Young Robert E. Lee had a carefree boyhood in Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended Alexandria Academy. In the mathematics class at the Academy one day the boys were required to draw an octagon and young Robert drew a perfect one—an eight-sided box kite. Down on the beach he and his classmates used to have mock battles, building forts of sand and using other knowledge they had gained in class.
After graduating from West Point, Robert married Mary Custis, whom he had met at a sheep shearing many years before at Arlington on the Potomac River. For some years he worked as an Army engineer in Washington and then in St. Louis, Missouri, where he did a remarkable job of improving the harbor. Later he served in the Mexican War and helped the Texas Rangers capture bandits on the Rio Grande. But after the firing on Fort Sumter and the outbreak of the Civil War, Lee resigned from the U. S. Army and became a private citizen. He was soon “drafted” to serve the Confederacy, however, and he spent the years of the war valiantly leading the armies of the South.
Every youngster, whether Northerner or Southerner, will thrill to Iris Vinton’s story of Robert E. Lee, who so nobly defended the “lost cause” of the Confederacy.
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