CW106 General Robert E Lee

King & Country

Robert Edward Lee is the most famous Confederate General of the American Civil War and commanded the Army of Northern Virginia from 1862 until its surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The son of a notable Revolutionary War officer, Henry ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee, Robert was a top graduate of West Point and destined for a glittering military career in the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers. After 32 years in the regular American Army, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in 1861 after exceptional service during the Mexican-American War of 1849 and holding the post of Superintendent of West Point from 1852 until 1855. Confederate president Jefferson Davis then appointed Lee commander of the recently-formed Army of Northern Virginia. For the next four years Robert E. Lee was to lead his forces the length and breadth of the Eastern half of the United States winning and losing battles against a great number of Union generals and the growing strength and power of the Union Army. Although personally opposed to slavery he fought for a Confederacy that strived to retain it. Our figure shows him mounted on his favourite horse, “Traveller”, an American Saddlebred of 16 hands high. Lee acquired the horse in early February 1862 and rode him in many famous battles and actions. When Robert E. Lee died in 1870 his horse “Traveller” died a few months later in 1871.

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