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Robert E. Lee Biography and Facts For Kids

Robert E. Lee was born in Virginia’s Westmoreland County on January 19, 1807, the third son of Henry and Ann Hill Carter Lee. Lee graduated number two in his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1829. After graduating he married Mary Anne Randolph Custis, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, and Arlington House, her father’s residence in Virginia, was their home until the Civil War. Robert Edward Lee was a career United States Army officer and combat engineer. He became the commanding general of the Confederate army in the American Civil War and a postwar icon of the South’s “lost cause”. A top graduate of West Point, Lee distinguished himself as an exceptional soldier in the U.S. Army for 32 years. He is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.

Fun Facts and Trivia About Robert E. Lee

When was Robert E. Lee born: January 19, 1807

Where was Robert E. Lee born: Stratford Hall, Virginia

When did Robert E. Lee dieOctober 12, 1870

Where did Robert E. Lee die: Lexington, Virginia

Where is Robert E. Lee buried: Lee Chapel Washington and Lee University Lexington, Virginia

Robert E. Lee’s Allegiance:
United States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America

Robert E. Lee’s last words: Strike the tent.

Years of service: 1829–61 (USA) 1861–65 (CSA)

Robert E. Lee Rank:
Colonel (USA)
General (CSA)

Commands held by Robert E. Lee: Army of Northern Virginia

Wars that Robert E. Lee was in:
Mexican–American War
Harpers Ferry Raid
American Civil War

List of Schools Names After Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee Academy, Bishopville, South Carolina
Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia
Lee College, Baytown, Texas
Lee High School, Houston, Texas
Lee-Davis High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Southern Lee High School, Sanford, North Carolina
Lee County High School, Sanford, North Carolina
Robert E. Lee High School, Baytown, Texas
Upson-Lee High School, Thomaston, Georgia
Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia
Robert E. Lee Junior High School, Monroe, Louisiana
Robert E. Lee Junior High School, San Angelo, Texas
Robert E. Lee High School, Jacksonville, Florida
Robert E. Lee Middle School, Orlando, Florida
Robert E. Lee High School, Springfield, Virginia
Several elementary schools such as Robert E. Lee Elementary School

List of Robert E. Lee Memorials
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

The Virginia State Memorial at Gettysburg Battlefield

Lee is one of the figures depicted in bas-relief carved into Stone Mountain near AtlantaGeorgia.

A statue of Lee on horseback, located in Robert E. Lee Park, in Dallas, Texas.

Lee’s portrayal on a mural on Richmond’s Flood Wall on the James River was considered offensive by some, was removed in the late 1990s.

The USS Robert E. Lee, a George Washington class ballistic missile submarine built in 1958, was named for Lee.

The Mississippi River steamboat, Robert E. Lee, was named for Lee after the Civil War.

In 1900, Lee was one of the first 29 individuals selected for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

On September 21, 1955, the United States Postal Service released a 30¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Lee.

A statue of Lee is on display at the main mall of The University of Texas at Austin.

The Commonwealth of Virginia issues an optional license plate honouring Lee.

Robert E. Lee Quotes

  • “I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself.”
  • “We have fought this fight as long, and as well as we know how. We have been defeated. For us as a Christian people, there is now but one course to pursue. We must accept the situation.”
  • “Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
  • “I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in so doing, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity.”
  • “At present, I am not concerned with results. God’s will ought to be our aim, and I am quite contented that His designs should be accomplished and not mine.”
  • “We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters.”

What was Robert E. Lee’s Role in the Mexican American War

Lee distinguished himself in the Mexican–American War. He was one of Winfield Scott’s chief aides in the march from Veracruz to Mexico City. He was instrumental in several American victories through his personal reconnaissance as a staff officer.

What was Robert E. Lee’s Role in the Harpers Ferry Raid

Both Harpers Ferry and the secession of Texas were monumental events leading up to the Civil War. Robert E. Lee was at both events. President James Buchanangave Lee command of detachments of militia, soldiers, and United States Marines.

What was Robert E. Lee’s Role in the American Civil War

At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command all of Virginia’s forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first five full generals.

Robert E. Lee’s Civil War Battles and Outcomes

1861 Cheat Mountain

September 11–13 – Union victory

1862 Seven Days

6/25/1862 to 7/1/1862 – Inconclusive
Oak Grove – Draw (Union withdrawal.)
Beaver Dam Creek – Union victory
Gaine’s Mill – Confederate victory
Savage’s Station – Draw
Glendale – Draw (Union withdrawal.)
Malvern Hill – Union victory

Second Manassas

8/28/1862 to 8/30/1862 Confederate victory

South Mountain

9/14/1862 Union victory


9/16/1862 to 9/18/1862 – Inconclusive


12/11/1862 – Confederate victor

1863 Chancellorsville

5/1/1863 – Confederate victory


7/1/1863 – Union Victory

1864 Wilderness

5/5/1864 – Inconclusive


5/12/1864 – Inconclusive

Cold Harbor

6/1/1864 – Inconclusive

Deep Bottom

8/14/1864 Confederate victory

1865 Appomattox campaign

3/29/1865 – Union victory – General Robert E. Lee Surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant.