Robert E Lee Essay

1014 words - 5 pages

In life we all want to see things as black and white, cut and dry, and easy to understand. This is not the case with Robert E. Lee. He was smart, loyal and above all, complicated. We like to make him out as some old general guy who fought for the South in the Civil War. Eventually lost at Gettysburg and because it was the turning point of the Civil War; he became famous for losing. He is a lot more than just that. He was an actual person who, from his birth up to his death, dealt with real life situations.

On January 19, 1807, Robert E. Lee was born in Stratford, Virginia to Henry and Anne Lee. His father was a Revolutionary War hero, nicknamed Light-Horse Harry”, also being a ...view middle of the document...

” He served as a military advisor for Confederate president Jefferson Davis until 1862, when he got his own regiment, naming it The Army of Northern Virginia. This included many notable names including J.E.B Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, and James Longstreet as Lee’s most trusted subordinates. Lee knew that for the South to win the war, they had to have some victories in the North, not just in the South.

In order to make his plans a reality, he launched a campaign into Maryland wanting to get the attention of the war away from Virginia. Unfortunately for him, the plans of the attack were leaked and union general George McClellan faced Lee at the Battle of Antietam. Even though Lee no longer had surprise on his side, he managed to end the battle in a stalemate on September 17, 1862. Lee suffered heavy casualties, forcing him to withdraw. Throughout 1862, Lee fought to keep the North back even winning at Chancellorsville.

The overwhelming victory at Chancellorsville gave Lee the confidence to launch another attack on the North. In late June 1863, he met Union forces at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He fought George E. Meade for three whole days. He miscalculated in how powerful the North’s position on the high ground would be and how enduring they were. In a final effort to win the battle, he sent out a full frontal assault on the Union Army’s position lead by George E Pickett. The soldiers were easily defeated and the whole battle was decided, turning the tide of the war truly in the North’s favor. Lee took full responsibility for the loss and tried to resign but Jefferson wouldn’t accept it. Lee knew that it would go down from there. Ulysses S. Grant assumed command of the Northern Army and continually...

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