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GENERAL ROBERT BROWN POTTER, USA - History

GENERAL ROBERT BROWN POTTER, USA - History



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VITAL STATISTICS
BORN: 1813 in Chester, PA.
DIED: 1891 in District of Columbia.
CAMPAIGNS: Fort Pickens, Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip,
Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Red River, Fort Fisher.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Rear Admiral.
(Immediately after the war he became the Superintendant of the Naval Academy.)
BIOGRAPHY
David Dixon Porter was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 1813. His father, two of his brothers, and his cousins were all distinguished naval or army officers. When David Porter was ten years old, he went to sea with his father for the first time. He served in the Mexican navy, was captured by the Spanish, then returned to the United States in 1829. Porter joined the US Navy, and advancing slowly because of the peace. He had intended to leave the navy and use his energies and talents elsewhere when the Civil War began, changing his plans. Commander Porter was given command of the "Powhatan" and took part in the efforts to relieve Fort Pickens in Florida. In the first year of the war, Porter and his ship stayed in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1862, he began planning the capture of New Orleans, and received the surrender of Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. In October of 1862, he took command of the Mississippi Squadron, and became responsible for the Mississippi River and its tributaries north of Vicksburg. Porter worked with the Army to capture Arkansas Port in January of 1863, then Vicksburg in July of 1863. Promoted to rear admiral because of his performance at Vicksburg, he was given responsibility for the whole Mississippi River system north of New Orleans. He made a valiant effort in the Red River Campaign in the spring of 1864, then took part in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. During the assault on Fort Fisher, Porter led the largest US fleet assembled up to that point. Porter's last act of combat service was the capture of the fort and defenses of Wilmington. As soon as the Civil War ended, Porter became superintendent of the Naval Academy. Promoted to admiral in 1870, he remained active to the end of his life. Porter died on February 13, 1891, in the District of Columbia.

Air Force busts retired four-star general down two ranks for coerced sex

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has stripped a retired four-star general of two ranks and docked him about $60,000 per year in pension payments after determining that he had coerced sex with a subordinate officer three times and told her that he would “deny it until the day he died,” USA TODAY has learned from documents and interviews.

The rare move means that retired Gen. Arthur Lichte, who had led the Air Mobility Command until 2009, will be demoted to major general and see his retirement pay dip from about $216,000 per year to $156,000. His case is the latest in a string of general officers to be sacked or demoted in the last year for sex scandals.

Lichte's actions drew an extraordinary, stinging rebuke in a letter of reprimand in December from then-Air Force secretary Deborah James. James blasted Lichte for putting the officer “in a position in which she could have believed that she had no choice but to engage in these sex acts given your far superior grade, position, and significant ability to affect her career.”

James suggested Lichte, who is married, would have been court-martialed but that the statute of limitations of five years had lapsed. Lichte retired in 2010, but the Air Force began conducting an investigation in 2016 after it had received a complaint from the woman.

“You are hereby reprimanded!” James wrote, exclamation point hers, in the letter of Dec. 6, 2016. “Your conduct is disgraceful and, but for the statute of limitations bar to prosecution, would be more appropriately addressed through the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

Lichte's lawyer disputed the Air Force's account of what took place and vowed to appeal its decision.

“My client did not commit a sexual assault and vehemently denies the unsworn allegations made against him regarding consensual events that happened over eight years ago," Larry Youngner said in a statement. Lichte regrets his actions, is sorry for the pain he has caused his family and asked for privacy, Youngner said.

Army demotes 'swinging general' after investigation into affairs, lifestyle

New details show how 'swinger' Army general's double life cost him his career

The acting Air Force secretary, Lisa Disbrow, said in a statement Wednesday about Lichte that all airmen, regardless of rank, would be judged equally.

"The Air Force takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously," Disbrow said. "We expect our leaders to uphold the highest standards of behavior. These standards and rules underpin good order and discipline. Airmen at every level are held accountable."

The demotion to major general occurred because that is the last rank at which Lichte served satisfactorily. The inappropriate sex happened when he was a three- and four-star officer.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis withdrew the certification of satisfactory service from Lichte on Jan. 30 and returned the case to the Air Force to determine the highest rank in which Lichte served satisfactorily.


Contents

Lee was born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Henry Lee III and Anne Hill Carter Lee on January 19, 1807. [5] His ancestor, Richard Lee I, emigrated from Shropshire, England to Virginia in 1639. [6]

Lee's father suffered severe financial reverses from failed investments [7] and was put in debtors' prison. Soon after his release the following year, the family moved to the city of Alexandria which at the time was still part of the District of Columbia (it retroceded back to Virginia in 1847), both because there were then high quality local schools there, and because several members of Anne's extended family lived nearby. In 1811, the family, including the newly born sixth child, Mildred, moved to a house on Oronoco Street. [8]

In 1812 Lee's father moved permanently to the West Indies. [9] Lee attended Eastern View, a school for young gentlemen, in Fauquier County, Virginia, and then at the Alexandria Academy, free for local boys, where he showed an aptitude for mathematics. Although brought up to be a practicing Christian, he was not confirmed in the Episcopal Church until age 46. [10]

Anne Lee's family was often supported by a relative, William Henry Fitzhugh, who owned the Oronoco Street house and allowed the Lees to stay at his country home Ravensworth. Fitzhugh wrote to United States Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, urging that Robert be given an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Fitzhugh had young Robert deliver the letter. [11] Lee entered West Point in the summer of 1825. At the time, the focus of the curriculum was engineering the head of the United States Army Corps of Engineers supervised the school and the superintendent was an engineering officer. Cadets were not permitted leave until they had finished two years of study and were rarely allowed off the Academy grounds. Lee graduated second in his class, behind only Charles Mason [12] (who resigned from the Army a year after graduation). Lee did not incur any demerits during his four-year course of study, a distinction shared by five of his 45 classmates. In June 1829, Lee was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. [13] After graduation, while awaiting assignment, he returned to Virginia to find his mother on her deathbed she died at Ravensworth on July 26, 1829. [14]

Ancestors of Robert E. Lee
16. Richard Lee II
8. Henry Lee I
17. Laetitia Corbin [ahn 1]
4. Henry Lee II
18. Richard Bland
9. Mary Bland
19. Elizabeth Randolph [ahn 2]
2. Henry Lee III
20. John Grymes
10. Charles Grymes
21. Alice Towneley
5. Lucy Grymes
22. Edmund Jennings
11. Frances Jennings
23. Frances Corbin [ahn 1]
1. Robert E. Lee
24. Robert "King" Carter
12. John Carter
25. Judith Armistead
6. Charles Carter
26. Edward Hill III
13. Elizabeth Hill
27. Elizabeth Williams
3. Anne Hill Carter
28. Augustine Moore Sr.
14. Bernard Moore
29. Elizabeth Todd
7. Anne Butler Moore
30. Alexander Spotswood
15. Anne Catherine Spotswood
31. Anne Butler Brayne

On August 11, 1829, Brigadier General Charles Gratiot ordered Lee to Cockspur Island, Georgia. The plan was to build a fort on the marshy island which would command the outlet of the Savannah River. Lee was involved in the early stages of construction as the island was being drained and built up. [15] In 1831, it became apparent that the existing plan to build what became known as Fort Pulaski would have to be revamped, and Lee was transferred to Fort Monroe at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula (today in Hampton, Virginia). [16] [ citation not found ]

While home in the summer of 1829, Lee had apparently courted Mary Custis whom he had known as a child. Lee obtained permission to write to her before leaving for Georgia, though Mary Custis warned Lee to be "discreet" in his writing, as her mother read her letters, especially from men. [17] Custis refused Lee the first time he asked to marry her her father did not believe the son of the disgraced Light-Horse Harry Lee was a suitable man for his daughter. [18] She accepted him with her father's consent in September 1830, while he was on summer leave, [19] and the two were wed on June 30, 1831. [20]

Lee's duties at Fort Monroe were varied, typical for a junior officer, and ranged from budgeting to designing buildings. [21] [ citation not found ] Although Mary Lee accompanied her husband to Hampton Roads, she spent about a third of her time at Arlington, though the couple's first son, Custis Lee was born at Fort Monroe. Although the two were by all accounts devoted to each other, they were different in character: Robert Lee was tidy and punctual, qualities his wife lacked. Mary Lee also had trouble transitioning from being a rich man's daughter to having to manage a household with only one or two slaves. [22] Beginning in 1832, Robert Lee had a close but platonic relationship with Harriett Talcott, wife of his fellow officer Andrew Talcott. [23]

Life at Fort Monroe was marked by conflicts between artillery and engineering officers. Eventually, the War Department transferred all engineering officers away from Fort Monroe, except Lee, who was ordered to take up residence on the artificial island of Rip Raps across the river from Fort Monroe, where Fort Wool would eventually rise, and continue work to improve the island. Lee duly moved there, then discharged all workers and informed the War Department he could not maintain laborers without the facilities of the fort. [24]

