apex of its green flowery mound, an immense column of pure white marble rises in the ... majesty of Grecian proportions high up above the city's house-tops into the dazzling sunshine ... On its dizzy top stands the bronze figure of one of the worlds greatest captains. He is alone. Not one of his mighty lieutenants stand behind, beside or below him. His arms are folded on that breast that never knew fear, and his calm, dauntless gaze meets the morning sun as it rises, like the new prosperity of the land he loved and served so masterly, above the far distant battle fields where so many thousands of his gray veterans lie in the sleep of fallen heroes. (Silent South, 1885, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine)
"Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, also known as the Custis–Lee Mansion, is a "Greek revival mansion in Arlington, Virginia, that was once Lee's home. It overlooks the "Potomac River and the "National Mall in Washington, D.C. During the Civil War, the grounds of the mansion were selected as the site of "Arlington National Cemetery, in part to ensure that Lee would never again be able to return to his home. The United States designated the mansion as a "National Memorial to Lee in 1955, a mark of widespread respect for him in both the "North and "South.
In Richmond, Virginia, a large equestrian statue of Lee by French sculptor "Jean Antonin Mercié is the centerpiece of the city's famous "Monument Avenue, which boasts four other statues to famous Confederates. This monument to Lee was unveiled on May 29, 1890; over 100,000 people attended this dedication. Lee is also shown mounted on Traveller in "Gettysburg National Military Park on top of the Virginia Monument; he is facing roughly in the direction of "Pickett's Charge. Lee's portrayal on a mural on Richmond's Flood Wall on the "James River, considered offensive by some, was removed in the late 1990s, but currently is back on the flood wall. Also in Virginia, the "Robert Edward Lee Sculpture at "Charlottesville was listed on the "National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
In "Baltimore's Wyman Park, a large double equestrian statue of Lee and Jackson is located directly across from the Baltimore Museum of Art. Designed by Laura Gardin Fraser and dedicated in 1948, Lee is depicted astride his horse Traveller next to Stonewall Jackson who is mounted on "Little Sorrel." Architect John Russell Pope created the base, which was dedicated on the anniversary of the eve of the Battle of Chancellorsville. The Baltimore area of "Maryland is also home to a large nature park called "Robert E. Lee Memorial Park.
An equestrian statue of Lee is located in Robert E. Lee Park, in "Dallas; and in Austin, a statue of Lee is on display at the main mall of the "University of Texas at Austin. A statue of Robert E. Lee is one of two statues (the other is Washington) representing "Virginia in "Statuary Hall in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Lee is one of the figures depicted in "bas-relief carved into "Stone Mountain near "Atlanta. Accompanying him on horseback in the relief are Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis.
The birthday of Robert E. Lee is celebrated or commemorated in several states. In Virginia, "Lee–Jackson Day is celebrated on the Friday preceding "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which is the third Monday in January. In Texas, he is celebrated as part of "Confederate Heroes Day on January 19, Lee's birthday. In Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi, his birthday is celebrated on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, while in Georgia, this occurs on the day after Thanksgiving.
One United States college and one junior college are named for Lee: "Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia; and "Lee College in Baytown, Texas, respectively. "Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University marks Lee's final resting place. Throughout the South, many primary and secondary schools were also named for him as well as private schools such as "Robert E. Lee Academy in Bishopville, South Carolina.
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.
In 1862, the newly formed Confederate Navy purchased a 642-ton iron-hulled side-wheel gunboat, built in at Glasgow, Scotland, and gave her the name of "CSS Robert E. Lee in honor of this Confederate General. During the next year, she became one of the South's most famous "Confederate blockade runners, successfully making more than twenty runs through the Union blockade.
The "Mississippi River "steamboat "Robert E. Lee was named for Lee after the Civil War. It was the participant in an 1870 "St. Louis – "New Orleans race with the Natchez VI, which was featured in a "Currier and Ives lithograph. The Robert E. Lee won the race. The steamboat inspired the 1912 song Waiting for the Robert E. Lee by "Lewis F. Muir and "L. Wolfe Gilbert. In more modern times, the "USS Robert E. Lee, a "George Washington-class "ballistic missile submarine built in 1958, was named for Lee, as was the "M3 Lee tank, produced in 1941 and 1942.
