Lee, Robert Edward 1807-Military officer; born in Stratford, Westmoreland co., Va., Jan. 19, 1807; son of Gen. Henry Lee; graduated at the United States Military Academy, second in his class, in 1829. Entering the engineer corps, he became captain in July, 1838, and was chief engineer of General Wool's brigade in the war with Mexico. At the close of that war he had earned three brevets—major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel; and he was a great favorite with General Scott. From Sept. 3, 1852, to March 3, 1855, he was superintendent of the Military Academy. In the latter year he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of cavalry, and in March, 1861, to colonel. Accepting the doctrine of State supremacy when Virginia passed an ordinance of secession, in April, 1861, Lee went to Richmond, accepted (April 22, 1861) the command of the forces in that commonwealth, and resigned his commission in the National army. In accepting the office of commander of the Virginia forces, he said: “Trusting in Almighty God, an approving conscience, and the aid of my fellowcitizens, I devote myself to the aid of my native State, in whose behalf alone will I ever draw my sword.” Lee's services had always been very acceptable to his government. He was an officer of fine culture, a soldier brave and discreet, and an engineer of great skill. He had superintended the construction and repairs of the forts at the entrance to the harbor of New York after 1841, and was a member of the board of engineers of the Atlantic coast defence. He had married, in 1832, Mary, daughter of G. W. P. Custis, the adopted son of Washington, and by her, in 1857, he became possessor of the estate of Arlington, opposite Georgetown, on the Potomac, and the “White House” estate, on the Pamunkey. He was in command of a regiment of cavalry in Texas in 1860, and towards the close of that year he obtained leave of absence and returned home, where he was when appointed to the command of the Virginia forces. For a while he did not have a separate command in the field, and for more than a year did not fill any important place in the Confederate army. He was nominally superintendent of fortifications at Richmond and elsewhere, and was the military adviser of President Jefferson Davis and of the Confederate Secretary of War. When Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was wounded (May 31, 1862), in the battle of Seven Pines, near Richmond, the command of the Confederate army of Northern Virginia was given to Lee, June 3, and on the 26th of that month he began the series of conflicts before Richmond known as the Seven Days Battles. He was finally compelled to surrender his army to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, April 9, 1865, on most generous terms for himself and his followers. He had been appointed general-in-chief of the Confederate armies in February preceding. After the war he retired to private life, refusing even to attend public gatherings of any kind. In October, 1865, he accepted the presidency of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), at Lexington, Va., which he held  until his death, Oct. 12, 1870. Lee's sons —G. W. Custis, W. H. F., and Robert E. —all served as officers in the Confederate army. His eldest son, G. W. C. Lee, was chosen president of the college on the death of his father. In the summer of 1861 General Reynolds had been left by Rosecrans to confront General Lee in the Cheat Mountain region. Lee was then in chief command in western Virginia. He had sent General Floyd to drive the Nationals out of the Kanawha Valley, but the latter was defeated (Sept. 11) at Carnifex Ferry, and fled to Big Sewell Mountain. Reynolds's command consisted of Indiana and Ohio troops. With them he held the roads and passes of the mountains of the more westerly ranges of the Alleghany chain. His headquarters were at Cheat Mountain pass, and Lee's were at Huntersville, in Pocahontas county. It was evident early in September, by the activity of Lee's scouts, that he was preparing to strike a blow somewhere. It was finally made clear that he was about to strike the Nationals at Elk Water, at the western foot of Cheat Mountain. His object evidently was to secure the great Cheat Mountain pass, and have free communication with the Shenandoah Valley. For this purpose he marched from Huntersville, in the night of Sept. 11, to make a simultaneous attack on Elk Water, the pass, and a station of Indiana troops on the summit, under Colonel Kimball. About 5,000 Confederates, under General Anderson, of Tennessee, attempted to take the summit and the pass, but were repulsed. On the 12th Lee advanced in heavy force upon Elk Water, but was driven back. He was satisfied that his plan for seizing and destroying Reynolds's army and opening a way to the Ohio had failed, and he hastened to join Floyd on Big Sewell Mountain, between the forks of the Kanawha. In the encounters during two or three days, Reynolds lost ten men killed, fourteen wounded, and sixty-four made prisoners. The Confederates lost about 100 killed and wounded, and ninety prisoners. The joint forces of Lee and Floyd, on Big Sewell Mountain, numbered about 20,000 men, and there they were confronted by 10,000 Nationals, under Rosecrans, assisted by Generals Cox, Schenck, and Benham. The belligerents remained in sight of each other for about three weeks. Wise, then under Lee's command, was recalled to Richmond. Lee's campaign in western Virginia was regarded by the Confederate government as a failure, and he, too, was soon afterwards recalled and sent to South Carolina, where he planned and partially constructed the coast defensive works. See Charleston. After his disastrous experience at Gettysburg (July 1, 2, and 3, 1863), General Lee began a retreat for Virginia on the night of the 5th, having previously sent forward his enormous wagon-trains and sick and wounded men. Sedgwick's corps and Kilpatrick's cavalry were sent in pursuit. Sedgwick overtook the Confederate rear-guard at a pass in the South Mountain range, but was recalled, and the whole army, having rested, were put in motion for a flank movement through the lower passes of South Mountain. But the movement was so tardy that when Meade overtook Lee (July 12) he was strongly intrenched on the banks of the Potomac, near Williamsport, waiting for a flood in the river, caused by recent rains, to subside. While Meade was preparing to attack Lee, the latter escaped over the river. General Hill's rear-guard had been struck by Kilpatrick, and lost 125 men killed and 1,500 made prisoners. Kilpatrick's loss was 105 men. Thus ended, in utter discomfiture and repulse, Lee's second formidable invasion of Maryland.
Lee's final struggle.While the Confederates were leaving Richmond, Lee's army was withdrawing from Petersburg. He hoped to conduct his army to Danville, on the southern borders of Virginia, whither his government had fled. He appointed Amelia Court-house as the point for the concentration of his army. There his forces would reach the Danville Railway, and thereafter use it in their flight into North Carolina . At the time when he sent his despatch for the evacuation of Richmond he ordered commissary and quartermaster's stories to be sent from Danville to Amelia Court-house for the use of his army. They were promptly forwarded; but when the officer in charge reached Amelia Court-house he received 
|General Robert E. Lee.|
Terms of the surrender.The following is the correspondence that passed between Generals Grant and Lee, which resulted in the surrender of the army of the latter: I.
On the day of the surrender General Lee addressed the following farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia:
At the final act of surrender, General Lee was not present. It was executed by commissioners designated for the purpose, who acceded to the following agreement:
The following is a copy of the parole signed by General Lee and his staffofficers:
The parole was countersigned as follows: