“What is government itself,but the greatest of all reflections on human nature. If men were angels no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by menover men,the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself” James Madison
Robert Edward Lee was born January 19, 1807 at Stratford Hall Plantation, Virginia. He was the son of the famed “Light Horse” Harry Lee and Anne Hill (Ne’e Carter) Lee. Robert was the fifth child in the family.
The Lee’s were a part of the Gentry class of Virginian society. Robert’s maternal great-great Grandfather was the wealthiest man in the Virginia colony when he died in 1732. Robert’s Father would not have such success in their family’s finances, because Henry Lee squandered the fortunes of two wives, and abandoned the family. Harry lee moved to the Bahamas after being injured in a mob in Baltimore where he was truing to defend the home of a friend. The home he stayed in while he was in the Bahamas was the home of the famed Nathaniel Greene a hero in the Revolutionary war. It was at this home that Harry Lee died. Robert Edward was only eleven.
In 1825 Robert began his studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He became the first cadet to receive the rank of Sergeant at the end of the first year. When he graduated in 1829 he was at the head of his class. A position he shared with five other classmates. Having not gained any demerits during his years at West Point he was second overall in his class.
After his graduation he was given the brevet rank of Second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. Lee began his military career at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island Georgia. In 1831 he was stationed at Fortress Monroe. While he was there he married Marry Anna Randolph Custis the great- grand-daughter of Marth Washington. This was the beginning of an illustrious military career for Robert E. Lee. Pt 2 will come shortly.
This is a most moving recitation of the Gettysburg Adress. I simply love what it had to say to the country during the Civil War and I love what it has to say to us today. “This country of the people, by the people and for the people shall not parish from the earth”
“But we had with us, to keep and to care for, more than five hundred bruised bodies of men, – men made in the image of God, marred by the hand of man, and must we say in the name of God? And where is the reckoning for such things? And who is answerable? One might almost shrink from the sound of his own voice, which had launched into the palpitating air words of order – do we call it? – fraught with such ruin. Was it God’s command we heard, or His forgiveness we must forever implore?”
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
The Passing of The Armies
Bantam Books, 1992
When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests” Patrick Henry
|Out of the focal and foremost fire,
Out of the hospital walls as dire,
Smitten of grape-shot and grangrene,
(Eighteenth battle, and he sixteen!)
Spectre! Such as you seldom see,
Little Giffen, of Tennessee.“Take him- and welcome!” the surgeons said;
“Little the doctor can help the dead!”
So we took him and brought him where
The balm was sweet in the summer air;
And we laid him down on a wholesome bed-
Utter Lazarus, heel to head!
And we watched the war with abated breath-
And didn’t. Nay, more! In death’s despite
Word of gloom from the war, one day;
Dimmed the glint of his steel-blue eye.
I sometimes fancy that, were I king
Source: The Photographic History of the Civil War, Volume V
“I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I… know that it is a rising…sun.” This is what Benjamin Franklin said about George Washington’s arm-chair at the Pennsylvania state house.
What does that say for our country today and what did it say during the Civil War? I think it was saying that good times are ahead for the country. Our Country has gone through some very hard, and trying times but she made it through them all by turing back to God. That is the only way to make our country a rising sun again. The Civil War was a very trying time but it brought the country to its knees. America turned to God during the Civil War and many, many lives were saved through Christ. Christ is what made our country a rising sun and is what will keeping always rising.
“Without slavery, the rebellion could never have existed. Without slavery, it could not continue.”
Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862, Message to Congress, James Ford Rhodes, “History of the Civil War, 1861-1865”, 1917, page 198.