Robert E. Lee

By zjp0273
  • Robert E. Lee is born

    Robert E. Lee is born
    Robert E. Lee is born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Virginia as the son of Revolutionary War hero Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee and his wife, Annie Hill. He is born as the fifth child and comes from a long line of successful figures, including his father, who was one of George Washington's most trusted generals, and Robert Carter, who died as the world's wealthiest man. http://timelines.com/topics/robert-e-lee/page/1
  • Lee moves to Alexandria, Virginia

    Lee moves to Alexandria, Virginia
    Lee's father dies and forces the family to move to Alexandria. Lee attends Alexandria academy and gets a good education. He is a top student and excells at mathematics. His mother teaches him religious education.
  • Mexico gains independence

    Mexico gains independence
    Mexico gained independence from Spain on this date. Without Mexico's independence, The Mexican-American War, which Robert E. Lee participated in and learned many battle strategies from, would not have happened.
  • Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is born

    Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is born
    Stonewall Jackson was one of Lee's most trusted friends and lieutenant. He was First Commander in the Confederate Army and was a tactical master. He was Lee's "Go to guy" when a battle needed to be won. "He is one who, if you order him to hold a post, will never leave it alive to be occupied by an enemy." — Samuel McDowell Moore On Stonewall Jackson
  • Lee enters the US Military

    Lee enters the US Military
    Lee's entering the military was important for several reasons. For one, he learned many battle strategies and techniques. He also developed discipline that would last him for his carreer. He fought in the Mexican-American War before leaving for the Confederacy.
  • Lee is stationed at Fort Monroe

    Lee is stationed at Fort Monroe
    In 1831, Lee was stationed by the US Military at Fort Monroe, the largest stone fort ever built in the US. Lee stayed for 3 years and helped with the fort's design. The fort saw little action while Lee was there, which led him to become very bored. He briefly engaged in heavy drinking, but later stopped.
  • Lee marries Mary Anna Randolph Custis

    Lee marries Mary Anna Randolph Custis
    Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis while at Fort Monroe. She was actually the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington. They got married on June 30, 1831, and had 3 boys and 4 girls together. This is disputable, but it appears that they were a pretty happy family.
  • Period: to

    Mexican-American War is fought

  • Lee fights in Siege of Veracruz

    Lee fights in Siege of Veracruz
    The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege during the Mexican-American War. It was the US's attempt to take the key seaport city. The US launched a naval attack and soon Mexico surrendered. The Americans took the city and moved on the Mexico City. This battle was important as it helped Lee learn some important battle techniques.
  • Battle of Cerro Gordo - Lee earns rank of Brevet Major

    Battle of Cerro Gordo - Lee earns rank of Brevet Major
    This victory for the US started a huge chain of victories that led to the capture of Mexico City and Mexico's surrender. It pushed the troops under Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna away from a strong position in the war. Lee fought bravely and was rewarded the rank of Brevet Major in the army.
  • Lee fights in Battle of Contreras

    Lee fights in Battle of Contreras
    This battle was also known as the Battle of Padierna. Lee served in the artillery for the battle, which was meant to be part of a complex plan by general Winfied Scott to take Mexico City. The battle was indecisive and fighting continued later in another battle that Lee did not participate in.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe HIdalgo is signed

    Treaty of Guadalupe HIdalgo is signed
    While Lee was not present in the signing, this treaty ended the Mexican War. It granted the US territories that became states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Alto California. This was important because it ended all fighting and allowed Lee to go home.
  • Lee becomes superintendent of West Point College

    Lee becomes superintendent of West Point College
    In 1852, Lee became the superintendent of West Point. During the time, he improved building and facilities and spent time with military cadets. His oldest son attended during his time, graduating as First In Class.
  • Anonymous letters claim Lee whipped slaves

    Anonymous letters claim Lee whipped slaves
    An anonymous source claimed that Lee had whipped runaway slaves, which Lee denied. They were published in they N.Y. Tribute newspaper. Lee wrote to his son Custis that "The N. Y. Tribune has attacked me for my treatment of your grandfather's slaves, but I shall not reply. He has left me an unpleasant legacy." This tarnished his reputation, but since there was no proof it was not ruined.
  • Winfield Scott offers Lee command of the Union army

    Winfield Scott offers Lee command of the Union army
    General Winfield Scott thought Lee was the perfect leader for the Union Army. After all, he was opposed to slavery (although he owned slaves?) and believed in many principle of the North. However, he opted to follow his home state of Virginia and joined the Confederacy.
  • Civil War begins

    Civil War begins
    This was the turning point of Lee's career. The Civil War began on April 12, 1861 and was the beginning of Robert E. Lee's legacy. The war ended badly for the confederates, but Lee fought bravely and personally won more battles than he lost. Unfortunately, this great general has a bad legacy in history, being known as the loser; the "bad" general. However, his brave service to his country is what shaped his life.
  • Period: to

    Civil War is fought

  • Virginia secedes from the Union

    Virginia secedes from the Union
    If this event had not happened, Robert E. Lee would have been the Union general because he only fought for the Confederacy due to Virginia seceding. It was his home state. He personally voted to stay in the Union (he was anti-slavery) but Virginia elected to secede. So, he followed Virginia to the Confederacy and Ulysses S. Grant was named Union general. It turned out that Grant later became president.
  • Ulysses S. Grant is promoted to Union Army General

