General Lee’s Birthday: A Celebration for All Americans
Publication on or about January 19, 2007
Another great American celebrates a birthday on January 19. The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2068 “The Delaware Grays”, of Seaford, recognize the 200th birthday of General Robert E. Lee, leader of the Army of Northern Virginia during The Civil War (1861-1865).
Lee was born January 19, 1807 at Stratford Hall, just across the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia – about 80 miles from Seaford, as the crow flies. He had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army, including valiant service in the Mexican War before reluctantly resigning his commission in early 1861 when his home state voted to leave the Union. Against overwhelming odds, he led the Army of Northern Virginia for nearly 3 years before the famous surrender at Appomattox to General Grant in April 1865. Following the war, he became President of Washington (now Washington & Lee) University in Lexington Virginia, helping to rebuild the South by educating her youth.
President Gerald Ford commented on the legacy of Lee during a speech on August 5, 1975: “As a soldier, General Lee left his mark on military strategy. As a man, he stood as the symbol of valor and duty. As an educator, he appealed to reason and learning to achieve understanding and build a stronger nation.” He was hailed by North and South for his many acts of reconciliation. (Click here to read President Ford's speech on Robert E. Lee.)
As part of the year-long bi-centennial celebration of Lee’s birth, the “Delaware Grays” will unveil the state’s first monument to the soldiers of Delaware who fought with Lee and the Confederacy. Delaware never left the Union during the war, but it is estimated as many as 2,000 native sons joined Southern armies. The unveiling is tentatively planned for sometime in May and names of many of these Delaware soldiers will be included on the monument to be placed on the grounds of the Marvel Museum in Georgetown.
The Delaware Grays, SCV Camp 2068, based in Seaford, Delaware, is a not-for-profit, non-political patriotic community organization whose members are local people who interests include the War Between the States and preserving history. Interested persons can find out more by visiting www.DESCV.org (EDIT: You are currently visiting this web site.)