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Taking a look at Robert Edward Lee Essay

Taking a look at Robert Edward Lee, 489 words essay example

Essay Topic: abraham lincoln, position, time, president

Robert E. Lee was the son of Henry Lee who was a revolutionary war hero. In April of 1861 Abraham Lincoln offered Lee the position of commander of the Federal forces. Robert Edward Lee declined Lincolns offer and started on a resignation from the army when Virginia seceded on April 17, refusing to fight against his own people. However Lee did accept a general position of the newly formed confederate army. His first battle occurred at Cheat Mountain, Virginia on September 11, 1861.
He served as the military advisor to President Jefferson until June 1862, when he was given command of the wounded General Joseph E. Johnston's army on the Virginia peninsula. Lee renamed his command the Army of Northern Virginia, and under his direction it would become the most famous and successful of the Confederate armies. A lot of the Confederacy's most aspiring figures came out of the Army of Northern Virginia, some of these figures include Thomas Jonathan Jackson (better known as Stonewall Jackson), James Longstreet, and J.E.B Stuart. Lee recognized that the key to ultimate success was a victory on Northern soil. In September 1862, he launched an invasion into Maryland with the hope of shifting the war's focus away from Virginia. However George McClellan a misplaced dispatch outlining the plan, and the element of surprise was lost, and the two armies faced off at the battle of Antietam.
The victory at Chancellorsville gave Lee great confidence in his army, and the Rebel chief was inspired once again to take the fight to enemy soil. In late June of 1863, he began another invasion of the North, meeting the Union in the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Seeing the Yankees run in the face of his aggressive troops, Lee attacked strong Union positions on high ground. This time, however, the Federals wouldn't budge. The Confederate war effort reached its high water mark on July 3, 1863 when Lee ordered a massive frontal assault against Meade's center, spear-headed by Virginians under Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett. The attack was known as Pickett's charge was a failure and Lee, recognizing that the battle was lost, ordered his army to retreat. Taking full responsibility for the defeat, he wrote Jefferson Davis offering his resignation, which Davis refused to accept.
After Union Victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, Mississippi Ulysses S. Grant took command of the Federal armies. Grant took focus on destroying Lee's army of Northern Virginia. Lee realized the end of the Confederacy was only a matter of time. By the summer of 1864, the Confederates had been forced into raging warfare outside of Petersburg. Though President Davis named the Virginian General-in-Chief of all Confederate forces in February 1865, only two months later, on April 9, 1865, Lee was forced to surrender his army to Grant.
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Lee returned home on parole and eventually became the president of Washington College in Virginia (now known as Washington and Lee University). He remained in this position until his death on October 12, 1870 in Lexington, Virginia.

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