    Ulysses S. Grant is promoted to Union Army General
    Following Lee's declining of the Union general position, Grant was named the general of the north. He opposed Lee many times and was instrumental in Lee's life. He later became a president.
  • Jefferson Davis puts Lee in command of the Army of Northern Virginia

    Jefferson Davis puts Lee in command of the Army of Northern Virginia
    Confederacy president Jefferson Davis put Lee in charge of Northern Virginia in the war. It was his home, so he knew the terrain very well. It was also a very important spot, home to the Confederate capital, Richmond. Lee was put in charge of this army to defend the capital.
  • The 7 Days Battles begin

    The 7 Days Battles begin
    This "battle" was actually a series of battles. The Confederate army under Lee fought northern General George McClellan's Union forces and stopped the Union from capturing Richmond, Virginia, the Confederacy's capital. McClellan was forced to retreat after coming within 4 miles of the capital. After a series of indecisive battles Lee and Stonewall Jackson teamed up to drive the Union away from Richmond, but there were heavy death tolls. 20,000 Confederates died along with 16,000 Union soldiers.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run begins

    Second Battle of Bull Run begins
    This was a 3-Day battle beginning on August 28 that was important to both armies for position. 60,000 troops under Union general John Pope fought 52,000 under R.E. Lee. After a stalemate the first 2 days, Lee's army finally won on Day 3. Casualties were 8,300 for the Confederacy to 10,000 for the Union.
  • Battle of Antietam occurs

    Battle of Antietam occurs
    Before the battle of Antietam, Lee gathered his troops and had an apparent advantage. However, a Union scout found a copy of Lee's battle plan. The Union analyzed it and came away with a bloody victory (this is disputable; some say it ended in a draw). It was considered an awful fight. "Of all the days on all the fields where American soldiers have fought, the most terrible by almost any measure was September 17, 1862. The battle waged on that date, close by Antietam Creek..."
    --Stephen W. Sears
  • Battle of Fredericksburg occurs

    Battle of Fredericksburg occurs
    This battle was between the Union's Ambrose Burnside and Robert Lee's Confederates. Burnside was trying to siege Richmond, but Lee's army cut him off in mid December, resulting in a four day battle at Fredericksburg, VA. Though outnumbered by about 42,000 men, Lee out-strategized Burnside. Twice as many Union soldiers died than Confederates, and the south won easily. The battle gave Lee and his army needed confidence after losing at South Mountain earlier.
  • Battle of Gettysburg Occurs

    Battle of Gettysburg Occurs
    This battle was the turning point of the Civil War. Outnumbered once again, the Confederates had no choice but to face the Union. About 23,000 were killed on both sides in the bloodiest fight of the war. However, since the Union had more troops Lee was forced to retreat.
  • Battle of Mine Run begins

    Battle of Mine Run begins
    In the grand scheme of the war this battle was very insignificant. Fought in Oragne County, VA, the Confederates were outnumbered 81,000 to 48,000. A brief confrontation ocurred, but only at total of 1,272 Union and 680 Confederate soldiers died. The battle's result was largely inconclusive.
  • Battle of North Anna begins

    Battle of North Anna begins
    In the battle of North Anna in Virginia, a small series of action occured between Lee and Grant's troops. Lee was slightly outnumbered (He seems to always be outnumbered) and casualties were even with about 2,500 each. The battle's result was once again inconclusive.
  • Union defeats Confederates at Petersburg, VA; Richmond falls

    Union defeats Confederates at Petersburg, VA; Richmond falls
    This seige, beginning on April 2, 1865, was monumental in the Union's victory. Lee, outnumbered by a 2 to 1 ratio, never stood a chance and the Confederate capital of Richmond soon fell to the North. After this, the war swung in the Union's favor and the south never recovered.
  • Battle of Appomattox Courthouse; Lee surrenders to Grant

    Battle of Appomattox Courthouse; Lee surrenders to Grant
    This was the final battle of the war. 100,000 Unionists trapped 28,000 Confederates and forced Lee to surrender. Casualties were small, but the price was massive. The Army of Northern Virginia, the south's main army, laid down their arms in a move Lee will always be remembered for. "It would be useless and therefore cruel," Robert E. Lee said on that morning, "to provoke the further effusion of blood, and I have arranged to meet with General Grant with a view to surrender."
  • Lee takes Oath of Amnesty

    Lee takes Oath of Amnesty
    Lee took the Oath of Amnesty in June 1865, legally becoming a resident once again of the United States. He was welcomed back as an army hero, even though he lost the war.
  • Lee becomes president of Washington University

    Lee becomes president of Washington University
    Lee accepted this position because he thought it would be the best way to reconcile the country. He believed in higher education and held the position for many years.
  • Robert E. Lee dies

    Robert E. Lee dies
    On September 28, 1870, Lee had a stroke that left him without the ability to speak. Sadly, he died from pneumonia on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia. He was buried underneath Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University. His body is still there today. The statue in the picture is often mistaken for a sarcophagus, but it is only a statue. He is, however, buried in another part of the same building.