In 1834, Lee was transferred to Washington as General Gratiot's assistant. [25] Lee had hoped to rent a house in Washington for his family, but was not able to find one the family lived at Arlington, though Lieutenant Lee rented a room at a Washington boarding house for when the roads were impassable. [26] [ citation not found ] In mid-1835, Lee was assigned to assist Andrew Talcott in surveying the southern border of Michigan. [27] While on that expedition, he responded to a letter from an ill Mary Lee, which had requested he come to Arlington, "But why do you urge my immediate return, & tempt one in the strongest manner[?] . I rather require to be strengthened & encouraged to the full performance of what I am called on to execute." [16] Lee completed the assignment and returned to his post in Washington, finding his wife ill at Ravensworth. Mary Lee, who had recently given birth to their second child, remained bedridden for several months. In October 1836, Lee was promoted to first lieutenant. [28]

Lee served as an assistant in the chief engineer's office in Washington, D.C. from 1834 to 1837, but spent the summer of 1835 helping to lay out the state line between Ohio and Michigan. As a first lieutenant of engineers in 1837, he supervised the engineering work for St. Louis harbor and for the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Among his projects was the mapping of the Des Moines Rapids on the Mississippi above Keokuk, Iowa, where the Mississippi's mean depth of 2.4 feet (0.7 m) was the upper limit of steamboat traffic on the river. His work there earned him a promotion to captain. Around 1842, Captain Robert E. Lee arrived as Fort Hamilton's post engineer. [29]

While Lee was stationed at Fort Monroe, he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis (1808–1873), great-granddaughter of Martha Washington by her first husband Daniel Parke Custis, and step-great-granddaughter of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Mary was the only surviving child of George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington's stepgrandson, and Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis, daughter of William Fitzhugh [30] and Ann Bolling Randolph. Robert and Mary married on June 30, 1831, at Arlington House, her parents' house just across the Potomac from Washington. The 3rd U.S. Artillery served as honor guard at the marriage. They eventually had seven children, three boys and four girls: [31]

    (Custis, "Boo") 1832–1913 served as major general in the Confederate Army and aide-de-camp to President Jefferson Davis, captured during the Battle of Sailor's Creek unmarried (Mary, "Daughter") 1835–1918 unmarried ("Rooney") 1837–1891 served as major general in the Confederate Army (cavalry) married twice surviving children by second marriage (Annie) June 18, 1839 – October 20, 1862 died of typhoid fever, unmarried (Agnes) 1841 – October 15, 1873 died of tuberculosis, unmarried (Rob) 1843–1914 served as captain in the Confederate Army (Rockbridge Artillery) married twice surviving children by second marriage (Milly, "Precious Life") 1846–1905 unmarried

All the children survived him except for Annie, who died in 1862. They are all buried with their parents in the crypt of the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. [32]

Lee was a great-great-great-grandson of William Randolph and a great-great-grandson of Richard Bland. [33] He was a second cousin of Helen Keller's grandmother, [34] and was a distant relative of Admiral Willis Augustus Lee. [35]

On May 1, 1864, General Lee was present at the baptism of General A.P. Hill's daughter, Lucy Lee Hill, to serve as her godfather. This is referenced in the painting Tender is the Heart by Mort Künstler. [36] He was also the godfather of actress and writer Odette Tyler, the daughter of brigadier general William Whedbee Kirkland. [37]

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. [38] He was instrumental in several American victories through his personal reconnaissance as a staff officer he found routes of attack that the Mexicans had not defended because they thought the terrain was impassable.

He was promoted to brevet major after the Battle of Cerro Gordo on April 18, 1847. [39] He also fought at Contreras, Churubusco, and Chapultepec and was wounded at the last. By the end of the war, he had received additional brevet promotions to lieutenant colonel and colonel, but his permanent rank was still captain of engineers, and he would remain a captain until his transfer to the cavalry in 1855.

For the first time, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met and worked with each other during the Mexican–American War. Close observations of their commanders constituted a learning process for both Lee and Grant. [40] The Mexican–American War concluded on February 2, 1848.

After the Mexican War, Lee spent three years at Fort Carroll in Baltimore harbor. During this time, his service was interrupted by other duties, among them surveying and updating maps in Florida. Cuban revolutionary Narciso López intended to forcibly liberate Cuba from Spanish rule. In 1849, searching for a leader for his filibuster expedition, he approached Jefferson Davis, then a United States senator. Davis declined and suggested Lee, who also declined. Both decided it was inconsistent with their duties. [41] [42]

The 1850s were a difficult time for Lee, with his long absences from home, the increasing disability of his wife, troubles in taking over the management of a large slave plantation, and his often morbid concern with his personal failures. [43]

In 1852, Lee was appointed Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. [44] He was reluctant to enter what he called a "snake pit", but the War Department insisted and he obeyed. His wife occasionally came to visit. During his three years at West Point, Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee improved the buildings and courses and spent much 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. [45]

Lee was enormously relieved to receive a long-awaited promotion as second-in-command of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Texas in 1855. It meant leaving the Engineering Corps and its sequence of staff jobs for the combat command he truly wanted. He served under Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston at Camp Cooper, Texas their mission was to protect settlers from attacks by the Apache and the Comanche.

In 1857, his father-in-law George Washington Parke Custis died, creating a serious crisis when Lee took on the burden of executing the will. Custis's will encompassed vast landholdings and hundreds of slaves balanced against massive debts, and required Custis's former slaves "to be emancipated by my executors in such manner as to my executors may seem most expedient and proper, the said emancipation to be accomplished in not exceeding five years from the time of my decease." [46] The estate was in disarray, and the plantations had been poorly managed and were losing money. [47] Lee tried to hire an overseer to handle the plantation in his absence, writing to his cousin, "I wish to get an energetic honest farmer, who while he will be considerate & kind to the negroes, will be firm & make them do their duty." [48] But Lee failed to find a man for the job, and had to take a two-year leave of absence from the army in order to run the plantation himself.

Lee's more strict expectations and harsher punishments of the slaves on Arlington plantation nearly led to a slave revolt, since many of the slaves had been given to understand that they were to be made free as soon as Custis died, and protested angrily at the delay. [49] In May 1858, Lee wrote to his son Rooney, "I have had some trouble with some of the people. Reuben, Parks & Edward, in the beginning of the previous week, rebelled against my authority—refused to obey my orders, & said they were as free as I was, etc., etc.—I succeeded in capturing them & lodging them in jail. They resisted till overpowered & called upon the other people to rescue them." [48] Less than two months after they were sent to the Alexandria jail, Lee decided to remove these three men and three female house slaves from Arlington, and sent them under lock and key to the slave-trader William Overton Winston in Richmond, who was instructed to keep them in jail until he could find "good & responsible" slaveholders to work them until the end of the five-year period. [48]

By 1860 only one slave family was left intact on the estate. Some of the families had been together since their time at Mount Vernon. [50]

The Norris case

In 1859, three of the Arlington slaves—Wesley Norris, his sister Mary, and a cousin of theirs—fled for the North, but were captured a few miles from the Pennsylvania border and forced to return to Arlington. On June 24, 1859, the anti-slavery newspaper New York Daily Tribune published two anonymous letters (dated June 19, 1859 [51] and June 21, 1859 [52] ), each claiming to have heard that Lee had the Norrises whipped, and each going so far as to claim that the overseer refused to whip the woman but that Lee took the whip and flogged her personally. Lee privately wrote to his son Custis that "The N. Y. Tribune has attacked me for my treatment of your grandfather's slaves, but I shall not reply. He has left me an unpleasant legacy." [53]

Wesley Norris himself spoke out about the incident after the war, in an 1866 interview printed in an abolitionist newspaper, the National Anti-Slavery Standard. Norris stated that after they had been captured, and forced to return to Arlington, Lee told them that "he would teach us a lesson we would not soon forget." According to Norris, Lee then had the three of them firmly tied to posts by the overseer, and ordered them whipped with fifty lashes for the men and twenty for Mary Norris. Norris claimed that Lee encouraged the whipping, and that when the overseer refused to do it, called in the county constable to do it instead. Unlike the anonymous letter writers, he does not state that Lee himself whipped any of the slaves. According to Norris, Lee "frequently enjoined [Constable] Williams to 'lay it on well,' an injunction which he did not fail to heed not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine, which was done." [49] [54]

The Norris men were then sent by Lee's agent to work on the railroads in Virginia and Alabama. According to the interview, Norris was sent to Richmond in January 1863 "from which place I finally made my escape through the rebel lines to freedom." But Federal authorities reported that Norris came within their lines on September 5, 1863, and that he "left Richmond . with a pass from General Custis Lee." [55] [56] Lee freed the Custis slaves, including Wesley Norris, after the end of the five-year period in the winter of 1862, filing the deed of manumission on December 29, 1862. [57] [58]

