Lee, Fitzhugh

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Lee, Fitzhugh

Fitzhugh Lee, 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).

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