(1807-1870) Born at Stratford, in Westmoreland County, Va., he was the son of the legendary Revolutionary War hero, "Lighthorse Harry" Lee. Graduated #2 in the West Point class of 1829 without a single demerit to his name in 4 years! He emerged from the Mexican War with one wound, three brevets for gallantry, a brilliant reputation, and the ever lasting esteem of the commanding General of the United States Army, Winfield Scott, who said Robert E. Lee was "the very best soldier that I ever saw in the field." Served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, at West Point, 1852-55, and he commanded the detachment that captured John Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Lee turned down President Lincoln's offer for him to command the Union Army in 1861, as he said he could never raise his sword against his native Virginia. Instead he was appointed commander of all military forces of Virginia, and soon after general in the Regular Army of the Confederate States of America. During the War Between The States, he commanded the Army of Northern Virginia at such battlefields as 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Richmond and Appomattox. His reputation became legendary and he might very well be the most famous soldier in American history! In the last years of his life, he served as president of Washington College at Lexington, Va. (now Washington & Lee University) where he is buried in the chapel.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 1/2 x 4 card. Bust view in uniform. No back mark. Excellent.