Biographers of Lee have differed over the credibility of the account of the punishment as described in the letters in the Tribune and in Norris's personal account. They broadly agree that Lee had a group of escaped slaves recaptured and that after recapturing them he hired them out off of the Arlington plantation as a punishment however, they disagree over the likelihood that Lee flogged them, and over the charge that he personally whipped Mary Norris. In 1934, Douglas S. Freeman described them as "Lee's first experience with the extravagance of irresponsible antislavery agitators" and asserted that "There is no evidence, direct or indirect, that Lee ever had them or any other Negroes flogged. The usage at Arlington and elsewhere in Virginia among people of Lee's station forbade such a thing." [59]

In 2000, Michael Fellman, in The Making of Robert E. Lee, found the claims that Lee had personally whipped Mary Norris "extremely unlikely," but found it not at all unlikely that Lee had ordered the runaways whipped: "corporal punishment (for which Lee substituted the euphemism 'firmness') was (believed to be) an intrinsic and necessary part of slave discipline. Although it was supposed to be applied only in a calm and rational manner, overtly physical domination of slaves, unchecked by law, was always brutal and potentially savage." [60]

In 2003, Bernice-Marie Yates's The Perfect Gentleman, cited Freeman's denial and followed his account in holding that, because of Lee's family connections to George Washington, he "was a prime target for abolitionists who lacked all the facts of the situation." [61]

Lee biographer Elizabeth Brown Pryor concluded in 2008 that "the facts are verifiable," based on "the consistency of the five extant descriptions of the episode (the only element that is not repeatedly corroborated is the allegation that Lee gave the beatings himself), as well as the existence of an account book that indicates the constable received compensation from Lee on the date that this event occurred." [62] [63]

In 2014, Michael Korda wrote that "Although these letters are dismissed by most of Lee's biographers as exaggerated, or simply as unfounded abolitionist propaganda, it is hard to ignore them. . It seems incongruously out of character for Lee to have whipped a slave woman himself, particularly one stripped to the waist, and that charge may have been a flourish added by the two correspondents it was not repeated by Wesley Norris when his account of the incident was published in 1866. . [A]lthough it seems unlikely that he would have done any of the whipping himself, he may not have flinched from observing it to make sure his orders were carried out exactly." [64]

Lee's views on race and slavery

Several historians have noted the paradoxical nature of Lee's beliefs and actions concerning race and slavery. While Lee protested he had sympathetic feelings for blacks, they were subordinate to his own racial identity. [65] While Lee held slavery to be an evil institution, he also saw some benefit to blacks held in slavery. [66] While Lee helped assist individual slaves to freedom in Liberia, and provided for their emancipation in his own will, [67] he believed the enslaved should be eventually freed in a general way only at some unspecified future date as a part of God's purpose. [65] [68] Slavery for Lee was a moral and religious issue, and not one that would yield to political solutions. [69] Emancipation would sooner come from Christian impulse among slave masters before "storms and tempests of fiery controversy" such as was occurring in "Bleeding Kansas". [65] Countering Southerners who argued for slavery as a positive good, Lee in his well-known analysis of slavery from an 1856 letter (see below) called it a moral and political evil. While both Robert and his wife Mary Lee were disgusted with slavery, they also defended it against abolitionist demands for immediate emancipation for all enslaved. [70]

Lee argued that slavery was bad for white people but good for black people, [71] claiming that he found slavery bothersome and time-consuming as an everyday institution to run. In an 1856 letter to his wife, he maintained that slavery was a great evil, but primarily due to adverse impact that it had on white people: [72]

In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence. [73]

Lee's father-in-law G. W. Parke Custis freed his slaves in his will. [74] In the same tradition, before leaving to serve in Mexico, Lee had written a will providing for the manumission of the only slaves he owned. [75] Parke Custis was a member of the American Colonization Society, which was formed to gradually end slavery by establishing a free republic in Liberia for African-Americans, and Lee assisted several ex-slaves to emigrate there. Also, according to historian Richard B. McCaslin, Lee was a gradual emancipationist, denouncing extremist proposals for the immediate abolition of slavery. Lee rejected what he called evilly motivated political passion, fearing a civil and servile war from precipitous emancipation. [76]

Historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor offered an alternative interpretation of Lee's voluntary manumission of slaves in his will, and assisting slaves to a life of freedom in Liberia, seeing Lee as conforming to a "primacy of slave law". She wrote that Lee's private views on race and slavery,

"which today seem startling, were entirely unremarkable in Lee's world. No visionary, Lee nearly always tried to conform to accepted opinions. His assessment of black inferiority, of the necessity of racial stratification, the primacy of slave law, and even a divine sanction for it all, was in keeping with the prevailing views of other moderate slaveholders and a good many prominent Northerners." [77]

On taking on the role of administrator for the Parke Custis will, Lee used a provision to retain them in slavery to produce income for the estate to retire debt. [74] Lee did not welcome the role of planter while administering the Custis properties at Romancoke, another nearby the Pamunkey River and Arlington he rented the estate's mill. While all the estates prospered under his administration, Lee was unhappy at direct participation in slavery as a hated institution. [75]

Even before what Michael Fellman called a "sorry involvement in actual slave management", Lee judged the experience of white mastery to be a greater moral evil to the white man than blacks suffering under the "painful discipline" of slavery which introduced Christianity, literacy and a work ethic to the "heathen African". [78] Columbia University historian Eric Foner notes that:

Lee "was not a pro-slavery ideologue. But I think equally important is that, unlike some white southerners, he never spoke out against slavery" [79]

By the time of Lee's career in the U.S. Army, the officers of West Point stood aloof from political-party and sectional strife on such issues as slavery, as a matter of principle, and Lee adhered to the precedent. [80] [81] He considered it his patriotic duty to be apolitical while in active Army service, [82] [83] [84] and Lee did not speak out publicly on the subject of slavery prior to the Civil War. [85] [86] Before the outbreak of the War, in 1860, Lee voted for John C. Breckinridge, who was the extreme pro-slavery candidate in the 1860 presidential election, not John Bell, the more moderate Southerner who won Virginia. [87]

Lee himself owned a small number of slaves in his lifetime and considered himself a paternalistic master. [87] There are various historical and newspaper hearsay accounts of Lee personally whipping a slave, but they are not direct eyewitness accounts. He was definitely involved in administering the day-to-day operations of a plantation and was involved in the recapture of runaway slaves. [88] One historian noted that Lee separated slave families, something that prominent slave-holding families in Virginia such as Washington and Custis did not do. [71] In 1862, Lee freed the slaves that his wife inherited, but that was in accordance with his father-in-law's will. [89]

Foner writes that "Lee's code of gentlemanly conduct did not seem to apply to blacks" during the War, as he did not stop his soldiers from kidnapping free black farmers and selling them into slavery. [79] Princeton University historian James M. McPherson noted that Lee initially rejected a prisoner exchange between the Confederacy and the Union when the Union demanded that black Union soldiers be included. [71] Lee did not accept the swap until a few months before the Confederacy's surrender. [71]

After the War, Lee told a congressional committee that blacks were "not disposed to work" and did not possess the intellectual capacity to vote and participate in politics. [89] Lee also said to the committee that he hoped that Virginia could "get rid of them," referring to blacks. [89] While not politically active, Lee defended Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson's approach to Reconstruction, which according to Foner, "abandoned the former slaves to the mercy of governments controlled by their former owners." [90] According to Foner, "A word from Lee might have encouraged white Southerners to accord blacks equal rights and inhibited the violence against the freed people that swept the region during Reconstruction, but he chose to remain silent." [89] Lee was also urged to condemn the white-supremacy [91] organization Ku Klux Klan, but opted to remain silent. [87]

In the generation following the war, Lee, though he died just a few years later, became a central figure in the Lost Cause interpretation of the war. The argument that Lee had always somehow opposed slavery, and freed his wife's slaves, helped maintain his stature as a symbol of Southern honor and national reconciliation. [87] Douglas Southall Freeman's Pulitzer prize-winning four-volume R. E. Lee: A Biography (1936), which was for a long period considered the definitive work on Lee, downplayed his involvement in slavery and emphasized Lee as a virtuous person. Eric Foner, who describes Freeman's volume as a "hagiography", notes that on the whole, Freeman "displayed little interest in Lee's relationship to slavery. The index to his four volumes contained 22 entries for 'devotion to duty', 19 for 'kindness', 53 for Lee's celebrated horse, Traveller. But 'slavery', 'slave emancipation' and 'slave insurrection' together received five. Freeman observed, without offering details, that slavery in Virginia represented the system 'at its best'. He ignored the postwar testimony of Lee's former slave Wesley Norris about the brutal treatment to which he had been subjected." [87]

