Fitzhugh Lee

Fitzhugh Lee

[lee]
Lee, Fitzhugh, 1835-1905, Confederate cavalry general in the American Civil War, b. "Clermont," Fairfax co., Va.; nephew of Robert E. Lee. He campaigned against the Comanche in Texas and later was an instructor at West Point when Virginia seceded in May, 1861. He immediately resigned his commission to serve his state. In the Civil War, Lee was made a brigadier general (1862) for his part in the raid led by J. E. B. Stuart around George B. McClellan's army, and he brilliantly covered the Confederate retreat in the Antietam campaign (1862). In a cavalry engagement at Kelly's Ford in Mar., 1863, his brigade opposed the superior Union force under Gen. William W. Averell. His discovery of the weakness of Joseph Hooker's right led to Stonewall Jackson's successful flanking movement in the battle of Chancellorsville (May, 1863). Lee was with Stuart in the Gettysburg and Wilderness campaigns (1863, 1864). He was promoted to major general in Sept., 1863. Sent to support Jubal A. Early in the Shenandoah Valley in Aug., 1864, Lee was wounded at Winchester and did not return to active service until Jan., 1865. He was chief of the cavalry corps of the Army of Northern Virginia in the last days of the war and covered the retreat to Appomattox. He was (1886-90) governor of Virginia, and in 1896 President Cleveland appointed him consul general at Havana. Lee won national approval by his conduct in the difficult period preceding the Spanish-American War, and in that conflict he was a major general of volunteers. He was military governor of Havana after the war and later commanded the Dept. of the Missouri. He wrote a biography of his uncle (1894).

See D. S. Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942-44).

William Henry Fitzhugh Lee (May 31, 1837October 15, 1891), known as Rooney Lee or W.H.F. Lee, was the second son of Robert E. Lee and Mary Anna Randolph Custis. He was a planter, a Confederate cavalry General in the American Civil War, and later a member of the U.S. Congress.

Early life

Lee was born at Arlington House in Arlington, Virginia, Virginia. He attended Harvard University, and then followed in his father's footsteps, entering the United States Army in 1857 as a second lieutenant. He served with the 6th U.S. Infantry under Albert Sidney Johnston, and participated in the Utah War against the Mormons. In 1859, he resigned from the U.S. Army to operate his White House Plantation, on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, in New Kent County, Virginia.

Civil War

With the outbreak of the Civil War Lee became a captain in the Confederate Army cavalry and was soon promoted to major. He initially served in western Virginia under the command of Brig. Gen. William Loring during 1861 and early 1862. He was then placed under the command of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, becoming a lieutenant colonel, and later colonel in the 9th Virginia Cavalry.

After the Battle of South Mountain, Lee was promoted to brigadier general. He fought at Antietam under the command of Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, his cousin. He commanded the 3rd Brigade of Stuart's Cavalry Division at the Battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He was wounded during combat at Brandy Station at the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign and was captured by Union forces at Hickory Hill, Virginia, two weeks later, while recuperating. He was a prisoner of war in New York State until exchanged back to the Confederate Army on February 25, 1864. He was exchanged for captive Union Brig. Gen. Neal S. Dow. In April, he was promoted to major general and commanded a division in the Cavalry Corps during the breakout from Petersburg and the retreat of his father's army in the Appomattox Campaign. By the end of the war, he had risen to second-in-command of the Confederate cavalry. He surrendered along with his father at Appomattox Court House.

Post-War career

Lee returned to White House Plantation and planting after the war. Nearby, his younger brother Rob lived at Romancock Plantation across the river in King William County.

After his mother died in 1873, Rooney inherited Ravensworth Estate, the old Fitzhugh family property (near present-day Springfield) in Fairfax County with 563 acres of land. He moved there from White House. In 1875 Rooney was elected to the Virginia Senate, serving until 1878. He was then elected as a Democrat to the US House of Representatives in 1887. He served in the House until his death at Ravensworth in 1891. He is interred in the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia with his parents and siblings.

Family

Lee married twice, first in 1859 to Charlotte Wickham, a descendant of attorney John Wickham. They had two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom died in infancy. Charlotte died in 1863.

On November 28, 1867, he married Mary Tabb Bolling, a descendant of Colonel Robert Bolling and his second wife Anne Stith. They had two children: Robert Edward Lee, born 1870, and George Bolling Lee, born 1872.

Lee is the step-great-great-grandson of George Washington. Lee's mother, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, was the great-granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington, who was a widow living at her White House Plantation in New Kent County (which Rooney Lee later inherited) when she was courted by Colonel George Washington before their marriage in 1759.

References

  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.

External links

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