The Commonwealth of "Virginia issues an optional "license plate honoring Lee, making reference to him as 'The Virginia Gentleman'. In February 2014, a road on "Fort Bliss previously named for Lee was renamed to honor "Buffalo Soldiers.
A recent biographer, Jonathan Horn, outlines the unsuccessful efforts in Washington to memorialize Lee in the naming of the "Arlington Memorial Bridge after both Grant and Lee.
In popular culture
Lee serves as a main character in the Shaara Family novels "The Killer Angels (Gettysburg), "Gods and Generals, and "The Last Full Measure, as well as the film adaptations of "Gettysburg and "Gods and Generals. He is played by "Martin Sheen in the former and his descendant "Robert Duvall in the latter. Lee is portrayed as a hero in the historical children's novel "Lee and Grant at Appomattox by "MacKinlay Kantor. His part in the Civil War is told from the perspective of his horse in "Richard Adams' book "Traveller.
Lee is an obvious subject for "American Civil War alternate histories. "Ward Moore's "Bring the Jubilee, Kantor's "If the South Had Won the Civil War (1960), and "Harry Turtledove's "The Guns of the South, all have Lee ending up as President of a victorious Confederacy and freeing the slaves (or laying the groundwork for the slaves to be freed in a later decade). Although Bring and If relegate him to a set of passing references, Lee is more of a main character in the Guns. He is also the prime character of Turtledove's "Lee at the Alamo," which can be read on-line, and sees the opening of the Civil War drastically altered so as to affect Lee's personal priorities considerably. Turtledove's ""War Between the Provinces" series is an allegory of the Civil War told in the language of fairy tales, with Lee appearing as a "knight named "Duke Edward of Arlington." Lee is also a knight in "The Charge of Lee's Brigade" in Alternate Generals volume 1, written by Turtledove's friend "S.M. Stirling and featuring Lee, whose "Virginia is still a loyal "British colony, fighting for the "Crown against the "Russians in "Crimea. In Lee Allred's "East of Appomattox" in Alternate Generals volume 3, Lee is the Confederate Minister to "London circa 1868, desperately seeking help for a CSA which has turned out poorly suited to independence. "Robert Skimin's "Grey Victory features Lee as a supporting character preparing to run for the presidency in 1867.
On September 18, 1960, the American actor "George Macready portrayed Lee in the episode "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox" of the "ABC television series "The Rebel, starring "Nick Adams in the title role.
"Robert Symonds played Lee in the 1982 miniseries "The Blue and the Gray .
In the 1986 TV series "North and South Book II , Lee was portrayed by actor "William Schallert.
The "Dodge Charger featured in the CBS television series "The Dukes of Hazzard was named "The General Lee. In "the 2005 film based on this series, the car drives past a statue of the General, and its drivers salute him.
Dates of rank
|"" "Second Lieutenant||July 1, 1829||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "First Lieutenant||September 21, 1836||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "Captain||August 7, 1838||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "Brevet Major §||April 18, 1847||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "Brevet Lieutenant Colonel †||August 20, 1847||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "Brevet Colonel ‡||September 13, 1847||"Corps of Engineers||"United States Army|
|"" "Lieutenant Colonel||March 3, 1855||"2nd Cavalry Regiment||"United States Army|
|"" "Colonel||March 16, 1861||"1st Cavalry Regiment||"United States Army|
|Major General||April 22, 1861||"Virginia Militia|
|"" "Brigadier General||May 14, 1861||"Confederate States Army|
|"" "General||June 14, 1861||"Confederate States Army|
|"" "General-in-Chief||January 23, 1865||"Confederate States Army|
- § Breveted for conduct in the "Battle of Cerro Gordo
- † Breveted for conduct in Battles of "Contreras and "Churubusco
- ‡ Breveted for conduct in "Battle of Chapultepec
- Pryor, Elizabeth Brown (2008). "Robert E. Lee's 'Severest Struggle'". American Heritage.
- Bunting, Josiah (2004). Ulysses S. Grant. New York: Time Books. p. 62. "ISBN "978-0-8050-6949-5.