Both Harpers Ferry and the secession of Texas were monumental events leading up to the Civil War. Robert E. Lee was at both events. Lee initially remained loyal to the Union after Texas seceded. [92]

Harpers Ferry

John Brown led a band of 21 abolitionists who seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in October 1859, hoping to incite a slave rebellion. President James Buchanan gave Lee command of detachments of militia, soldiers, and United States Marines, to suppress the uprising and arrest its leaders. [93] By the time Lee arrived that night, the militia on the site had surrounded Brown and his hostages. At dawn, Brown refused the demand for surrender. Lee attacked, and Brown and his followers were captured after three minutes of fighting. Lee's summary report of the episode shows Lee believed it "was the attempt of a fanatic or madman". Lee said Brown achieved "temporary success" by creating panic and confusion and by "magnifying" the number of participants involved in the raid. [94]

Texas

In 1860, Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee relieved Major Heintzelman at Fort Brown, and the Mexican authorities offered to restrain "their citizens from making predatory descents upon the territory and people of Texas . this was the last active operation of the Cortina War". Rip Ford, a Texas Ranger at the time, described Lee as "dignified without hauteur, grand without pride . he evinced an imperturbable self-possession, and a complete control of his passions . possessing the capacity to accomplish great ends and the gift of controlling and leading men." [95]

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. Lee's colonelcy was signed by the new president, Abraham Lincoln. Three weeks after his promotion, Colonel Lee was offered a senior command (with the rank of Major General) in the expanding Army to fight the Southern States that had left the Union. Fort Mason, Texas was Lee's last command with the United States Army. [96]

Resignation from United States Army

Unlike many Southerners who expected a glorious war, Lee correctly predicted it as protracted and devastating. [97] He privately opposed the new Confederate States of America in letters in early 1861, denouncing secession as "nothing but revolution" and an unconstitutional betrayal of the efforts of the Founding Fathers. Writing to George Washington Custis in January, Lee stated:

The South, in my opinion, has been aggrieved by the acts of the North, as you say. I feel the aggression, and am willing to take every proper step for redress. It is the principle I contend for, not individual or private benefit. As an American citizen, I take great pride in my country, her prosperity and institutions, and would defend any State if her rights were invaded. But I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation. I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It was intended for "perpetual union," so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government, not a compact, which can only be dissolved by revolution, or the consent of all the people in convention assembled. [98]

Despite opposing secession, Lee said in January that "we can with a clear conscience separate" if all peaceful means failed. He agreed with secessionists in most areas, rejecting the Northern abolitionists' criticisms and their prevention of the expansion of slavery to the new western territories, and fear of the North's larger population. Lee supported the Crittenden Compromise, which would have constitutionally protected slavery. [99]

Lee's objection to secession was ultimately outweighed by a sense of personal honor, reservations about the legitimacy of a strife-ridden "Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets", and his duty to defend his native Virginia if attacked. [98] He was asked while leaving Texas by a lieutenant if he intended to fight for the Confederacy or the Union, to which Lee replied, "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty". [100] [99]

Although Virginia had the most slaves of any state, it was more similar to Maryland, which stayed in the Union, than to the Deep South a convention voted against secession in early 1861. Scott, commanding general of the Union Army and Lee's mentor, told Lincoln he wanted him for a top command, telling Secretary of War Simon Cameron that he had "entire confidence" in Lee. He accepted a promotion to colonel of the 1st Cavalry Regiment on March 28, again swearing an oath to the United States. [101] [99] Meanwhile, Lee ignored an offer of command from the Confederacy. After Lincoln's call for troops to put down the rebellion, a second Virginia convention in Richmond voted to secede [102] on April 17, and a May 23 referendum would likely ratify the decision. That night Lee dined with brother Smith and cousin Phillips, naval officers. Because of Lee's indecision, Phillips went to the War Department the next morning to warn that the Union might lose his cousin if the government did not act quickly. [99]

In Washington that day, [97] Lee was offered by presidential advisor Francis P. Blair a role as major general to command the defense of the national capital. He replied:

Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state? [102]

Lee immediately went to Scott, who tried to persuade him that Union forces would be large enough to prevent the South from fighting, so he would not have to oppose his state Lee disagreed. When Lee asked if he could go home and not fight, the fellow Virginian said that the army did not need equivocal soldiers and that if he wanted to resign, he should do so before receiving official orders. Scott told him that Lee had made "the greatest mistake of your life". [99]

Lee agreed that to avoid dishonor he had to resign before receiving unwanted orders. While historians have usually called his decision inevitable ("the answer he was born to make", wrote Douglas Southall Freeman another called it a "no-brainer") given the ties to family and state, an 1871 letter from his eldest daughter, Mary Custis Lee, to a biographer described Lee as "worn and harassed" yet calm as he deliberated alone in his office. People on the street noticed Lee's grim face as he tried to decide over the next two days, and he later said that he kept the resignation letter for a day before sending it on April 20. Two days later the Richmond convention invited Lee to the city. It elected him as commander of Virginia state forces before his arrival on April 23, and almost immediately gave him George Washington's sword as symbol of his appointment whether he was told of a decision he did not want without time to decide, or did want the excitement and opportunity of command, is unclear. [12] [99] [97]

A cousin on Scott's staff told the family that Lee's decision so upset Scott that he collapsed on a sofa and mourned as if he had lost a son, and asked to not hear Lee's name. When Lee told family his decision he said "I suppose you will all think I have done very wrong", as the others were mostly pro-Union only Mary Custis was a secessionist, and her mother especially wanted to choose the Union but told her husband that she would support whatever he decided. Many younger men like nephew Fitzhugh wanted to support the Confederacy, but Lee's three sons joined the Confederate military only after their father's decision. [99] [97]

Most family members, like brother Smith, also reluctantly chose the South, but Smith's wife and Anne, Lee's sister, still supported the Union Anne's son joined the Union Army, and no one in his family ever spoke to Lee again. Many cousins fought for the Confederacy, but Phillips and John Fitzgerald told Lee in person that they would uphold their oaths John H. Upshur stayed with the Union military despite much family pressure Roger Jones stayed in the Union army after Lee refused to advise him on what to do and two of Philip Fendall's sons fought for the Union. Forty percent of Virginian officers stayed with the North. [99] [97]

Early role

At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command all of Virginia's forces, but upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first five full generals. Lee did not wear the insignia of a Confederate general, but only the three stars of a Confederate colonel, equivalent to his last U.S. Army rank. [103] He did not intend to wear a general's insignia until the Civil War had been won and he could be promoted, in peacetime, to general in the Confederate Army.

Lee's first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western Virginia, where he was defeated at the Battle of Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate setbacks. [104] He was then sent to organize the coastal defenses along the Carolina and Georgia seaboard, appointed commander, "Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida" on November 5, 1861. Between then and the fall of Fort Pulaski, April 11, 1862, he put in place a defense of Savannah that proved successful in blocking Federal advance on Savannah. Confederate fort and naval gunnery dictated nighttime movement and construction by the besiegers. Federal preparations required four months. In those four months, Lee developed a defense in depth. Behind Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River, Fort Jackson was improved, and two additional batteries covered river approaches. [105] In the face of the Union superiority in naval, artillery and infantry deployment, Lee was able to block any Federal advance on Savannah, and at the same time, well-trained Georgia troops were released in time to meet McClellan's Peninsula Campaign. The city of Savannah would not fall until Sherman's approach from the interior at the end of 1864.

At first, the press spoke to the disappointment of losing Fort Pulaski. Surprised by the effectiveness of large caliber Parrott Rifles in their first deployment, it was widely speculated that only betrayal could have brought overnight surrender to a Third System Fort. Lee was said to have failed to get effective support in the Savannah River from the three sidewheeler gunboats of the Georgia Navy. Although again blamed by the press for Confederate reverses, he was appointed military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the former U.S. Secretary of War. While in Richmond, Lee was ridiculed as the 'King of Spades' for his excessive digging of trenches around the capitol. These trenches would later play a pivotal role in battles near the end of the war. [106]

Commander, Army of Northern Virginia (June 1862 – June 1863)

In the spring of 1862, in the Peninsula Campaign, the Union Army of the Potomac under General George B. McClellan advanced on Richmond from Fort Monroe to the east. McClellan forced Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and the Army of Virginia to retreat to just north and east of the Confederate capital.

Then Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862. Lee now got his first opportunity to lead an army in the field – the force he renamed the Army of Northern Virginia, signalling his confidence that the Union army would be driven away from Richmond. Early in the war, Lee had been called "Granny Lee" for his allegedly timid style of command. [107] Confederate newspaper editorials objected to him replacing Johnston, opining that Lee would be passive, waiting for Union attack. And for the first three weeks of June, he did not attack, instead strengthening Richmond's defenses.

