William Henry Fitzhugh Lee

Major General


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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the second son of Robert E. Lee, and called "Rooney" to distinguish him from his first cousin, General Fitzhugh Lee, was born in the Custis home, "Arlington," May 31, 1837. He was educated at Harvard, where he was noted as an oarsman, and was commissioned directly into the United States Army in 1857. Two years later he resigned to engage in farming at "White House" plantation on the Pamunkey River, an estate he had inherited from his Grandfather Custis. Upon the secession of Virginia Lee promptly entered Confederate service, and soon rose to the colonelcy of the 9th Virginia Cavalry. With this regiment he followed General J. E. B. Stuart through virtually all the campaigns of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was promoted brigadier general to rank from September 15, 1862. He was severely wounded at Brandy Station the following June, and while recuperating, was captured by the Federals and imprisoned. Not exchanged until March 1864, he was promoted major general on April 23 (the youngest in Confederate service), after which he continued to play a most important part in the closing operations of the cavalry, and was second in command thereof at Appomattox. Following the war he returned to farming, served as president of the Virginia Agricultural Society, and was for four years a state senator. In 1887 General Lee was elected to Congress, and occupied his seat until his death at "Ravensworth," near Alexandria, on October 15, 1891. First buried in the family ground there, his remains were re-interred in the Lee mausoleum at Lexington in 1922.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.