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.