Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
Remembering Robert E. Lee January 15, 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.
Many more events are planned for Lee’s birthday
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, DC on Saturday,
January 16, 2010 at 11:00am.
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.
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.
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
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
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 Mexico
and 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
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
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!