Honoring Robert E. Lee
History; Posted on: 2006-01-14 07:19:06

Let us pause a moment to reflect on the life of a White American who was loyal to his people, his Commonwealth, and the Constitution.

by W. A. Reiv
and National Vanguard staff

ALTHOUGH he was born on January 19, 1807, on Monday, January 16, 2006 we shall celebrate the birthday of Robert E. Lee.

The following is a tribute to that wonderful man by Philip Stanhope Worsley, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, England, accompanying a presented copy of his translation of the Iliad:

'To General R. E. Lee -- the most stainless of living commanders, and, except in fortune, the greatest -- this volume is presented with the writer's earnest sympathy and respectful admiration.

'The grand old bard that never dies, Receive him in our English tongue: I send thee, but with weeping eyes, The story that he sung.

'Thy Troy is fallen, thy dear land Is marred beneath the spoiler's heel: I cannot trust my trembling hand To write the things I feel.

'Ah, realm of tombs! but let her bear This blazon to the last of times: No nation rose so white and fair, Or fell so pure of crimes.

'The widow's moan, the orphan's wail Come round thee, yet in truth be strong: Eternal right, though all else fail, Can never be made wrong.

'An angel's heart, an angel's mouth, Not Homer's, could alone for me Hymn well the great Confederate South, Virginia first, and Lee!'

From Memoirs of Robert E. Lee, by A. L. Long, Blue and Grey Press, 1983

Historical notes:

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 at Stratford, Virginia. He was the fourth child of the Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee and Ann Hill Carter Lee.

He was accepted to the United States Military Academy and graduated 2nd in his class. But perhaps greater than his academic success was his record of no demerits while being a cadet which today has still not been equaled. Following his graduation, Lee, like most top classmen, was given a commission as an engineer. Lt. Lee helped build the St. Louis waterfront and worked on coastal forts in Brunswick and Savannah. It was during this time he married Mary Custis, the granddaughter of George Washington and Martha Custis Washington.

In 1845 the War between U.S. and Mexico erupted. General Winfield Scott, overall U.S. Army commander, attached Captain Robert E. Lee to his staff.

Following the Mexican War Lee returned to service as an army engineer. He spent most of this time near Washington D.C. and moved into the Custis mansion (now overlooking Arlington National Cemetery). Thus was Colonel Lee was available for duty to put down a rebellion at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, the site of a United States Arsenal. Colonel Lee, and a young aide Lt. JEB Stuart, and a detachment of U.S. marines, were rushed by train to Harper's Ferry where they were able to capture radical abolitionist John Brown and his followers.

When South Carolina exercised its rights and seceded from the Union, and was quickly followed by six more southern states: Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas -- and when Lincoln arrested the entire legislature of Maryland to prevent them from voting to secede -- General Winfield Scott asked Colonel Robert E. Lee to take command of the United States Army to put down the "rebellion."

Lee, however, offered his services to the newly elected President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Mr. Davis accepted and Lee was made a general

His boldness and grasp of strategy made him more than a match for every General that President Lincoln sent against him -- until U.S. Grant defeated him through the "Battle of Attrition" which only the heavily industrial North could wage successfully.

Following the war Lee was almost tried as a traitor, but finally was "only" punished by having his civil rights suspended. Lee was offered the post of President of Washington University in Lexington, Virginia, where he served until his death in 1870. The school was later renamed Washington and Lee University.

Source: Author • Printed from National Vanguard
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=7512 )
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