The birthday of Robert E. Lee is celebrated or commemorated:

Robert E. Lee around age 43 when he was a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers, c.1850

Removing Robert E. Lee's Statue Oversimp | The Daily Caller

Lee served as an assistant in the chief engineer's office in from 1834 to 1837, but spent the summer of 1835 helping to lay out the state line between Ohio and Michigan. As a of engineers in 1837, he supervised the engineering work for St. Louis harbor and for the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Among his projects was mapping the on the Mississippi above, where the Mississippi's mean depth of 2.4 feet (0.7 m) was the upper limit of steamboat traffic on the river. His work there earned him a promotion to . Around 1842, Captain Robert E. Lee arrived as 's post engineer.

The following are summaries of Civil War battles where Robert E. Lee was the commanding officer:

Robert E. Lee and His Horse Traveller | HistoryNet

Among Southerners, Lee came to be even more revered after his surrender than he had been during the war, when had been the great Confederate hero. In an address before the Southern Historical Society in Atlanta, Georgia in 1874, Benjamin Harvey Hill described Lee as:

Unveiling of the Equestrian Statue of Robert E. Lee, May 29, 1890. Richmond, Virginia.

The evidence cited in favor of the claim that Lee opposed slavery included his direct statements and his actions before and during the war, including Lee's support of the work by his wife and her mother to liberate slaves and fund their move to Liberia, the success of his wife and daughter in setting up an illegal school for slaves on the Arlington plantation, the freeing of Custis' slaves in 1862, and, as the Confederacy's position in the war became desperate, his petitioning slaveholders in 1864–65 to allow slaves to volunteer for the Army with offered as a reward for outstanding service.

While at Washington College, Lee told a colleague that the greatest mistake of his life was taking a military education.

Robert G. Lee: His Life and Preaching – ExtendedLayover

In his public statements and private correspondence, Lee argued that a tone of reconciliation and patience would further the interests of white Southerners better than hotheaded antagonism to federal authority or the use of violence. Lee repeatedly expelled white students from Washington College for violent attacks on local black men, and publicly urged obedience to the authorities and respect for law and order. In 1869–70 he was a leader in successful efforts to establish state-funded schools for blacks. He privately chastised fellow ex-Confederates such as and for their frequent, angry responses to perceived Northern insults, writing in private to them as he had written to a magazine editor in 1865, that "It should be the object of all to avoid controversy, to allay passion, give full scope to reason and to every kindly feeling. By doing this and encouraging our citizens to engage in the duties of life with all their heart and mind, with a determination not to be turned aside by thoughts of the past and fears of the future, our country will not only be restored in material prosperity, but will be advanced in science, in virtue and in religion."

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Lee, who had opposed secession and remained mostly indifferent to politics before the Civil War, supported President Johnson's plan of Presidential Reconstruction that took effect in 1865–66. However, he opposed the Congressional Republican program that took effect in 1867. In February 1866, he was called to testify before the Joint Congressional Committee on Reconstruction in Washington, where he expressed support for President 's plans for quick restoration of the former Confederate states, and argued that restoration should return, as far as possible, the status quo ante in the Southern states' governments (with the exception of slavery).

Robert E Lee Family - Image Mag

Several glowing appraisals of Lee's tenure as college president have survived, depicting the dignity and respect he commanded among all. Previously, most students had been obliged to occupy the campus dormitories, while only the most mature were allowed to live off-campus. Lee quickly reversed this rule, requiring most students to board off-campus, and allowing only the most mature to live in the dorms as a mark of privilege; the results of this policy were considered a success. A typical account by a professor there states that "the students fairly worshipped him, and deeply dreaded his displeasure; yet so kind, affable, and gentle was he toward them that all loved to approach him... No student would have dared to violate General Lee's expressed wish or appeal; if he had done so, the students themselves would have driven him from the college." Elsewhere, the same professor recalls the following: