The Life Of Robert E. Lee Essay, Research Paper
General Robert E. Lee was a superb military leader. He was one of the greatest factors that kept the Confederacy alive through the four old ages of our Civil War. Through a unsmooth childhood and many battles, he rose to go one of the most well-thought-of leaders in history. He is revered as a hero, in his love for his work forces and for contending for what he thought was right. He fought for his state and his bosom, non for what awards or congratulations he might acquire out of triumph. For this virtuousness he was adored by 1000000s, and feared by his enemies. Never before in history had a general had such an unbreakable bond with an ground forces. Even when decease was certain, his work forces begged him to allow them bear down once more. They loved Lee because he protected and loved all his work forces. His devotedness to his state and to his ground forces came before everything but God. Robert E. Lee is an icon of what a existent leader should be.
One of the chief grounds Lee grew to be so devoted and responsible was because of his male parent s influence. Light Horse Harry Lee, a great military leader in the Revolutionary War and close friend of Washington, was Lee s father. Light Horse Harry Lee lacked every trait of duty and self-denial. He married his cousin Matilda, and invested much of her abundant baccy luck. This money along with money from his friends was used in rash existent estate strategies. Henry Lee squandered so much money
in irrational investings that Matilda chose to go through on her heritage to her kids. Her sudden decease in 1790 left most of her properties to her kids. Lee so married Robert s female parent, Ann Carter. He lost a batch of her money as good, so by the clip Robert Edward was born, January 19, 1807, the one time brilliant Stratford Hall was in shambles. While Robert was immature, his male parent was ever avoiding his yesteryear. In one last effort to derive back the doomed money, Henry Lee bet everything that he had in a existent estate strategy. He lost $ 40,000 and was sent to debitors prison.
Robert was merely six when his pa left, this forced him to turn up in a haste. While his brothers were busy with callings, Lee took attention of his unhealthy female parent and his ill sister Ann. When he was merely 13 he was making all the shopping, housework, maintaining up the evidences, rationing out his female parents medicine, and assisting her get about. Although he loved swimming and athleticss, these duties left him small clip to make so. His female parent frequently drilled him on the importance of self-denial, forbearance, and duty, the qualities his male parent lacked so much. Robert was adored and respected by friends and neighbours, but particularly his female parent. He was rewarded with love and grasp from all that knew him. Despite the rough strains put on him, Robert remained cheerful.
Although the Lees had small money and no land, they were still Lees, and still considered to be really influential. Robert s mother s side, the Carters, had set up a male childs and misss school for their kids s direction. Robert went to school at that place for two
old ages. He so enrolled at Alexandria Academy in 1820. He went to school at that place for three old ages, but when he was 17, lee decided to look to his future calling.
Although Lee had first-class classs at school, he had really few options to turn to. He had no land to farm, and his household didn T have adequate money to set him through college. Therefore, Lee decided to follow in his male parent s footfalls and prosecute a military calling. He competed for one of the 250 gaps at the esteemed United States Military Academy, West Point. The authorities would pay for his tuition, and Lee could number on his household name, every bit good as he outstanding academic record, to acquire him in. Lee was accepted to West Point and entered the Academy in 1825.
At West Point, Lee continued to continue a about perfect record. He was really devoted to his surveies and was ranked near the top of his category throughout his clip at West Point. He was a really moral adult male and didn T drink or swear. He was besides orderly, good mannered, and ne’er violated any of the ground forces s picky regulations.
Lee was good liked by his schoolmates. He was non one to knock others for their behaviour. By his 4th twelvemonth, Lee was named aide of the corps of plebes, which is the academy s highest-ranking pupil. However, the academy did non ever suit Lee. One regulation stated that no plebe could go forth the academy for the first two old ages. This posed a job due to the hapless wellness of Lee s female parent. Therefore, upon his graduation in 1829, Lee rushed place to be at his female parent s side. He stayed with her invariably at her bedside. One month subsequently, she died.
With no more household ties, Robert accepted his first military assignment at Cockspur Island near Savannah, Georgia. Despite his credence into the elect ground forces corps of applied scientists, Lee s chief undertaking was the everyday building work of largely hive awaying creaky ground forces garrisons. He frequently had to force through knee-high clay to oversee the building work.
Although his household name had helped him in the yesteryear, it seemed to go forth him with a bad repute for matrimonial jobs. Those who knew Lee said that he should be one of society s most sought-after unmarried mans. Robert courted a cousin he had known from childhood, Mary Anna Randolph Custis. They were married in June of 1831. Sadly plenty, Mary was far from being suited for military life when she joined Robert at his new station at garrison Monroe. She stayed at that place bored, unsociable, and unhappy. After merely a brief clip, Mary talked Robert into allowing her spell place for a visit. This visit stretched into months and the first Lee was born at her household estate.
Lee s work was really disappointing in his early old ages of matrimony. At Fort Monroe, he spent his clip directing building undertakings and halting battles. He was so eager for a new undertaking that he accepted a desk occupation at the Army s Chief of Engineers Office in Washington, D.C. The work was as boring and mundane as he had suspected. However, he did get away West to assist a small difference. However, during this clip Lee s married woman had their 2nd kid and became really sick and bedfast for months. Although she recovered this clip, her wellness was ne’er rather the same. Finally Robert was forced to care for his bedfast married woman, merely as he had for his female parent.
Over clip, Lee wondered if he was in the right profession. His work was unfulfilling and he was torn between the armed forces and his household. He frequently expressed his desire to merely travel place. The one time cheerful partygoer began to steal into depression. Lee went from occupation to occupation, taking his household with him. Forming a form, Lee would accept a new assignment, he and his household would travel, Mary would go pregnant, and they would travel back with her household.
The United States determination to travel to war with Mexico did non delight Lee at all. Lee felt that we had bullied Mexico, and he didn T like that at all. Although this heightened his disfavor for political relations, he was determined to transport out his orders to the best of his ability.
During the Mexico struggle, Lee had several undertakings. His first assignment was to build roads and Bridgess in Texas and in New Mexico. Then he was chosen by General Winfield Scott to fall in his personal staff for the Mexican invasion. Lee was found to be really skilled at reconnoitering out terrain, happening
enemy failings, and strategically placing heavy weapon at its most good musca volitanss. This was unsafe work and Lee was one time about shot by his ain work forces. More than one time, Lee placed the ground forces in the right topographic point at the right clip. Because of this, Scott’s ground forces captured the Mexican capital, and the U.S. won big measures of land in the sou’-west.
Lee s actions in the war with Mexico impressed many people. Scott stated that ne’er earlier had he seen one soldier make so much. Such congratulations should hold sent Lee surging through the ranks, but the ground forces had set to the boring undertaking of reconstructing garrisons. Therefore, many officers, like Lee, were heedlessly overlooked.
Though Lee was a fantastic adult male, when it came to conflict, duty, and schooling, he wasn t every bit perfect as history books make him out to be. Some of co-workers described him as being immune from all wickednesss and defects, which was far from true. He sometimes had ferocious effusions from his pique, which caused many that had to cover with him on a day-to-day footing to populate in fright of him.
After the Mexican War, Lee was assigned to more everyday undertakings of everyday munition assignments. However, as a wages he was offered the place of the U.S. Military Academy. Although Lee protested the re-assignment, the ground forces ignored his protests.
Lee s move turned out o be really good. For the first clip in his military calling, the life quarters were suited for his household, and they moved with him to West Point. He learned how to cover with immature soldiers, and he made friendly relationships that would assist him in subsequently old ages.
Despite his want to remain with his household, Lee was offered promotion and was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was made 2nd in bid of a freshly organizing Calvary unit formed in Texas. However, Lee s undertakings here were largely long rides to sit in opinion of tribunal soldierly instances. It wasn t long until he became lonely and depressed once more. It seemed as though there was a lifting storm in the United States. There was a het issue of bondage and a session was about to rupture the state in half. Southern politicians felt a turning sense to organize their ain brotherhood. Lee was, queerly, against this, saying that he had no desire to populate under any other authorities, and he was ready to give to continue the brotherhood. However, at the same clip, Lee remained loyal to Virginia. Thinking that provinces had the right to regulate themselves, and that bondage should and would be phased out.