- Jay Luvaas, "Lee and the Operational Art: The Right Place, the Right Time," Parameters: US Army War College, September 1992, Vol. 22#3 pp. 2-18
- McPherson, James M. (1988). Battle Cry of Freedom: the Civil War Era. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 538, 650. "ISBN "978-0-19-516895-2.
- Stephen W. Sears, "'We Should Assume the Aggressive': Origins of the Gettysburg Campaign," North and South: The Official Magazine of the Civil War Society, March 2002, Vol. 5#4 pp. 58–66
- Eicher, David J. (2001). The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 462.
- Bonekemper, Edward (2014). Grant and Lee. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing. p. xiv. "ISBN "978-1-62157-302-9.
- General Robert E. Lee Compiled Military Service Record. thomaslegion.net. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- Pryor, Elizabeth Brown (October 29, 2009). "Robert E. Lee (ca. 1806–1870)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- William Thorndale, "The Parents of Colonel Richard Lee of Virginia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 76 (December 1988): 253-68
- Freeman 1934
- His maternal great-great grandfather, "Robert "King" Carter of "Corotoman, was the wealthiest man in "the colonies when he died in 1732.
- Davis, William C.; Pohanka, Brian C.; Troiani, Don (1997). Civil War Journal, The Leaders. Rutledge Hill Press. p. 135. "ISBN "0-517-22193-4.
- Fellman 2000, p. 12
- Fellman 2000, pp. 16–17
- Thomas 1995, pp. 30–31
- Thomas 1995, p. 32
- Thomas 1995, pp. 32–34
- Thomas 1995, pp. 34–35
- Thomas 1995, pp. 38–45
- Fellman 2000, pp. 13–14
- Freeman 1991, pp. 12–13
- Davis 1999, p. 21
- Thomas 1995, pp. 48–54
- Thomas 1995, p. 56
- Thomas 1995, pp. 57–58
- Freeman 1997, pp. 25–26
- Thomas 1995, p. 57
- Fellman 2000, p. 33
- Thomas 1995, pp. 62
- Thomas 1995, pp. 64–65
- Freeman 1997, p. 31
- Fellman 2000, pp. 24–25
- Thomas 1995, p. 72
- Thomas 1995, p. 75
- Thomas 1995, pp. 74–75
- Freeman 1997, pp. 33–34
- Thomas 1995, p. 81
- Thomas 1995, pp. 83–84
- "Welcome to Fort Hamilton". United States Army Corps of Engineers. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
- "William Fitzhugh". "Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, "National Park Service. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
- "Dillon, John Forrest, ed. (1903). "Introduction". John Marshall; life, character and judicial services as portrayed in the centenary and memorial addresses and proceedings throughout the United States on Marshall day, 1901, and in the classic orations of Binney, Story, Phelps, Waite and Rawle. Chicago: Callaghan & Company. pp. liv–lv.
- "Tender is the Heart". Mort Künstler. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Freeman 1934, p. 248
- "Lee and Grant | Before the War". Virginia Historical Society. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Thomas 1995, p. 148
- Thomson, Janice E. (1996). Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns. Princeton University Press. p. 121.
- Connelly, Thomas Lawrence (1977). The Marble Man: Robert E. Lee and His Image in American society. New York: "Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 176–82. "ISBN "0-394-47179-2.
- Davis 1999, p. 111
- Thomas 1995, pp. 152–62
- "Will of George Washington Parke Custis". ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes.
- Fellman 2000, p. 65
- Wesley Norris, interview in National Anti-Slavery Standard (April 14, 1866) 4, reprinted in Blassingame 1977, pp. 467–468
- Letter from "A Citizen," New York Tribune, June 24, 1859. Freeman 1934, p. 393
- "Some Facts That Should Come To Light," New York Tribune, June 24, 1859. Freeman 1934, pp. 390–393
- Freeman 1934, pp. 390–392
- Wesley Norris, "Testimony of Wesley Norris", National Anti-Slavery Standard, April 14, 1866.
- War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 29, part 2, pp.158-159 (Meade to Halleck, September 6, 1863--4 p.m.). 
