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[59]

Lee's boyhood playground When Robert E. Lee came over from Alexandria as a boy, to play soldier in the gardens and grounds around this beautiful mansion overlooking the Potomac, he could hardly have thought of its occupation during his life-time by a hostile force determined to bend his native State to its will. When he was graduated from West Point in 1829 and proudly donned the army blue, he little imagined that thirty-two years later, after he had paced his room all night in terrible perplexity, he would doff the blue for another color sworn to oppose it. The estate about Arlington house was a fair and spacious domain. Every part of it had rung in his early youth and young manhood with the voice of her who later became his wife. He had whispered his love in its shaded alleys, and here his children had come into the world. Yet here stand men with swords and muskets ready to take his life if they should meet him on the field of battle. Arlington, once famous for its hospitality, has since extended a silent welcome to 20,000 dead. Lee's body is not here, but reposes in a splendid marble tomb at Washington and Lee University, where he ruled with simple dignity after the finish of the war.

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