His hallowed name will resonate deeply in the hearts and minds of every proudly unreconstructed Southron forever and ever.
Robert E. Lee, in full Robert Edward Lee, (born January 19, 1807, Stratford Hall, Westmoreland county, Virginia, U.S.—died October 12, 1870, Lexington, Virginia), U.S. Army officer (1829–61), Confederate general (1861–65), college president (1865–70), and central figure in contending memory traditions of the American Civil War.
Robert Edward Lee was the son of Henry (“Light-horse Harry”) Lee and Ann Hill Carter Lee. His father had been a hero of the American Revolution and governor of Virginia, and uncles and other relatives had signed the Declaration of Independence, served in Congress, and otherwise achieved notable reputations. When Lee was age six, his father moved to the West Indies and never returned, leaving the family in financially straightened circumstances.
Lee entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and graduated second in the class of 1829. Fellow cadets referred to him as the “Marble Model”—a nickname that reflected envy as well as admiration. Just under six feet (1.8 metres) tall, with black hair and brown eyes, Lee cut a striking figure. High class ranking entitled him to enter the Engineer Corps as a second lieutenant on July 1, 1829.
More than a decade and half passed before Lee saw a battlefield. Promotions to first lieutenant (September 21, 1836) and to captain (July 7, 1838) punctuated his peacetime engineering service. In June 1831 Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, the only daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington. The couple would share a 39-year marriage that produced four daughters and three sons. Lee took seriously the ties to George Washington, whom he sought to emulate throughout his life.
On May 13, 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. Between March and September 1847, Lee served on the staff of Winfield Scott during a campaign that ended with the capture of Mexico City. Lee impressed superiors throughout these operations and won brevet promotions to major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel.
As sectional stresses related to the institution of slavery mounted in the 1850s, Lee held the superintendency of the United States Military Academy (1852–55) and later served as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Cavalry in Texas. In 1859 he was in Washington, D.C., when the abolitionist John Brown mounted his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Summoned to the War Department on October 17, Lee proceeded to Harpers Ferry with a detachment of Marines and the next morning orchestrated the capture of Brown, whom he described as an “enemy of the Country.”
Which, y’know, he in fact was, in light of the deadly and disastrous conflagration Brown’s murderous fanaticism helped to touch off.
Ever since Lee’s illustrious, entirely admirable conduct of himself as the CSA’s foremost general, he has been held up as a role model for young Southern boys, a pluperfect exemplar of what every Southern man should always strive to be. This is only meet and just, a well-earned plaudit for a true paragon among men. For me, the great Robert E Lee will always be a hero, plain and simple. Shitlib Yankees inclined to disparage him ought to pay careful heed to the righteous words of Merle Haggard.
PREACH it, brother.