Robert Edward Lee

Robert Edward Lee (1807 - 1870)

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General Robert Edward (Robert E.) Lee
Born in Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland, Virginia, USAmap
Husband of — married in Arlington House, Arlington, Virginiamap
Died in Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia, USAmap
Lee-3 created 12 Nov 2008 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 23,121 times.

Categories: Notables | Mexican-American War, United States of America | Confederate Generals, US Civil War | US Civil War Confederate Veterans | United States Military Academy | Battle of Chancellorsville | Namesakes US Counties.

Robert E. Lee is notable.
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Native of Virginia

Preceded by
Henry Brewerton
Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy
Succeeded by
John Gross Bernard

Preceded by
Rev. George Junkin
President Washington & Lee University
Succeeded by
George Washington Custis Lee

A great source for insight into Robert E. Lee is found in this collection from Washington and Lee University - Letters of General Robert E. Lee [1]



Robert Edward Lee was the fifth child of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee and Ann Hill Carter.[2][3]

Robert entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1825 and was the first cadet to achieve the rank of Sgt. at the end of his first year. He graduated in 1829, ranking second in the class of 46.

After his service in the Mexican-American War, Robert became the Superintendent of West Point from 1852 until 1855, at which time he was appointed Lt. Colonel of the Second U.S. Cavalry Regiment and assigned to Camp Cooper, Texas. This regiment was needed in order to protect settlers from Indian attacks (Apache and Comanche). When Texas seceded from the Union in February 1861, Lee was appointed Colonel of the First Regiment Cavalry and his Colonelcy was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Though he denounced Virginia's secession from the Union, Lee refused Abraham Lincoln's invitation to take command of the entirety of the Union Army, stating he would "...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." Virginia seceded and on April 23, 1861, Lee took command of Virginia forces.


Date: 19 JAN 1807[4]
Place: Stratford, Westmoreland, Virginia, USA[5]


Husband: Robert Edward Lee
Wife: Mary Ann Randolph Custis
Child: George Washington Custis Lee Lee
Child: Mary Custis Lee
Child: William Henry Fitzhugh Lee
Child: Anne Carter Lee
Child: Eleanor Agnes Lee
Child: Robert Edward Lee
Child: Mildred Childe Lee
Marriage: 30 JUN 1831[4]


Date: 1867
Place: Lexington, Rock Bridge, Virginia, USA[5]
Date: 1860
Place: Alexandria, Virginia[5]


Letter written by Mary to a friend, describing his last days

. . . My husband came in. We had been waiting tea for him, and I remarked: "You have kept us waiting a long time. Where have you been?" He did not reply, but stood up as if to say grace. Yet no word proceeded from his lips, and he sat down in his chair perfectly upright and with a sublime air of resignation on his countenance, and did not attempt to a reply to our inquiries. That look was never forgotten, and I have no doubt he felt that his hour had come; for though he submitted to the doctors, who were immediately summoned, and who had not even reached their homes from the same vestry-meeting, yet his whole demeanour during his illness showed one who had taken leave of earth. He never smiled, and rarely attempted to speak, except in dreams, and then he wandered to those dreadful battle-fields. Once, when Agnes urged him to take some medicine, which he always did with reluctance, he looked at her and said, "It is no use." But afterward he took it. When he became so much better the doctor said, "You must soon get out and ride your favorite gray!" He shook his head most emphatically and looked upward. He slept a great deal, but knew us all, greeted us with a kindly pressure of the hand, and loved to have us around him. For the last forty-eight hours he seemed quite insensible of our presence. He breathed more heavily, and at last sank to rest with one deep-drawn sigh. And oh, what a glorious rest was in store for him![1]

Date: 12 OCT 1870
Place: Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia, USA[4][5]


Arlington County, Virginia is named in honor of General Lee's Arlington plantation estate. Six other states have Lee County, named in the General's honor. They are: Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.


  1. 1.0 1.1 entered by Michelle Brooks on 2013 Nov 16
  2. Entered by Jeff Kenner, Jun 20, 2012
  3. Entered by Janice Hardin, Dec 14, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Source: #S4423 Dandridge.ftw
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Source: #S34 Public Member Trees The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2006

See also:


  • Thank you to Donna Allen for creating Lee-3 on 12 November 2008.
  • Thank you to Adri Oldershaw, Michelle Brooks, Jeff Kenner, Mary Knox, Lynda Hull, Beverly Walth, Fontaine Wiatt, Cynthia McDaniel and others for their significant contributions. See the Changes page for the details of contributions and edits by Donna and others.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Robert E. by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Robert E.:

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Images: 6
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee

Lee on Traveler Postcard
Lee on Traveler Postcard

Surrender at Appomattox Postcard
Surrender at Appomattox Postcard

Robert Lee Image 1
Robert Lee Image 1

Robert Lee Image 2
Robert Lee Image 2

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On 15 Sep 2014 at 00:29 GMT Matt Pryber wrote:

Find out more at the Global Family Reunion project

On 11 Jun 2014 at 00:06 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Lee-1383 and Lee-3 appear to represent the same person because: Profile has been updated, now the merge is obvious

Robert E. is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 27 degrees from Ole Evinrude, 20 degrees from Abby Glann, 20 degrees from Charles Schulz and 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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