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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Goodbye General Robert E. Lee

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Goodbye General Robert E. Lee

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

Americans have always had a admiration for sport celebrities
and the heritage of their ancestors who made this nation great.
Free people are those who remember their past. Are young people
still taught about Davy Crocket, Daniel Boone and George
Washington Carver?

Do you know who Robert E. Lee was?

October 12th, will be the 137th anniversary of the death of
Robert E. Lee. The United States flag, which Lee had defended
as a soldier,flew at half mast in Lexington, Virginia and
throughout the South.

General Lee died at his home at Lexington, Virginia at
9:30 AM on October 12, 1870. His last great deed came after the
War Between the States when he accepted the presidency of
Washington College,now Washington and Lee University. He saved
the financially troubled college and helped many young people
further their education.

Some write that Robert E. Lee suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on
September 28, 1870, but was thought to greatly improve until
October 12th, when he took a turn for the worse. His condition
seemed more hopeless when his doctor told him, "General you must
make haste and get well---Traveller---has been standing too long
in his stable and needs exercise."

The rains and flooding were the worse of Virginia's history on
the day General Lee died. On Wednesday, October 12, 1870, in the
presence of his family, Lee quietly passed away.

The church bells rang as the sad news passed through Washington
College,Virginia Military Institute, the town of Lexington and
the nation. Cadets from VMI College carried the remains of the
old soldier to Lee Chapel where he laid in state. Many buildings
and homes were covered in black crepe for mourning.

Memorial meetings were held throughout the South and as far North
as New York. At Washington College in Lexington eulogies were
delivered by: Reverend Pemberton, Reverend W.S. White--Stonewall
Jackson's Pastor and Reverend J.William Jones. Former Confederate
President Jefferson Davis brought the eulogy in Richmond, Virginia.
Lee was also eulogized in Great Britain.

When all settled down, Mrs. Robert E. Lee said, "If he had
succeeded in gaining by the sword all the South expected and hoped
for, he could not have been more honored and lamented."

Many thousands witnessed Lee's funeral procession marching through
the town of Lexington, Virginia, with muffled drums and the artillery
firing as the hearse was driven to the school's chapel where he was

US President Dwight D. Eisenhower knew and appreciated our nation's
rich history. While President, Eisenhower was criticized for
displaying a portrait on Robert E. Lee in his office. This was part
of his response;

"Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted
men produced by this nation."

Robert E. Lee was the hero of the Southern people and admired
both North and South of the Mason-Dixon Line. This Christian-
gentleman's last words were, "Strike the Tent."

Lest We Forget Robert E. Lee, A Genuine American Hero!!!


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