- Monte Akers, Year of Desperate Struggle: Jeb Stuart and His Cavalry, from Gettysburg to Yellow Tavern, 1863–1864, p.102 
- Freeman 1934, p. 476
- List of Slaves Emancipated in the Will of George W. P. Custis, December 29, 1862 ("Sally Norris [and] Len Norris and their three children: Mary, Sally and Wesley") 
- Freeman 1934, p. 390
- Fellman 2000, p. 67
- Bernice-Marie Yates (2003). The Perfect Gentleman. Xulon Press. pp. 181–83.
- Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters (New York: Penguin, 2008), chapter 16.
- Ariel Burriss, "The Fugitive Slaves of Robert E. Lee: From Arlington to Westminster".
- Korda, Michael (2014). Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. New York: HarperCollins. p. 208. "ISBN "978-0-06-211629-1.
- Freeman 1934, p. 372
- Fellman 2000, pp. 67–68
- Fellman 2000, p. 69
- Fellman 2000, pp. 209–18
- Rafuse, Ethan Sepp (2008). Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1864–1865. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 216–20. "ISBN "978-0-7425-5125-1.
- Reeves, Frank (June 30, 2013). "Confederates' 'slave hunt' in North a military disgrace". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Hall, Andy. "Old Pete, "Slave Raids" and the Gettysburg Campaign". Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Reid, Brian Holden (2005). Robert E. Lee: Icon for a Nation. Prometheus Books.
- Paradis, James M.; Bearss, Edwin C. (October 2004). African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign. Scarecrow Press. p. 31. "ISBN "978-0-8108-5030-9.
- Woodworth, Steven , (2011). This Great Struggle: America's Civil War,-. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 214. "ISBN "978-0-7425-5184-8.
- Guelzo, Allen; Luce, Henry R (2014). Gettysburg: The Last Invasion. Vintage. p. 73. "ISBN "978-0-307-74069-4.
- Hughes & Liddell 1997, pp. 192–193
- Freeman 1934, pp. 394–395
- "Col. Robert E. Lee's Report Concerning the Attack at Harper's Ferry". University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. October 18, 1959. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Ford, John Salmon (1963). Rip Ford's Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 305–306.
- "Texas Forts Trails". Texas Monthly. June 1991. p. 72.
- "J. William Jones (1906). "Robert E. Lee to George Washington Custis Lee" (PDF). The Civil War: The First Year Told By Those Who Lived It. The Library of America, 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
- Pryor, Elizabeth Brown (April 19, 2011). "The General in His Study". Disunion. The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
- Freeman 1934, pp. 431–447
- Freeman 1934, p. 425
- Goodwin, Doris Kearns (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 350.
- Davis 1999, p. 49
- Fellman 2000, § 6
- Fort Pulaski's masonry was impervious to round shot, but it was penetrated in 30 hours by "Parrott rifle guns, much to the surprise of senior commanders of both sides. In the future, Confederate breast works defending coastal areas were successfully protected against rifle-fired explosive projectiles with banks of dirt and sand such as at Fort McAllister. Later, holding the City of Savannah would allow two additional attempts at breaking the Union blockade with ironclads "CSS Atlanta (1862) and "CSS Savannah (1863).
- Foot Soldier: The Rebels. Prod. A&E Television Network. Karn, Richard. The History Channel. 1998. DVD. A&E Television Networks, 2008.
- Freeman 1934, p. 602
- McPherson 2008, p. 99
- McPherson 2008, pp. 106–107
- McPherson 2008, p. 108
- McPherson 2008, p. 129
- McPherson 2008, pp. 104–105
- Fellman 2000, pp. 124–125
- Zongker, Brett. "Surgeon: Stonewall Jackson death likely pneumonia". Associated Press. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Stephen W. Sears, "'We Should Assume the Aggressive': Origins of the Gettysburg Campaign," North and South: The Official Magazine of the Civil War Society, March 2002, Vol. 5#4 pp. 58–66; Donald Stoker, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War (2010) p. 295 says that "attacking Grant would have been the wiser choice" for Lee.
