Duty is the sublimest word in the language. You can never do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less
Remembering Robert E. Lee
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr. Saturday, January 16, 2010
“Duty is the sublimest word in the language. You can never do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less.”—Robert E. Lee
Did you know that Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee were born during the month of January? History can be great fun when parents and grandparents share stories about the past with their children making the study of American history a ‘Family Affair.’
Tuesday, January 19, 2010, is the 203rd birthday of Robert E. Lee, whose memory is still dear in the hearts of many Americans and people throughout God’s good earth.
During Robert E. Lee’s 100th birthday in 1907, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., a former Union Army Commander and grandson of United States President John Quincy Adams, spoke in tribute to Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee College’s Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia. His speech was printed in both Northern and Southern newspapers and is said to had lifted Lee to a renewed respect among the American people.
Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson Day events are planned for Saturday, January 16, 2010, in Lexington, Virginia that includes a Memorial at Lee Chapel featuring Guest Speaker Pastor John Weaver, Past Chaplain in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. For additional information go to: leejacksonday.webs.com:
Many more events are planned for Lee’s birthday that includes:
The United Daughters of the Confederacy’s annual Robert E. Lee birthday commemoration held in front of Lee’s statue which is in the Crypt area of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. See upcoming events at: leecamp.org/ and
The Sons of Confederate Veterans 23rd Annual Robert E. Lee birthday celebration in Milledgeville, Ga. on Saturday, January 23, 2010, beginning with a 10:45 a.m. march from the old governor’s mansion to the one time capitol building of Georgia. See details at: georgiascv.com/
Do you remember when….
On August 5, 1975, 110 years after Gen. Lee’s application, President Gerald Ford signed Joint Resolution 23, restoring the long overdue full rights of citizenship to Gen. Robert E. Lee. Read more at: ford.utexas.edu
Who was Robert E. Lee?
Robert E. Lee was born on Monday Jan. 19, 1807, at ‘Stratford’ in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The winter was cold and the fireplaces were little help for Robert’s mother, Ann Hill (Carter) Lee.
Ann Lee named her son ‘Robert Edward’ after two of her brothers.
Robert E. Lee undoubtedly acquired his love of country from those who lived during the American Revolution. His Father, ‘Light Horse’ Harry was a Revolutionary War Hero, served three terms as Governor of Virginia and was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Two members of his family also signed the Declaration of Independence.
Lee was educated at the schools of Alexandria, Va., and he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1825. He graduated in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit.
Robert E. Lee’s first assignment was to Cockspur Island, Georgia, to supervise the construction of Fort Pulaski.
While serving as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Lee wed Mary Ann Randolph Custis. Mary was the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the Grandson of Martha Washington and adopted son of George Washington.
Mary was an only child; therefore, she inherited Arlington House, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., where she and Robert E. Lee raised seven children.
In 1836, Lee was appointed to first Lieutenant. In 1838, with the rank of Captain, Robert E. Lee fought in the War with Mexicoand was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.
Lee was appointed Superintendent of the United States Military Academy in 1852.
General Winfield Scott offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but he refused. He said, “I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children.”
Lee served as adviser to President Jefferson Davis, and then on June 1, 1862, commanded the legendary Army of Northern Virginia.
After four terrible years of death and destruction, Gen. Robert E. Lee met Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia and ended their battles.
Lee was called Marse Robert, Uncle Robert and Marble Man.
In October 1865, Lee was offered and accepted the presidency of troubled Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. The school was later renamed Washington and Lee College in his honor.
Robert E. Lee died of a heart attack at 9:30 AM on the morning of October 12, 1870, at the college and is buried at Lee Chapel with his family and near his favorite horse, Traveller.
Booker T. Washington, America’s great Black-American Educator wrote in 1910, “The first white people in America, certainly the first in the South to exhibit their interest in the reaching of the Negro and saving his soul through the medium of the Sunday-school were Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.”
Let’s not forget those who made our nation great!