Robert E. Lee Time Line


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Robert E. Lee Portrait

About General Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee Time Line

  Robert E. Lee Biography | Robert E. Lee Quotes | Robert E. Lee Pictures | Robert E. Lee's Childhood | Robert E. Lee in Texas | Robert E. Lee's Religious Views | Lee on Slavery | Robert E. Lee's Farewell | Lee's Recollections & Letters | To His Son | To His Daughter | Robert E. Lee in Harper's Weekly | Lee Time Line | Lee Obituary | Robert E. Lee's Slave | Lee's Essential Writings | Lee's Surrender at Appomattox | Lee's Daughter Arrested | Lee's Nicknames | Robert E. Lee's Position on Arming the Slaves | Robert E. Lee Digital Library

Formal Portrait of Robert E. Lee

 Robert E. Lee Timeline

1807—January 19

Robert E. Lee is born at Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, VA. * Lee’s father  “Light-Horse Harry Lee” was a hero of the American Revolution and a friend of George Washington.


Lee graduates 2ndin his West Point class. * He becomes the first student to graduate without having received a single demerit. * Fellow cadets give Lee the nickname “Marble Model”. * He is commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Corps of Engineers.


Lee marries Mary Custis (great-granddaughter of Martha Washington) at her family’s plantation Arlington House. * The Lees have seven children during their marriage.


The Mexican War begins.


Lee serves on the staff of General Winfield Scott and is promoted to brevet major.


Lee becomes superintendent of West Point.

1859—October 18

Lee leads troops in putting down John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.


 General Winfield Scott offers Lee command of the Union Army

1861—April 17

 The Virginia convention votes in favor of secession.

1861—April 22

 Lee resigns from the United States Army.


Lee accepts command of the military and naval forces of Virginia. * Virginia state forces become part of the Confederate forces. * Lee is sent to defend western Virginia. * Lee purchases his famous warhorse, Traveller. * Lee is called to Richmond to serve as a military advisor to President Davis.

1862—June 1

Lee is given command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph Johnston is wounded.


Lee leads the Army of Northern Virginia to multiple victories—Seven Days Battles, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville— but his two attempts to win battles in the North end in failure—first in Maryland (Sept. ’62) at the battle of Sharpsburg/Antietam and second in Pennsylvania (July ’63) at the battle of Gettysburg.


Lee faces Grant in the Wilderness, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, and at Cold Harbor.

1864—May 13

 The first step in making Lee’s Arlington home into a national cemetery occurs when Union soldiers are buried on the property.

1864—June 15

 The siege of Petersburg begins. * For nine months, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia holds trenches outside of Petersburg faced by Grant’s Army of the Potomac.

1865—January 1

Lee is made general-in-chief of Confederate Forces.

1865—April 2

 The siege of Petersburg ends when Grant attacks Lee’s position.

1865—April 9

Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.


 Lee becomes president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia.


October 12, The General dies after suffering a stroke at age 63.



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