Robert E. Lee Quotes

A collection of quotes by Robert E. Lee.

Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) was a prominent military general during the American Civil War. Born on January 19, 1807, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Lee hailed from a family with a strong military tradition. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1829, he embarked on a distinguished career in the U.S. Army.

Throughout the 1850s, Lee served as an engineer and military leader, earning recognition for his role in suppressing the 1859 John Brown raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia. However, when the Civil War erupted in 1861, Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and joined the Confederate forces, aligning himself with his home state of Virginia.

Lee served as the commanding general of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, leading his troops throughout the war with tactical acumen and strategic brilliance. He achieved several noteworthy victories against the Union Army, including the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Despite his military prowess, Lee's insurmountable challenge grew apparent in the face of the Union's numerical and industrial advantages. The Confederacy ultimately surrendered in 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. After the war, Lee played a crucial role in promoting national reconciliation, urging Southerners to reunite with the Union and working towards a peaceful transition.

Robert E. Lee passed away on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia, where he had served as the president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) since 1865. Lee left a complex legacy—the subject of both admiration and criticism—due to his leadership during a pivotal period in American history.