Though the Union won the war, Lee has been revered by many while others debate his tactics
Lee was cut from Virginia aristocracy. His extended family members included a president, a chief justice of the United States, and signers of the Declaration of Independence. His father, Colonel Henry Lee, also known as “Light-Horse Harry,” had served as a cavalry leader during the Revolutionary War and gone on to become one of the war’s heroes, winning praise from General George Washington.
Saved from being hanged as a traitor by a forgiving Lincoln and Grant, Lee returned to his family in April 1865. He eventually accepted a job as president of a small college in western Virginia, and kept quiet about the nation’s politics following the war.
“What a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!”
-Robert E Lee