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Robert E. Lee - The Early Years

Trivia powered by Prof. WalterBorn: January 19, 1807
Died: October 12, 1870

Robert Edward Lee was a career United States Army officer, an engineer, and among the most celebrated generals in American history. Lee was the son of Major General Henry Lee III  (1756�1818), Governor of Virginia, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter (1773�1829). He was also related to Meriwether Lewis (1774 - 1809).

What do you know about Robert E. Lee? Try this Civil War Trivia quiz. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

1) Where was Robert E. Lee born?

  • Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia
  • Custis Mansion, Arlington County, Virginia
  • Mount Vernon, Arlington County, Virginia

2) What was his father known as?

  • "Light Horse Harry"
  • "Henry's Rangers"
  • "Attack at Dawn Lee?

3) He entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and became the first cadet to achieve the rank of sergeant at the end of his first year. When he graduated in 1829 he was at the head of his class in artillery and tactics, and shared the distinction with five other cadets of having received no demerits during the four-year course of instruction. Overall, he ranked second in his class of 46. He was commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.

  • True or False?

4) After West Point, where did Lee serve for just over seventeen months?

  • Fort Macon, Georgia
  • New Orleans Harbor, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Fort Pulaski, Cockspur Island, Georgia 

5) What was referred to as the "Gibraltar of Chesapeake Bay."

  • Fort Madison
  • Fort James
  • Fort Monroe

6) Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis on June 30, 1831 .  Who was Mary's great-grandmother?

  • Dolly Madison
  • Martha Washington
  • Mary Margaret Monroe

7) Lee distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War (1846�1848). He was one of Winfield Scott's chief aides in the march from Veracruz to Mexico City. After what battle was Lee promoted to brevet major on April 18, 1847?

  • Battle of Cerro Gordo
  • Battle of Anglo Juna
  • Battle of Hermosa

8. In September 1852, Lee became the superintendent of West Point. During his three years at West Point, Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee improved the buildings and courses, and spent a lot of time with the cadets. Lee's oldest son, George Washington Custis Lee, attended West Point during his tenure. Custis Lee graduated in 1854, first in his class.

  • True or False?

9. In 1855, Lee's tour of duty at West Point ended and he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of a newly formed regiment. What was the regiment?

  • 2nd U.S. Cavalry
  • 1st U.S. Infantry
  • 7th U.S. Cavalry

10. When Texas seceded from the Union in February 1861, General David E. Twiggs surrendered all the American forces (about 4,000 men, including Lee, and commander of the Department of Texas) to the Texans. Twiggs immediately resigned from the U. S. Army and was made a Confederate general. Lee went back to Washington, and was appointed Colonel of the First Regiment of Cavalry in March 1861. Who signed Lee's Colonelcy was signed?

  • James Buckhannon
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Jefferson Davis

Where is Robert E. Lee buried?


Robert E. Lee - The Early Years Answers

  1. Stratford Hall Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia
  2. "Light Horse Harry"
  3. True
  4. Fort Pulaski, Cockspur Island, Georgia 
  5. Fort Monroe
  6. Martha Washington
  7. Battle of Cerro Gordo
  8. True
  9. 2nd U.S. Cavalry
  10. Abraham Lincoln

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