But then he launched a series of bold attacks against McClellan's forces, the Seven Days Battles. Despite superior Union numbers and some clumsy tactical performances by his subordinates, Lee's attacks derailed McClellan's plans and drove back part of his forces. Confederate casualties were heavy, but McClellan was unnerved, retreated 25 miles (40 km) to the lower James River, and abandoned the Peninsula Campaign. This success completely changed Confederate morale and the public's regard for Lee. After the Seven Days Battles, and until the end of the war, his men called him simply "Marse Robert", a term of respect and affection.

The setback, and the resulting drop in Union morale, impelled Lincoln to adopt a new policy of relentless, committed warfare. [108] [109] After the Seven Days, Lincoln decided he would move to emancipate most Confederate slaves by executive order, as a military act, using his authority as commander-in-chief. [110] But he needed a Union victory first.

Meanwhile, Lee defeated another Union army under Gen. John Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run. In less than 90 days after taking command, Lee had run McClellan off the Peninsula, defeated Pope, and moved the battle lines 82 miles (132 km) north, from just outside Richmond to 20 miles (32 km) south of Washington.

Lee now invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, hoping to collect supplies in Union territory, and possibly win a victory that would sway the upcoming Union elections in favor of ending the war. But McClellan's men found a lost Confederate dispatch, Special Order 191, that revealed Lee's plans and movements. McClellan always exaggerated Lee's numerical strength, but now he knew the Confederate army was divided and could be destroyed in detail. However, McClellan moved slowly, not realizing a spy had informed Lee that McClellan had the plans. Lee quickly concentrated his forces west of Antietam Creek, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where McClellan attacked on September 17. The Battle of Antietam was the single bloodiest day of the war, with both sides suffering enormous losses. Lee's army barely withstood the Union assaults, then retreated to Virginia the next day. This narrow Confederate defeat gave President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue his Emancipation Proclamation, [111] which put the Confederacy on the diplomatic and moral defensive. [112]

Disappointed by McClellan's failure to destroy Lee's army, Lincoln named Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Burnside ordered an attack across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Delays in bridging the river allowed Lee's army ample time to organize strong defenses, and the Union frontal assault on December 13, 1862, was a disaster. There were 12,600 Union casualties to 5,000 Confederate one of the most one-sided battles in the Civil War. [113] After this victory, Lee reportedly said, "It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it." [113] At Fredericksburg, according to historian Michael Fellman, Lee had completely entered into the "spirit of war, where destructiveness took on its own beauty." [113]

After the bitter Union defeat at Fredericksburg, President Lincoln named Joseph Hooker commander of the Army of the Potomac. In May 1863, Hooker maneuvered to attack Lee's army via Chancellorsville, Virginia. But Hooker was defeated by Lee's daring maneuver: dividing his army and sending Stonewall Jackson's corps to attack Hooker's flank. Lee won a decisive victory over a larger force, but with heavy casualties, including Jackson, his finest corps commander, who was accidentally killed by his own troops. [114]

Battle of Gettysburg

The critical decisions came in May–June 1863, after Lee's smashing victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville. The western front was crumbling, as multiple uncoordinated Confederate armies were unable to handle General Ulysses S. Grant's campaign against Vicksburg. The top military advisers wanted to save Vicksburg, but Lee persuaded Davis to overrule them and authorize yet another invasion of the North. The immediate goal was to acquire urgently needed supplies from the rich farming districts of Pennsylvania a long-term goal was to stimulate peace activity in the North by demonstrating the power of the South to invade. Lee's decision proved a significant strategic blunder and cost the Confederacy control of its western regions, and nearly cost Lee his own army as Union forces cut him off from the South. [115]

In the summer of 1863, Lee invaded the North again, marching through western Maryland and into south central Pennsylvania. He encountered Union forces under George G. Meade at the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania in July the battle would produce the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War. With some of his subordinates being new and inexperienced in their commands, J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry being out of the area, and Lee being slightly ill, he was less than comfortable with how events were unfolding. While the first day of battle was controlled by the Confederates, key terrain that should have been taken by General Ewell was not. The second day ended with the Confederates unable to break the Union position, and the Union being more solidified. Lee's decision on the third day, against the judgment of his best corps commander General Longstreet, to launch a massive frontal assault on the center of the Union line turned out to be disastrous. The assault known as Pickett's Charge was repulsed and resulted in heavy Confederate losses. The general rode out to meet his retreating army and proclaimed, "All this has been my fault." [116] Lee was compelled to retreat. Despite flooded rivers that blocked his retreat, he escaped Meade's ineffective pursuit. Following his defeat at Gettysburg, Lee sent a letter of resignation to President Davis on August 8, 1863, but Davis refused Lee's request. That fall, Lee and Meade met again in two minor campaigns that did little to change the strategic standoff. The Confederate Army never fully recovered from the substantial losses incurred during the three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania. The historian Shelby Foote stated, "Gettysburg was the price the South paid for having Robert E. Lee as commander."

Ulysses S. Grant and the Union offensive

In 1864 the new Union general-in-chief, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, sought to use his large advantages in manpower and material resources to destroy Lee's army by attrition, pinning Lee against his capital of Richmond. Lee successfully stopped each attack, but Grant with his superior numbers kept pushing each time a bit farther to the southeast. These battles in the Overland Campaign included the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House and Cold Harbor.

Grant eventually was able to stealthily move his army across the James River. After stopping a Union attempt to capture Petersburg, Virginia, a vital railroad link supplying Richmond, Lee's men built elaborate trenches and were besieged in Petersburg, a development which presaged the trench warfare of World War I. Lee attempted to break the stalemate by sending Jubal A. Early on a raid through the Shenandoah Valley to Washington, D.C., but Early was defeated early on by the superior forces of Philip Sheridan. The Siege of Petersburg lasted from June 1864 until March 1865, with Lee's outnumbered and poorly supplied army shrinking daily because of desertions by disheartened Confederates.

General in Chief

As the South ran out of manpower the issue of arming the slaves became paramount. Lee explained, "We should employ them without delay . [along with] gradual and general emancipation". The first units were in training as the war ended. [117] [118] As the Confederate army was devastated by casualties, disease and desertion, the Union attack on Petersburg succeeded on April 2, 1865. Lee abandoned Richmond and retreated west. Lee then made an attempt to escape to the southwest and join up with Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee in North Carolina. However, his forces were soon surrounded and he surrendered them to Grant on April 9, 1865, at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. [119] Other Confederate armies followed suit and the war ended. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his Farewell Address to his army.

Lee resisted calls by some officers to reject surrender and allow small units to melt away into the mountains, setting up a lengthy guerrilla war. He insisted the war was over and energetically campaigned for inter-sectional reconciliation. "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South." [120]

The following are summaries of Civil War campaigns and major battles where Robert E. Lee was the commanding officer: [121]

  • Oak Grove: Stalemate (Union withdrawal)
  • Beaver Dam Creek: Union victory
  • Gaine's Mill: Confederate victory
  • Savage's Station: Stalemate
  • Glendale: Stalemate (Union withdrawal)
  • Malvern Hill: Union victory

After the war, Lee was not arrested or punished (although he was indicted [1] ), but he did lose the right to vote as well as some property. Lee's prewar family home, the Custis-Lee Mansion, was seized by Union forces during the war and turned into Arlington National Cemetery, and his family was not compensated until more than a decade after his death. [126]

In 1866 Lee counseled southerners not to resume fighting, of which Grant said Lee was "setting an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized". [127] Lee joined with Democrats in opposing the Radical Republicans who demanded punitive measures against the South, distrusted its commitment to the abolition of slavery and, indeed, distrusted the region's loyalty to the United States. [128] [129] Lee supported a system of free public schools for blacks but forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote. "My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways," Lee stated. [130] Emory Thomas says Lee had become a suffering Christ-like icon for ex-Confederates. President Grant invited him to the White House in 1869, and he went. Nationally he became an icon of reconciliation between the North and South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the national fabric. [131]

Lee hoped to retire to a farm of his own, but he was too much a regional symbol to live in obscurity. From April to June 1865, he and his family resided in Richmond at the Stewart-Lee House. [132] He accepted an offer to serve as the president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia, and served from October 1865 until his death. The Trustees used his famous name in large-scale fund-raising appeals and Lee transformed Washington College into a leading Southern college, expanding its offerings significantly, adding programs in commerce and journalism, and incorporating the Lexington Law School. Lee was well liked by the students, which enabled him to announce an "honor system" like that of West Point, explaining that "we have but one rule here, and it is that every student be a gentleman." To speed up national reconciliation Lee recruited students from the North and made certain they were well treated on campus and in town. [133]

