Robert Edward Lee

Born in 1807 into a prominent Virginia family, Lee grew into the flower of Southern manhood, embodying the best of Southern virtue. He treasured his faith, his country, his honor, and his family, remaining faithful to each through incredible adversity. He maintained his faith in defeat; gave the best years of his life to his country, first as an officer in the US army and then as Commander-in-Chief of Confederate forces; he refused graft as a general and as a the most famous veteran of the War of Secession; and he remained faithful to an invalid and spoiled wife.

A deeply practical vision towards life complemented Lee's remarkable sense of duty. After the War, when he could have taken any number of fabulously well paying jobs, Lee chose instead to serve as president of tiny Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. As president, he preached reconciliation among the sections, applied for his US citizenship, and made Washington College a national education leader.

Lee's dazzling military exploits, his deep devotion to duty, and his fabled graciousness made him the symbol of bygone Southern beauty. Remembered fondly by many as "Marse Robert", the gentle warrior rides in the center of the carving at Stone Mountain, eternally noble in defeat.

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