Lee was sent back to his assignment in Texas, but at the same clip, Lincoln was put into office and South Carolina seceded. War was inevitable. Increasingly, states left the brotherhood and when it was Texas s bend Lee found himself in enemy district. He escaped though by being called to Washington D.C. But from at that place, it got worse. Federal officers expected Lee to stay loyal to the brotherhood. He was offered a publicity to full colonel, which he accepted. He was besides asked to take the topographic point of the aging General Winfield Scott as the commanding force on the battleground. For Lee it was like a dream semen true, but he wavered and his trueness came to be a factor. He could non be persuaded and resigned from the Union ground forces to fall in the Confederates cause.
The new Confederate president held high respect for Lee, and wanted to hold him as an adviser at all times. Therefore, Lee was far from the battleground when the first major run of the war occurred. The Battle of Bull Run was a arresting Union triumph, and Lee, who was a great factor in this, was ignored.
Then Lee was sent out to Virginia to reorganize three beaten Confederate ground forces regiments, and lead an onslaught to halt the progressing brotherhood ground forces. This was evidently near impossible, and the Confederates gave up the land with out firing a individual shooting.
Lee was sent back to more humble undertakings that proved to be easier. However, he grew restless for another assignment. He was chosen to take the topographic point of General Johnston, who was wounded in conflict, and command his ground forces.
Lee was now in control of the Army of Northern Virginia. Now in bid Lee launched syrupy onslaughts on the brotherhood ground forces. Driving back the Union Army General, General McClellan from Richmond. He used superb schemes and cunning manoeuvres, demoing how complete he truly was. The adult male that was one time mocked was now being called a military mastermind. Contending one successful run after another until three lay waste toing yearss in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The turning point in the war, the conflict of Gettysburg, began on July 1, 1863. Union corps held their line while backup arrived. While at the same clip the Confederate forces were to a great extent reinforced. By the terminal of the twenty-four hours, the Union had been pushed back to Cemetery Hill, and the town of Gettysburg belonged to the Southerners.
Early on in the forenoon on June 2, the ground forcess established their places while expecting supports. There was no contending until late afternoon when the Confederates attacked the Unions left wing. This contending took topographic point at Little Round Top, Devil s Den, the Wheat Field, the Peach Orchard, and Emmitsburg Road. The Union was defeated every clip except at Little Round Top. However, the Union besides held the right wing at Culp s Hill and Cemetery Hill.
On July 3, Lee took a major gamble on an utmost frontal assault against the Union, along the centre of Cemetery Hill. Known as Pickett s Charge, this catastrophe ended in a annihilating Confederate loss. The Confederate soldiers attempted to run right into canon fire with no protection. The South suffered enormous loss, from which it would ne’er retrieve.
Despite the licking and humiliation they faced, Lee s work forces adored him. As he rode into cantonment to denote the retreat, they screamed for him to give them one more opportunity, and to hit the Union once more. This would intend about certain decease. Lee s work forces loved him so much that they were willing to decease for his cause and for him every bit good. That says more about his character than anything from any conflict he could hold fought does.
To contend an enemy higher-up in Numberss at such awful disadvantage of place in the bosom of his ain district, when the freedom motion gave him the advantage of choosing his ain clip and topographic point for accepting conflict, seems to hold been the greatest military blooper and the consequence was the worst catastrophe which has fallen into our weaponries, ( Gary W Gallagher pages 2-3 ) . This statement sums up how people viewed Lee after Gettysburg. Though still held as a figure of regard, Lee was besides blamed for the loss of the war. An uneven combination he would hold to populate with.
After the war, much of the South laid in ruins. Lee, cognizing that the South looked to him for hope, attempted to be an illustration of how Southerners should move. He took over a bantam weakness college, and even threatened to vacate if he heard a word of discourtesy against his former antagonist, President Ulysses S Grant.
Lee ever felt that the southern cause was hopeless, but ever remained loyal. The glorification of responsibility done, the award of the unity of rule, ( Nathan Aaseng page 107 ) . Lee was ever faithful, no affair how he felt. What would people be like if they possessed this kid like religion? Lee died on October 12, 1870. He left a bequest of glare and absolute calamity conveying both sorrow and hope to a reconstructing state.