Robert E. Lee

One of three great PersonalitiesLincoln and Grant shared in the glory of victoryRobert E. Lee, gallant and brilliant commander in chief of the Southern Armies. Shared with Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States The glory and tragedy of the "Lost Cause"Born Stratford, Virginia. Graduate West Point. Fought in Mexican War. Supt of West PointLived at Arlington, Virginia, Now National CemetaryOffered Command of Union Army by Lincoln.Declined, Resigned from U.S. ArmyBecame General in Confederate Army and soon promoted to Command Army of Northern Virginia.What kind of a man was Lee? Almost split the history of U.S. right down the middle.Someone said he was brave, intelligent, generous and charming, noble and modest, admired and loved. Born Winner except in one instance, greatest contest of his Life. Robert E. Lee lost his thin grey line of troops, who fought as bravely as any soldiers on any battlefield, laid down their arms in surrender.Douglas Southall Freeman wrote life of Lee. 10 years. Great privildge of being associated with such a great gentleman.After war, Lee offered position with Lottery company. $50,000 a year. Name not for sale.Accepted a position as President of Washington College, Lexington Virginia at $1500.00 per year.Now Washington and Lee University and Lee lies buried in the Chapel on the campus there. Robert E. Lee's statue stands in the Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., selected by the people of Virginia to represent that great state. General George Washington is the other Virginian so honored.The most magnificent memorial to this gallant leader of the Confererate Army is the gigantic statue of Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis, carved on the face of Stone Mountain, just outside the city of Atlanta, Georgia.Due to various delays, this gigantic memorial took almost 50 years to be completed but it is a remarkable piece of sculpture.To give you an indication of the size of this huge carving, the head and shoulders of Robert E. Lee was unveiled in 1924. The governor of Georgia attended with a number of invited guest to a luncheon, and where you you think the tables were set up?Way up on the side of the mountain on Lee's Shoulder.And now before I close this history lesson, I want to tell you a story about Robert E. Lee that gives you some indication of this man's character.It concerns a letter that General Lee wrote to his son away from home in college. In this letter he tells his son of an incident that happened in New Hampshire many years ago. It seems that the state Legislature was in session and one day an eclipse of the sun occured and at mid morning, the light of the sun began to dim and darkness began to set in.Many people became alarmed, thinking it was the end of the world. Members of the Legislature began to call for adjournment. The session was in an uproar.Finally a member by the name of Davenporrt claimed the floor and in a quiet voice said "If this is the end of the World, I want to be found at my place of Duty, so I move that candles be brough in and we proceed with the business at hand".Robert E. Lee then added "My son, I believe that DUTY is the sublimest word in the English Language.I looked up the word duty in the Dictionary. The word duty means a legan or moral obligation. How badly we need more men and women today who are true to their legal or moral obligations. Amen.

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