The Civil War was fought 150 years ago. It is still a painful part of our history, and recent events have brought out the pain of a personal injury lawyer even more.
There is little doubt that some Americans are ashamed of that part of our history, as there were people who fought against the U.S. government in support of slavery; and in the Southern states, some of those prominent men have been honored with memorials and statues.
In the wake of the Charlottesville protests, a prominent statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was taken down, encouraged by “antifa” protestors who seemed to push for it as a middle finger to white-nationalist protestors that were in Charlottesville at the same time.
Antifa brought forward the visibility of General Lee and the Confederacy, bringing out more of the scars. And it also brings to mind the irony of Lee standing in front of men who fought against the federal government in an act of treason, in contradiction to a member of his own family who stood as a patriot in support of the United States.
General Robert E. Lee gained acclaim in U.S. history books for leading the Confederate Army against the Union during the bloody and tragic Civil War. But he was not the only military “hero” in his family. He was just the one who did not support the U.S.
Major General Henry Lee III was born in colonial Virginia and skipped a legal career when the Revolution broke out and became a major and led a dragoon unit, and and later a cavalry and light-infantry unit of the Continental Army. His unit became prominent in what is now called “guerrilla warfare” tactics, as light-infantry and cavalry was mobile and not weighed down by large cannon and heavy supply trains.
“Lee’s Legion,” which was the name of the mixed unit he led, was very successful in guerrilla tactics, disrupting British supply lines, engaging British troops in several skirmishes that weakened numbers, confronting troop movements, and also doing scouting and reconnaissance work that helped the Continental Army strategize battles.
He gained much attention and respect from Continental Army commander Gen. George Washington for his leadership and skill on a horse. He had a noteworthy win in New Jersey, when a surprise attack captured 400 British soldiers with just one loss on his side. He quickly ascended to the post of major general in the Continental Army and left military service in 1782, just at the end of the war.
He gained the name “Light Horse” as a term of affection and respect, mainly for his horsemanship as well as his leadership of his troops under his command.
In 1782, he married his first wife Matilda, and the couple had four children. Lee went on to serve in Congress representing Virginia, and three terms as governor of the state. Matilda passed on in 1790, and Henry married again in 1795, with new wife Anne Carter having five children (the first child was lost early). One of those children was …
Robert E. Lee, future general of the Confederate Army.
From patriot to traitor. A sad trail for the Lee family.