Several glowing appraisals of Lee's tenure as college president have survived, depicting the dignity and respect he commanded among all. Previously, most students had been obliged to occupy the campus dormitories, while only the most mature were allowed to live off-campus. Lee quickly reversed this rule, requiring most students to board off-campus, and allowing only the most mature to live in the dorms as a mark of privilege the results of this policy were considered a success. A typical account by a professor there states that "the students fairly worshipped him, and deeply dreaded his displeasure yet so kind, affable, and gentle was he toward them that all loved to approach him. . No student would have dared to violate General Lee's expressed wish or appeal." [134]

While at Washington College, Lee told a colleague that the greatest mistake of his life was taking a military education. [135] He also defended his father in a biographical sketch. [136]

President Johnson's amnesty pardons

On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to persons who had participated in the rebellion against the United States. There were fourteen excepted classes, though, and members of those classes had to make special application to the President. Lee sent an application to Grant and wrote to President Johnson on June 13, 1865:

Being excluded from the provisions of amnesty & pardon contained in the proclamation of the 29th Ulto I hereby apply for the benefits, & full restoration of all rights & privileges extended to those included in its terms. I graduated at the Mil. Academy at West Point in June 1829. Resigned from the U.S. Army April '61. Was a General in the Confederate Army, & included in the surrender of the Army of N. Virginia 9 April '65. [137]

On October 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he signed his Amnesty Oath, thereby complying fully with the provision of Johnson's proclamation. Lee was not pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. [137]

Three years later, on December 25, 1868, Johnson proclaimed a second amnesty which removed previous exceptions, such as the one that affected Lee. [138]

Postwar politics

Lee, who had opposed secession and remained mostly indifferent to politics before the Civil War, supported President Andrew Johnson's plan of Presidential Reconstruction that took effect in 1865–66. However, he opposed the Congressional Republican program that took effect in 1867. In February 1866, he was called to testify before the Joint Congressional Committee on Reconstruction in Washington, where he expressed support for Johnson's plans for quick restoration of the former Confederate states, and argued that restoration should return, as far as possible, to the status quo ante in the Southern states' governments (with the exception of slavery). [139]

Lee told the committee that "every one with whom I associate expresses kind feelings towards the freedmen. They wish to see them get on in the world, and particularly to take up some occupation for a living, and to turn their hands to some work." Lee also expressed his "willingness that blacks should be educated, and . that it would be better for the blacks and for the whites." Lee forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote: "My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways." [140] [141]

In an interview in May 1866, Lee said: "The Radical party are likely to do a great deal of harm, for we wish now for good feeling to grow up between North and South, and the President, Mr. Johnson, has been doing much to strengthen the feeling in favor of the Union among us. The relations between the Negroes and the whites were friendly formerly, and would remain so if legislation be not passed in favor of the blacks, in a way that will only do them harm." [142]

In 1868, Lee's ally Alexander H. H. Stuart drafted a public letter of endorsement for the Democratic Party's presidential campaign, in which Horatio Seymour ran against Lee's old foe Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Lee signed it along with thirty-one other ex-Confederates. The Democratic campaign, eager to publicize the endorsement, published the statement widely in newspapers. [143] Their letter claimed paternalistic concern for the welfare of freed Southern blacks, stating that "The idea that the Southern people are hostile to the negroes and would oppress them, if it were in their power to do so, is entirely unfounded. They have grown up in our midst, and we have been accustomed from childhood to look upon them with kindness." [144] However, it also called for the restoration of white political rule, arguing that "It is true that the people of the South, in common with a large majority of the people of the North and West, are, for obvious reasons, inflexibly opposed to any system of laws that would place the political power of the country in the hands of the negro race. But this opposition springs from no feeling of enmity, but from a deep-seated conviction that, at present, the negroes have neither the intelligence nor the other qualifications which are necessary to make them safe depositories of political power." [145]

In his public statements and private correspondence, Lee argued that a tone of reconciliation and patience would further the interests of white Southerners better than hotheaded antagonism to federal authority or the use of violence. Lee repeatedly expelled white students from Washington College for violent attacks on local black men, and publicly urged obedience to the authorities and respect for law and order. [146] He privately chastised fellow ex-Confederates such as Jefferson Davis and Jubal Early for their frequent, angry responses to perceived Northern insults, writing in private to them as he had written to a magazine editor in 1865, that "It should be the object of all to avoid controversy, to allay passion, give full scope to reason and to every kindly feeling. By doing this and encouraging our citizens to engage in the duties of life with all their heart and mind, with a determination not to be turned aside by thoughts of the past and fears of the future, our country will not only be restored in material prosperity, but will be advanced in science, in virtue and in religion." [147]


GENERAL ROBERT BROWN POTTER, USA - History

By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 27, 2019

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — Back in high school in the 1970s, U.S. Army Pacific commander Robert Brown had been recruited to play basketball for the University of Michigan.

He went instead to West Point, drawn to the ideal of service to country.

“I was going to serve a few years and get out and be a coach,” Brown told hundreds of soldiers and other guests gathered for a farewell ceremony at Fort Shafter on Friday, his final day as USARPAC commander.

“It’s the people,” he said. “That’s what kept me in. I stayed in I loved it. I think one of the things I’m proudest of is units I led called me coach.”

Brown will retire from a 38-year Army career next month with an official ceremony on the mainland.

USARPAC deputy commander Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson will fill in as acting commander.

Gen. Paul LaCamera, who until earlier this month was XVIII Airborne Corps commanding general and commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, is slated to take command of USARPAC.

President Donald Trump nominated LaCamera in April. The Senate confirmed his promotion to four-star this summer but has yet to confirm him for USARPAC command.

Brown took command of USARPAC in April 2016, and the three-plus years since have been eventful ones for the region.

“A couple years ago we were as close to war as we’ve ever been in North Korea, in my opinion,” he said, alluding to a series of missile launches and other provocations by North Korea and its young leader Kim Jong Un. “It was pretty tense.”

Brown recalled “nearly 24-7 operations for about 12 months” during that period to ensure that soldiers were prepared for outright armed conflict.

He championed the Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force, a program that was piloted in the Pacific and has expanded to Europe for its second phase.

The Army is preparing for a battle environment in which it must coordinate effectively in the domains of air, cyberspace, land, maritime, space and the electromagnetic spectrum.

The task force was first tested in 2016 when the Army fired shore-based missiles to sink a ship at sea during the Rim of the Pacific drills in Hawaii.

The ceremony’s most emotional moment came as Indo-Pacific Command leader Philip Davidson recounted an event in Mosul, Iraq, in 2004, when Brown, then a colonel, was serving as a brigade commander.

A suicide bomber killed 22 Americans at an on-base dining facility. Capt. William Jacobsen, the company commander, was among the dead.

“Upon receipt of this report,” Davidson said, fighting back tears, “Bob immediately departed his headquarters, which was about 30 minutes away on the other side of the Tigris, traversing the dangerous streets of Mosul to meet with his junior officers.

“Bob gave each of those junior officers a hug, allowing them to feel his shared sense of loss and determination to keep going. For the mission, for the soldiers, for the team, it was exactly what those officers needed from their leader. It gave them the strength and resiliency to carry on in the face of a determined enemy.”

Later in the ceremony, Brown invoked the name of Jacobsen and other soldiers who have died under his command, saying “ we all owe them an incredible debt of gratitude.”

“What I told myself along the way,” Brown said, pausing as he choked up. “I’ve gotta serve for them. They deserve the best. I hope they think I did an OK job.”


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Custer at the Battle of Gettysburg

History verifies that the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most important battles during the Civil War. Between July 1 and July 3 in 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed, with casualties on both sides. The Union emerged victorious and stopped General Robert E. Lee from invading Northern territory. For Custer's part in the battle, the Boy General led several charges. In one instance, according to We Are the Mighty, his horse was literally shot out from under him. Undaunted, Custer found another horse and, during his final charge, shouted "Come on, you Wolverines!" as he raised his saber. The Confederates scattered.

Although 50 percent of the soldiers under Custer were killed, he was still respected and admired for his bravery. In far-north Vermont, the Burlington Free Press noted that Custer's men "captured more than man for man from an enemy whose force consisted of four times their numbers." The newspaper concluded proudly, "This is cavalry fighting, the superior of which the world never saw." Custer, meanwhile, furthered his bloody engagements at the Battle of Yellow Tavern and the Third Battle of Winchester in 1864, according to Britannica. Even as he fought his way through the Civil War, however, Custer had marriage on his mind. His chosen mate was Elizabeth Bacon, a gorgeous little lass whom Custer felt also was well worth fighting for.


