When Robert E. Lee was only four, his father, "Light Horse Harry" Lee, moved the family to Alexandria. Seven years later, the elder Lee died and Robert's mother moved the family across the street from the Lee-Fendall House, a homestead to the "Lees of Virginia."
Although Lee had aspired to a career in medicine, he chose to enter West Point which offered him a free education. In 1831, he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington.
An able officer, Lee served with distinction in the Mexican War. As the dark clouds of civil war approached and Southern states began seceding, Lee, ever faithful to Virginia, sadly resigned his U.S. Army commission and offered his services to the new Confederate government in Richmond.
Although initially appointed to a staff position, Lee took field command in 1862. From that day forward, the fate and career of Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia would be forever intertwined. After four years of struggle and hardship, Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
From the surrender at Appomattox until the day he died, Lee continued to be a witness for honor and a quiet voice for reconciliation and peace within the Union.
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