- Fremantle, Arthur James Lyon. "Three Months in the Southern States". University of North Carolina. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Nolan 1991, pp. 21–22
- Davis 1999, p. 61
- Davis 1999, p. 233
- Nolan 1991, p. 24
- "Civil War Casualties Battle Statistics and Commanders". Americancivilwar.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Battle of Cheat Mountain". Civilwar.bluegrass.net. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Gettysburg Battle American Civil War July 1863". Americancivilwar.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- McFeely, William S. (1981). Grant: A Biography. New York: Norton. p. 169. "ISBN "978-0-393-01372-6.
- "Appomattox Courthouse Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant". Americancivilwar.com. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Fellman 2000, pp. 265–94
- Thomas 1995, pp. 380–92
- Fellman 2000, p. 268
- Thomas 1995, pp. 391–92, 416
- In December 1882, the U.S. Supreme Court returned the property to Lee's son because it had been confiscated without due process of law. In 1883, the government paid the Lee family $150,000. "Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial". "Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (October 1971). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Stewart-Lee House" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
- Thomas 1995, pp. 374–402
- Riley, Franklin Lafayette (1922). General Robert E. Lee After Appomattox. Macmillan. pp. 18–19.
- "Robert E. Lee on American Experience complete transcript". Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "General Robert E. Lee's Parole and Citizenship". United States National Archives. August 5, 1975. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Proclamation 179 – Granting Full Pardon and Amnesty for the Offense of Treason Against the United States During the Late Civil War". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Fellman 2000, p. 265
- Fellman 2000, pp. 267–268
- Robert E. Lee, Joint Committee on Reconstruction in Washington, D.C., February 17, 1866
- "Richmond IMC: The Real Robert E. Lee". Richmond.indymedia.org. January 13, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Freeman 1934, p. 301
- Freeman 1934, pp. 375–377
- Freeman 1934, pp. 375–376
- Freeman 1934, p. 376
- Fellman 2000, pp. 258–263
- Pearson, Charles Chilton (1917). "The Readjuster Movement in Virginia". "American Political Science Review. "Yale University Press: 60.
- Fellman 2000, pp. 275–277
- Jones, J. William (1875). Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes, and Letters of Gen. Robert E. Lee. New York: D. Appleton and Company. p. 451.
- Freeman 1934, p. 526
- "Benjamin Harvey Hill quotation". bartleby.com. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Weigley, Russell F. (February 2000). "Lee, Robert E.". "American National Biography. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Some sources add "but little studied" before the word "operations".
- "32c Robert E. Lee single", Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed May 7, 2014. An image of the stamp is available at Arago, Robert E. Lee stamp.
- Rod, Steven J., "Landing of the Pilgrims Issue", Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum. Viewed March 19, 2014.
- "Stone Mountain Memorial Issue", Arago: people, postage & the post, National Postal Museum online, viewed March 16, 2014.
- "General Lee letters sold at auction". USA Today. September 29, 2007.
- "President Gerald R. Ford's Remarks Upon Signing a Bill Restoring Rights of Citizenship to General Robert E. Lee". Gerald R. Ford Library & Museum. August 5, 1975.
- "Citizenship For R. E. Lee". The "Gettysburg Times. August 7, 1975. Ten objecting Congressmen argued the resolution should include "amnesty for Vietham war draft dodgers, subsequently granted in 1977.
- "S.J.Res.23 – A joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee.". United States Library of Congress. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "History of Confederate Memorial Hall". "Confederate Memorial Hall. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- Patterson, Michael Robert (2004-12-14). "Arlington House (The Custis-Lee Mansion)". Arlington National Cemetery website. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "Today in History: May 13: Arlington National Cemetery". lcweb2.loc.gov. "Library of Congress. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "Arlington House". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Kelly, Cindy (2011). Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore: A Historical Guide to Public Art in the Monumental City. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 198–199.
- "Stone Mountain History" (PDF). Stone Mountain Memorial Association. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "Virginia creates holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.". Archived from the original on January 17, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "CHAPTER 662. HOLIDAYS AND RECOGNITION DAYS, WEEKS, AND MONTHS". Texas Legislature. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Alabama Code – Section 1-3-8". FindLaw. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Official Days". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "State Holidays". Mississippi Secretary of State. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "Observing State Holidays". GeorgiaGov. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- Joan R. Olshansky and Elizabeth Spencer-Ralph (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Hall of Fame Complex". "New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "Hall of Fame for Great Americans". Bronx Community College. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Konstam, Angus; Bryan, Tony (2004). Confederate Blockade Runner 1861–65. Wisconsin: Osprey Publishing. p. 48.