J.E.B. Stuart: Brandy Station and the Battle of Gettysburg

By 1863, Stuart’s exploits had become legendary. Always prone to elaborate displays, in June he held a “grand review” of his cavalry forces near Brandy Station, Virginia. The review, ostensibly designed to impress superiors and members of the media, also attracted the attention of Union forces, who took the presence of Stuart’s nearly 10,000-strong cavalry as a sign of an imminent Confederate offensive. On June 9, two Union cavalry divisions descended on Stuart’s position and tried to envelope his army. In the ensuing Battle of Brandy Station—the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War—Stuart was initially caught unprepared, but responded with characteristic verve to rebuff the Union advance. Still, his reputation had suffered, as it was the first time Stuart had failed to dominate his opposition.


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Contents

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty in the U.S. Army. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank, Ώ] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank, ΐ] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs), Α] year commissioned and source of commission, Β] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC), Γ] and other biographical notes. Δ]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank.

    , 1775–1783.
    (CGUSA), 1864–1869.
    (CGUSA), 1869–1883.
    (CGUSA), 1883–1888.
    (CSA), 1917–1918.
  • U.S. Military Representative, Allied Supreme War Council, 1918–1919.
  • Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces (CG AEF), 1917–1921. (CSA), 1921–1924.
    (CSA), 1918–1921.
    (CSA), 1926–1930.
    (CSA), 1930–1935. of the Philippine Army, as of August 24, 1936.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (CG USAFFE), 1941–1942.
  • Commander in Chief, South West Pacific Area (CINCSWPA), 1942–1945.
  • Commander in Chief, South West Pacific Area/Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific (CINCSWPA/CINCAFPAC), 1945. /Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific (SCAP/CINCAFPAC), 1945–1947. /Commander in Chief, Far East Command (SCAP/CINCFE), 1947–1950. /Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (SCAP/CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1950–1951.
    (CSA), 1935–1939.
  • Chairman, War Department Personnel Board, 1941–1945.
    (CSA), 1939–1945.
  • (retired)
  • Commander in Chief, Allied (Expeditionary) Force (CINC Allied Forces), 1942–1943.
  • Commander in Chief, Allied Forces/Commander in Chief, Mediterranean Theater of Operations/Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (CINC Allied Forces/CINC MTO/CG NATOUSA), 1943–1944. /Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (SCAEF/CG ETOUSA), 1944–1945.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Forces, European Theater/Military Governor, U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany (CG USFET), 1945. (CSA), 1945–1948.
  • Commander, European Command (EUCOM) and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR), 1951–1952.
  • Commanding General, Army Air Forces (CG AAF), 1942–1946.
  • Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia/Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces, China Burma India Theater (DSACSEA/CG USAFCBI), 1943–1944.
  • Commanding General, Army Ground Forces (CG AGF), 1945.
  • Commanding General, Tenth Army, 1945.
  • Commanding General, Western Defense Command, 1945–1946.
  • Commanding General, Sixth Army, 1946.
  • Commanding General, Sixth Army, 1943–1946.
  • Commanding General, Army Service Forces (CG ASF), 1942–1946.
  • Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean/Commanding General, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (DSACMED/CG MTOUSA), 1944–1945.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Forces European Theater/Military Governor, U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany (CG USFET), 1945–1947.
  • Senior Member, United Nations Military Staff Committee, 1947.
  • Commanding General, Air Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1947–1949.
  • Chairman, Department of Defense Management Committee, 1949–1952.
  • Commanding General, Sixth Army Group, 1944–1945.
  • Commanding General, Army Ground Forces (CG AGF), 1945–1948.
  • Chief, Army Field Forces (CAFF), 1948–1949.
  • Commanding General, Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area (CG AAFSWPA), 1942–1945.
  • Member, Military Staff Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1945–1946.
  • Commanding General, Strategic Air Command (CG SAC), 1946–1948.
  • Commander, Air University, 1948–1951.
  • Commanding General, Fifteenth Army Group, 1944–1945.
  • U.S. High Commissioner, Austria/Commanding General, U.S. Forces Austria, 1945–1947.
  • Commanding General, Sixth Army, 1947–1949.
  • Chief, Army Field Forces (CAFF), 1949–1952.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1952–1953.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe (CG USSAFE), 1945.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (CG USASTAF), 1945.
  • Commanding General, Army Air Forces (CG AAF), 1946–1947. (CSAF), 1947–1948.
  • Commanding General, Twelfth Army Group, 1944–1945.
  • Administrator, Veterans Administration, 1945–1947. , 1948–1949. /Chairman, NATO Military Committee (CJCS), 1949–1950. /U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (CJCS/USMILREP), 1950–1953.
    (DCSA), 1944–1947.
  • Commanding General, Fourth Army, 1947–1949.
  • Commander in Chief, European Command (CINCEUR), 1949–1952.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1952.
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 1952–1954.
  • Commanding General, Third Army, 1944–1945.
  • Commanding General, Fifteenth Army, 1945.
  • Commanding General, First Army, 1944–1949.
  • Commanding General, Fourth Army, 1946.
  • Commander in Chief, European Command/Military Governor, U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany (CINCEUR), 1947–1949.
    (VCSA), 1948–1949. (CSA), 1949–1953.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1953–1956.
    (VCSA), 1949–1951.
  • (posthumous)
    /Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (SCAP/CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1951.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1951–1952. (SACEUR), 1952. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1952–1953. (CSA), 1953–1955.
    (DCI), 1950–1953.
    (VCSA), 1951–1953.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1953–1955.
  • Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG EUSA), 1951–1953.
  • Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE), 1951–1953. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1953–1956.
  • Chief, Army Field Forces (CAFF), 1952–1953.
  • Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG EUSA), 1953–1954.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Far East/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG USAFFE/CG EUSA), 1954–1955.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1955. (CSA), 1955–1959.
  • Military Representative of the President (MILREP), 1961–1962. (CJCS), 1962–1964.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1953. (VCSA), 1953–1955.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1953–1955.
  • (retired)
  • (retired)
  • (retired)
  • (retired)
  • (retired)
  • (posthumous)
  • (posthumous)
  • (posthumous)
  • (retired)
  • (retired)
  • (posthumous)
  • Chief, Army Field Forces (CAFF), 1953–1955.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1955–1956.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1955–1956.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Far East/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG USAFFE/CG EUSA), 1955.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Far East Command (CINCUNC/CINCFE), 1955–1957. (VCSA), 1957–1959. (CSA), 1959–1960. (CJCS), 1960–1962.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (USCINCEUR), 1962–1963. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1963–1969.
    (VCSA), 1955–1957.
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 1957–1959.
  • Director of Military Assistance, 1959–1962.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Far East/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG USAFFE/CG EUSA), 1955–1957.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1957–1961.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1956–1958.
  • Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE), 1953–1959.
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 1956–1957.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1957–1959. (VCSA), 1959–1960. (CSA), 1960–1962.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1956–1959.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1958–1960.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1960–1962.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1959–1960. (VCSA), 1960–1962.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1959–1961.
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 1959–1962.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1960–1962.
  • Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE), 1959–1963.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1960–1963.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1961–1964.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1961–1963.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command (USCINCSTRIKE), 1961–1963.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1963–1966.
  • Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV), 1962–1964.
  • Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (DCINCEUR), 1962. (CSA), 1962–1964. (CJCS), 1964–1970.
    (VCSA), 1962–1964.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1962–1965.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1965–1967.
  • Director of Military Assistance, 1962–1965.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1963–1964.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1964–1966.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1961–1965.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1965–1967.
  • Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (COFS SHAPE), 1963–1969.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1963–1965.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1964–1965.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1962–1969.
  • Chairman, Joint Logistics Review Board, 1969–1970.
    (CSA), 1964–1968.
  • Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV), 1964–1968. (CSA), 1968–1972.
    (VCSA), 1964–1967.
  • Deputy Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Deputy COMUSMACV), 1967–1968.
  • Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV), 1968–1972. (CSA), 1972–1974.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1965–1969.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1965–1966.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1966–1968.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1966–1969.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1966–1969.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1967–1971.
    (VCSA), 1967–1968.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1968–1970.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1970–1973.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1967–1970.
  • Deputy Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Deputy COMUSMACV), 1968. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1969–1974.
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1968–1971.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1968–1971.
    (VCSA), 1968–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1973–1974.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1969–1971.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1969–1970.
  • Deputy Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Deputy COMUSMACV), 1969–1970.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1970–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1973–1975.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1969–1972.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1972–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1969–1972.
  • Presidential Advisor on Manpower Mobilization, 1970–1973.
  • Deputy Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Deputy COMUSMACV), 1970–1972.
  • Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (COMUSMACV), 1972–1973. (VCSA), 1973–1974. (CSA), 1974–1976.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1970–1975.
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1971–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1971–1975.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1971–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1972–1973.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1973–1974.
    (VCSA), 1973.
  • White House Chief of Staff, 1973–1974. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1974–1979.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command (CG CONARC), 1973.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1973–1974. (VCSA), 1974–1978.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1973–1977.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1973–1976.
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1973–1976.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1974–1976. (CSA), 1976–1979. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1979–1987.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1974–1979.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1975–1976.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Development and Readiness Command (CG DARCOM), 1976–1977.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1975–1979.
