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that he was a victim, not a culprit. He had been deceived by villains. A great success as a soldier, his whole private life proved him unfitted to be a man of business.
His only hope of making provision for his family was by the writing of his "Memoirs," which he was assured would have an enormous sale. But a new trouble came upon him. A pain in his throat developed into a cancer, and he went on with the work under intense physical torment. His one comfort during this suffering was that Congress passed a bill placing him on the retired list of the army, an act which taught him that the act of his villanous partner had not ruined his reputation and that his good name and fame were secured. He had barely time to write the last page of his work when, on the 23d of July, 1885, death came to relieve him of his agony.
The body of the great soldier was interred, after a funeral pageant such as had never before been seen in America, in a noble mausoleum at Riverside Park, New York, which has ever since been a place of pilgrimage for his admiring countrymen.
ROBERT E. LEE, COMMANDER IN CHIEF
OF THE CONFEDERATE ARMIES
The Lee family long played an important part in Virginia and in the country at large. While the Washingtons gave us one great name, the Lees were prolific in names of prominence. Three leading members of the family date from Revolutionary times, Richard Henry Lee, who had the honor of offering the resolution in Congress that led to the Declaration of Independence; Henry Lee, the “Light-Horse Harry” of the patriotic army, and the eulogist of Washington, author of the famous "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen!” and Arthur Lee, who was Franklin's fellowenvoy in obtaining the treaty of alliance with France. Another, Francis Lightfoot Lee, joined his brother, Richard Henry, in signing the Declaration of Independence.
In the Civil War there were three generals of the Lee family, one of them, Robert Edward Lee, being one of the greatest soldiers our country has known, as well as one of its greatest and most pure-minded men. The son of the famous “Light-Horse Harry,” he was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on the 19th of January, 1807, being fifteen years older than his great antagonist, General Grant.
Lee was entered as a cadet at West Point and graduated at the head of his class in 1829. Appointed lieutenant in a corps of engineers, he was engaged for a number of years in harbor and fortress and other
engineering work, being made captain in 1838. He married in 1832 the daughter of George Washington Custis, the adopted son of General Washington, and with her obtained the Arlington House on the Potomac opposite Washington.
Lee's first field service came in the Mexican War, where he was chief engineer of General Scott's army and won high honor by his superior ability. The capture of Vera Cruz was said by Scott to be due to Captain Lee's skill. In the operations around the City of Mexico there was no better or braver man, and once, when wounded at Chapultepec, he kept steadily at his work until he fainted from the effect of his wound. Scott admired him so much that he made him his warm personal friend, and at the end of the war he held the brevet rank of colonel. We are told that one day, while a party of officers were enjoying their wine in the City of Mexico, some one proposed the health of Lee, the brave engineer who had found the way for them into the city. On looking round for him he was not to be seen, and the man sent for him found him hard at work over a map which he could not be persuaded to leave to join the wassailers. Duty with him came first; pleasure last, if at all.
The war ended, he was variously engaged. For three years he was superintendent at West Point. Then he went to Texas as lieutenant-colonel of a regiment. He lived quietly at home for two years before the Civil War, and when the John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry was made in 1859 Lee was sent there with a body of troops. He battered down the door of the engine house, in which Brown and the other raiders were intrenched, captured them and turned them over to the authorities.