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GEN Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, III

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GEN Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, III

  • Birth 29 Jan 1756 Dumfries, Prince William County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 25 Mar 1818 Dungeness, Camden County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Lexington, Lexington City, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 2452

Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer, US Congressman. The father of Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee, his lightning raids against the British during the American Revolution earned him the nickname "Light-Horse Harry." He also wrote the famous epitaph of George Washington, "First in War, first in Peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Born in Leesylvania, Prince William County, Virginia, he graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1773. A captain in the Virginia Cavalry in 1776, his unit joined General George Washington's Army. In 1778, he was promoted to Major and commanded a cavalry troop called "Lee's Legion," which he led in a daring raid on the British post at Paulus Hook, New Jersey. In 1780, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and fought under General Nathaniel Greene. After the war, Lee served in the Virginia House of Delegates and in the Congress, from 1785 to 1788, then served as Governor of Virginia from 1791 to 1794. He commanded the troops sent by President George Washington in 1794 to end the Whisky Rebellion. A member of the Federalist Party, he served as a Congressman from 1799 to 1801. In later years, Lee fell into debt, and in 1808 to 1809, he was imprisoned in debtor's prison, during which time he wrote his "Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States." In the strife that led up to the War of 1812, he was injured while trying to protect a friend from rioters in Baltimore, Maryland, receiving wounds from which he never recovered. He died at Dungeness, on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Lee was reinterred at the Lee Chapel Museum in Lexington in 1913.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2452
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for GEN Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, III (29 Jan 1756–25 Mar 1818), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2452, citing Lee Chapel Museum, Lexington, Lexington City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .