During the Civil War, when Virginia – Lee's home state – declared secession form the Union, he remained loyal to it, even though he was offered to become a commander of the Union Army. In Virginia he served as a senior military adviser to the Confederate President. Later, Robert E. Lee became a commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and won most of his battles. In 1865, however, during one of the last battles of the Civil War, Lee who was already appointed General in Chief was condemned to surrender his forces to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant – the Union General in Chief.
Robert E. Lee’s courage and tactical skills have not been forgotten though. He was nominated the president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia. Many political leaders nowadays honor him, and many institutions or monuments are named after him.
The 4 states that observe Robert E. Lee’s birthday celebrate it on different dates. In Virginia, for example, it is the Friday before Martin Luther King Day, and it is connected with the day of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. In Georgia, on the other hand, Robert E. Lee Day is observed on the day after Thanksgiving, which is known worldwide as the Black Friday. In some states Lee’s birthday is celebrated with marches or parades, and state governors often proclaim the holiday to the general public.
Did you know?
Many famous politicians appreciated Robert E. Lee. For example, Winston Churchill referred to this American General as to one of the noblest Americans who ever lived.
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