Robert E. Lee: The Character of the Man
By Steven L. Warren
January 19, 2007
-- VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- 200 years ago Friday, Robert Edward Lee was born. His birthday, January 19, 1807 was celebrated by many states throughout the South for years following the Civil War.
Five states including Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama still mark Lee's birthday as an official holiday. "Marse Robert's" birthday is also celebrated by many people and historical groups across the country as "Robert E. Lee Day." However, the celebration of the birth of the former commanding Confederate general is not without controversy.
Throughout the Southern states, just like the ever-growing myth of "The Lost Cause," Lee has risen to almost a sainthood-like status. 137 years after his death, it has become hard to separate the man from the myth. He was loved by his soldiers and respected by his enemies.