- Patterson, Benton Rain (2009). The Great American Steamboat Race: The Natchez and the Robert E. Lee and the Climax of an Era. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company. "ISBN "978-0-7864-4292-8.
- "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee". allmusic. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "USS Robert E. Lee Historical Overview". Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "Robert E. Lee Commemorative License Plates". Sons of Confederate Veterans, Virginia Division. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Burge, David (2014-02-19). "Fort Bliss to rename Robert E. Lee Road to honor Buffalo Soldiers". "El Paso Times.
- Polk, Andrew J. (20 February 2014). "Ft. Bliss renames street Buffalo Soldier Road".
- Horn, Jonathan. (2015). The Man who would not be Washington: Robert E. Lee's Civil War and his decision that changed American History. New York: Scribner. p. 249. "ISBN 978-1-4767-4856-6
- "Lee at the Alamo". September 7, 2011.
- "Johnny Yuma at Appomattox". "Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- ""Dukes of Hazzard's" General Lee Tops Edmunds' InsideLine.com's List of 100 Greatest Movie and TV Cars of All Time". edmunds.com. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- "The Dukes of Hazzard: Happy Birthday, General Lee". allmovie. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- Cullum, George (1891). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. From Its Establishment In 1802 to 1890 with the Early History of the United States Military Academy. New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company. p. 420.
- Cullum 1891, p. 420
- Cullum 1891, p. 421
- Trudeau, Noah (2009). Robert E. Lee: Lessons in Leadership. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. p. 37. "ISBN "978-0-230-10344-3.
- Eicher, John & David (2001). Civil War High Commands. New York: Stanford University Press. p. 810. "ISBN "0-8047-3641-3.
- Eicher 2001, p. 807
- Eicher 2001, p. 69
- Blassingame, John W. (July 1977). Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. "Louisiana State University Press. "ISBN "0-8071-0273-3.
- Davis, William C. (1999). The Commanders of the Civil War. London: Salamander Books Ltd. "ISBN "1-84065-105-9.
- Fellman, Michael (2000). The Making of Robert E. Lee. "Random House. "ISBN "0-679-45650-3.
- "Freeman, Douglas S. (1934). R. E. Lee, A Biography. "Charles Scribner's Sons.
- Hughes, Nathaniel C., Jr.; Liddell, St. John R. (1997). Liddell's Record. "Louisiana State University Press. "ISBN "978-0-8071-2218-1.
- Korda, Michael (2013). Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. "HarperCollins Publishers. "ISBN "978-0-06-211629-1.
- Lee, Edmund Jennings (1983). Lee of Virginia 1642–1892. Genealogical Publishing Company. "ISBN "0-8063-0604-1.
- Nolan, Alan T. (1991). Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History. "University of North Carolina Press. "ISBN "0-8078-4587-6.
- McPherson, James M. (2008). Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. "Penguin Press. "ISBN "978-1-4406-5245-5.
- Thomas, Emory M. (1995). Robert E. Lee. "W.W. Norton & Co. "ISBN "978-0-393-31631-5.
|""||Wikiquote has quotations related to: Robert E. Lee|
|""||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert E. Lee.|
|""||"Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Robert E. Lee
- Lee, Robert Edward (2000). Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee. "Project Gutenberg.
- Biographical article in Appleton's Encyclopedia
- Obituary of Robert E. Lee, from a Northern point of view. The New York Times; October 13, 1870
- Booknotes interview with Emory Thomas on Robert E. Lee: A Biography, September 10, 1995
- Robert E. Lee—An "American Experience documentary
- Letter from Dwight Eisenhower about Lee
- Original Historical Letters: Lincoln Refuses Lee's Armistice Shapell Manuscript Foundation
- Interactive Animation of the Battle of Gettysburg—A chronicle of the 3-day battle, it also touches on Lee's tactical strategies during the American Civil War.
- Correspondences of Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War—held in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections, Miami University
- Works by Robert E. Lee at "Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Robert E. Lee at "Internet Archive
- Works by Robert E. Lee at "LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)