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1976–1977.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1977–1980.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1976–1978. (VCSA), 1978–1979.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1979–1983.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1976–1978.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1978–1979. (VCSA), 1979–1982. (CJCS), 1982–1985.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1977–1981.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1981–1983.
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1977–1978.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Development and Readiness Command (CG DARCOM), 1977–1981.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1978–1982.
    (CSA), 1979–1983.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1979–1982. (VCSA), 1982–1983. (CSA), 1983–1987.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1979–1981.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1981–1983.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1983–1988.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Development and Readiness Command (CG DARCOM), 1981–1984.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1982–1984.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1982–1984.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1984–1986.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1982–1985.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1983–1986.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1983–1985.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1983–1985.
    (VCSA), 1983–1987.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1987–1989.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1989–1990.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1984–1987.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Development and Readiness Command (CG DARCOM), 1984.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1984–1987.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1983–1985.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1985–1987. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1987–1992.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1985–1986.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1985–1987.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1986–1987. (CSA), 1987–1991.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1986–1987.
  • Commander in Chief, Forces Command (CINCFOR), 1987–1989.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1986–1987.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), 1987–1990.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1987–1989.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1987–1989.
    (VCSA), 1987–1989.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1987–1990.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1988–1992.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1988–1991.
    (VCSA), 1989–1990.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK/CG EUSA), 1990–1992.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK), 1992–1993.
  • Commander in Chief, Forces Command (CINCFOR), 1989. (CJCS), 1989–1993.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1989–1991.
  • Commander in Chief, Forces Command (CINCFOR), 1989–1993.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1989–1992.
    (VCSA), 1990–1991. (CSA), 1991–1995.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), 1990–1993.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1990–1993. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1993–1997.
    (VCSA), 1991–1993.
  • Commander in Chief, Forces Command (CINCFOR), 1993.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1993–1995. (CSA), 1995–1999.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1991–1994.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1992–1994.
    /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1992–1993. (CJCS), 1993–1997.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Central Army Group (CINCUSAREUR/COMCENTAG), 1992–1993.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CINCUSAREUR), 1993–1994.
    (VCSA), 1993–1994.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 1994–1997.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), 1993–1996.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK), 1993–1996.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1994–1996.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1994–1996.
    (VCSA), 1994–1995.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1995–1996.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK), 1996–1999.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1994–1998.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CINCUSAREUR), 1994–1996.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Allied Land Forces Central Europe (CINCUSAREUR/COMLANDCENT), 1996–1997. (VCSA), 1997–1998.
    (VCSA), 1995–1997.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), 1996–1997. (CJCS), 1997–2001.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1996–1999.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Southern Command (USCINCSO), 1996–1997. /Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/USCINCEUR), 1997–2000.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1996–1998.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Commander, Allied Land Forces Central Europe (CG USAREUR/COMLANDCENT), 1997–1998.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 1998. (VCSA), 1998–1999. (CSA), 1999–2003.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), 1997–2000. (CSA), 2003–2007.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1998–1999.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK), 1999–2002.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 1998–2002.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 1998–2002.
    (VCSA), 1999–2003.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 1999–2001.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 1999–2001.
    /Commander in Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command (SACLANT/CINCUSJFCOM), 2000–2002.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command (USCINCCENT), 2000–2002.
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM), 2002–2003.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2001–2004.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2001–2004.
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CINCUNC/CINCCFC/COMUSFK), 2002.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/COMUSFK), 2002–2006.
  • Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command (USCINCSO), 2002.
  • Commander, U.S. Southern Command (CDRUSSOUTHCOM), 2002–2004.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2002–2005.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 2002–2005.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/COMUSFK), 2006–2008.
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM), 2003–2007.
  • Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (CDRUSSOCOM), 2003–2007.
    (VCSA), 2003–2004.
  • Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq (CG MNF-I), 2004–2007. (CSA), 2007–2011.
    (VCSA), 2004–2008.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2004–2007.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force (CDRISAF), 2007–2008.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2004–2008.
  • Commander, U.S. Southern Command (CDRUSSOUTHCOM), 2004–2006. /Commander, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/CDRUSEUCOM), 2006–2009.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2005–2008.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 2005–2008.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force (CDRISAF), 2008.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRISAF/CDRUSFOR-A), 2008–2009.
  • Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command (DCDRUSEUCOM), 2006–2007.
  • Commander, U.S. Africa Command (CDRUSAFRICOM), 2007–2011.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2007–2010.
  • Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq (CG MNF-I), 2007–2008.
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM), 2008–2010.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRISAF/CDRUSFOR-A), 2010–2011.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/CDRUSFK), 2008–2011.
    (VCSA), 2008–2012.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 2008–2011.
  • Commander, U.S. Africa Command (CDRUSAFRICOM), 2011–2013.
  • Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq (CG MNF-I), 2008–2009.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Forces - Iraq (CG USF-I), 2010.
  • Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command (CDRUSJFCOM), 2010–2011. (CSA), 2011–2015.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2008–2012.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2008–2011. (CSA), 2011. (CJCS), 2011–2015.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRISAF/CDRUSFOR-A), 2009–2010.
  • Commander, U.S. Cyber Command/Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service (CDRUSCYBERCOM/DIRNSA/CCSS), 2010–2014.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2010–2011.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/CDRUSFK), 2011–2013.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Forces - Iraq (CG USF-I), 2010–2011. (VCSA), 2012–2013.
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRCENTCOM), 2013–2016.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2011–2014.
  • Commander, U.S. Northern Command/Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (CDRUSNORTHCOM/CDRNORAD), 2011–2014.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2011–2013.
  • Commander, U.S. Africa Command (CDRUSAFRICOM), 2013–2016.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2012–2016
    (CNGB), 2012–2016
    (VCSA), 2013–2014.
  • Commander, International Security Assistance Force/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRISAF/CDRUSFOR-A), 2014–2015.
  • Commander, Resolute Support Mission/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRRS/CDRUSFOR-A), 2015–2016.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2013–2014. (VCSA), 2014–2017.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific (CG USARPAC), 2013–2016.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/COMUSFK), 2016–2018.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/COMUSFK), 2013–2016. /Commander, U.S. European Command (SACEUR/CDRUSEUCOM), 2016–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2014–2018.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2014–2015. (CSA), 2015–present.
  • Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (CDRUSSOCOM), 2014–2016.
  • Commander, U.S. Central Command (CDRCENTCOM), 2016–2019.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command (CG FORSCOM), 2015–2018.
  • Commander, United Nations Command/Commander, ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command/Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (CDRUNC/CDRCFC/COMUSFK), 2018–present.
  • Commander, Resolute Support Mission/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRRS/CDRUSFOR-A), 2016–2018.
  • Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (CDRUSSOCOM), 2016–2019.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific (CG USARPAC), 2016–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2016–present.
    (VCSA), 2017–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC), 2018–present.
  • Commander, U.S. Cyber Command/Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service (CDRUSCYBERCOM/DIRNSA/CCSS), 2018–present.
  • Commander, U.S. Transportation Command (CDRUSTRANSCOM), 2018–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Futures Command (CG AFC), 2018–present.
  • Commander, Resolute Support Mission/Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan (CDRRS/CDRUSFOR-A), 2018–present.
  • Commander, United States Army Forces Command, 2019–present.
  • Commander, United States Special Operations Command, 2019–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (CG TRADOC)/Chancellor, Army University, 2019–present.
    (VCSA), 2019–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific (CG USARPAC), 2019–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command (CG AMC), 2020–present.
    (CNGB), 2020–present.
  • Commander, United States Space Command (CDRUSSPACECOM), 2020–present.
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Africa (CG USAREUR-AF), 2020–present.

Voter registration and turnout totals

The post is correct in its accounting of Trump's vote totals. He received more than 74 million votes. The vote total for Biden, 81 million, also is correct, putting the overall total at more than 155 million votes cast.

What the tweets get wrong is the number of voters. There are more than 234 million people eligible to vote in the U.S. Not all of those people are registered voters, however.

In its thread of tweets, the account MSM Fact Checking provided conflicting calculations without citing sources. The initial post claimed there were 133 million registered voters. In another tweet, it claimed there were 213 million registered voters with a voter turnout rate of 62.5%. All of these numbers are false.

We know, after weeks of counting, that there were roughly 159 million ballots cast in the presidential election. According to the Election Project, this accounts for 66.7% of the eligible voting population of 239 million Americans..

The U.S. Census Bureau publishes voter registration totals for the nation its 2020 numbers are not yet available.

But for example, in the 2016 presidential election, there were 157 million registered voters. Of those, 137.5 million voted. And there were 224 million American citizens age 18 or older. All figures are higher than the number in the claim regarding the 2020 election, when voter registration and turnout broke records.