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Robert E. Lee by Nicholas Phillips

Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after the 4 year bloody civil war.


The Beginning of a Commander by Nicholas Phillips Robert E Lee was one of the greatest American generals ever to command. Without his brilliance the south or Confederacy would have fallen a lot more quickly than it actually did. Robert Edward Lee was born on January 18,1807. Lee was left most of the time with no father, and lived in the same house for most of his early life. His father was killed in a political riot when he was 11. When Lee was 17 he enrolled in West Point Military Academy and got 2nd in his class. Lee later married Mary Custis. In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico and Lee showed brilliant tactics and strong leadership skills during the war. He did so well that he earned the rank of colonel within his first few years in the military. As the years went by Lee hard extremely difficult to survive outside the military and returned to become a brigadier general. In 1861 the south succeeded from the Union Lee was offered by Lincoln full command of the federal troops, but refused to fight his home state Virginia. Lee than took full command of the South’s Army and would soon battle the Union. Robert E Lee after his battles in Mexico. Here he has earned the rank of colonel.


Role in the Civil War by Nicholas Phillips In his early battles with the Union Lee and his forces completely embarrassed the Union in several battles and held the war at a stalemate for quite some time. Lincoln went through dozens of generals in search of any that could beat Lee. In 1862 Lee was convinced the Union would not be won by relying on the Union to quit and give up. Lee had to take the battle to Union soil. In 1862 Lee launched an army across the Potomac but was meet with resistance from the Union Army that resulted in his defeat. Lee lost 14,000 men at the Battle of Antietam in 1862. Nevertheless Lee’s men still fully supported him showing how much respect and influence Lee had. Lee continued to defeat Union armies and the battle of Chancerville. Once again Lee decided to launch the offensive. In 1863 Lee launched the offensive again. This time he hoped to thwart Maryland to his cause and join the confederacy. However spies told of his position to the Union army and near the town of Gettysburg the Union army confronted him. For three days the two armies fought for victory. Eventually Lee left on the third night. After Gettysburg Lee realized that it was only a matter of time before the Union came down on him. Grant was then put in charge of the Union army and marched on Lee from two fronts. Soon Lee lost his hold on the Mississippi and was being pursued by Grant. Eventually the time had come and Lee couldn’t fight anymore. With General Sherman’s total war strategy in Georgia Lee was out of money and his army was hungry and in tired. Finally Lee told his men, “I suppose there is nothing for me to do but go and see General Grant. And I would rather die a thousand deaths.” Lee and Grant meet at Appomattox Courthouse on April 1865. After several hours Lee agreed to surrender on condition his men wouldn’t be harmed and they could keep their horsed, guns, and uniforms. Lee was loved by both sides and he gave all he could to fight but in the end Grant had simply out powered him. Lee was the much better general and leader, but the civil war had proven that being able to out produce your enemy is a vital tactic to winning a war. But alas the great Lee was defeated.

The Battle of Antietam was a very bloody day and even though Lee was the far better general his enemy had more men.


Details on Gettysburg by Nicholas Phillips In 1863 Lee was inspired to take the fight again to Union soil. He had tried once but failed in a stalemate at the Battle of Antietam. Lee’s goal was to march to Maryland and inspire them to join the Confederacy. However there were spies in Lee’s ranks and soon General Grant found out. In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania the two armies would battle it out. Lee knew how important the high ground would be. So he sent for his men to capture the high ground and gun the Union from there. He also sent a force of cavalry to attack from behind. He then would launch his assault in the middle. Lee soon prepared to carry out this three step plan to beat his foe. Everything started to go wrong. When his men arrived to take Cardiff Hill they fought bravely but were soon overwhelmed. Lee than moved to the 2nd step of his plan and sent his cavalry to attack from Grant’s rear. Young Colonel Custard led a smaller brave force against Lee’s cavalry and took them by surprise and butchered them. Lee now very sure he couldn’t win decided to give one last effort and sent less than 15,000 men led by George Pickett right into the heart of the enemy. Soon Lee’s force was outgunned from all sides and flanked and defeated. The next night Lee retreated with his army. Gettysburg was the bloodiest day of the war. Lee lost close to 28,000 men while Grant lost 23,000. Grant felt terrible for all those who had died. He offered his resignation to Jefferson Davis, but no one could replace Grant. It was refused. Gettysburg made it so now Lee would be fighting a defensive war.

Grants men fought bravely Lee’s men fought bravely but were outflanked and massacred.

More men died at Gettysburg than both the Mexican War and the War of 1812 combined.


Post War Lee by Nicholas Phillips A forgiving Lincoln and Grant forgave Lee for aiding the Confederacy. Lee than retired to his home and his wife. He soon became president of Washington College in Lexington. He even wrote the honor code. Lee decided to ignore politics and keep quiet. Lee did was so liked that the college was renamed Washington and Lee University. Lee was even buried there. Lee soon died of a stroke in 1870. Lee’s health had been affected from the stress of the war doctors later assumed. Lee will always be remembered as one of America’s greatest generals. Lee had lost many battles but his men kept following him proving how respected he was. Lee later applied for citizenship which was approved in 1970. Lee had given all his efforts into his country. Lee didn’t believe in slavery but he couldn’t fight his home proving a sense of loyalty. Lee is currently still buried at the University. He will always go down as one of history’s greatest leaders.

One of America’s greatest generals Lee stands here in a portrait.


Bibliography "Robert E. Lee." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 13 May 2014.

Adelman, Garry, Sam Smith, and Matt George. "Robert E Lee." Www.civilwar.org. Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 13 May 2014. <http://www.civilwar.org/>. "Robert E Lee." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 13 May 2014. <http://www.history.com/>. Southall, Douglass. "Robert E Lee's Childhood." EasyBib. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2014. Picture websites www.blogspot.com www.fineartamerica.com www.georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu www.civilwar.org www.wargamer.com www.thomaslegion.net


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