Robert E. Lee’s Birthday, January 19

Today is a Federal holiday, but most Southerners know it is also as the birthday of Robert E. Lee. Having spoke at the SCV camp in Abbeville at their annual Lee-Jackson banquet, Lee has been on my mind all weekend. You can read more about this great Southerner here.

Here’s one little known fact about Robert E. Lee: He had no slaves and abhorred slavery.  He instilled this into his family as well. Robert E. Lee’s daughter was arrested in Alexandria, VA for sitting with blacks on a Washington train (From the Cleveland Gazette June 21, 1902). She refused to move when ordered. Ironic, isn’t it?  To honor Robert E. Lee, I thought I’d post the lyrics of a song by Johnny Cash, “God Bless Robert E. Lee.”

“God Bless Robert E. Lee” by Johnny Cash

Well, the mansion where the General used to live is burning down
Cottonfields are blue with Sherman’s troops
I overheard a Yankee say yesterday Nashville fell
So I’m on my way to join the fight General Lee might need my help
But look away, look away, Dixie, I don’t want them to see
What they’re doing to my Dixie, God bless Robert E Lee

Sherman’s troops burned Atlanta and the flames lit up the sky
And those of us who survived it are watchin’ my Dixie die
But today at Appomattox General Lee sat down
And surrendered to the Yankees and Ulysses S. Grant
So look away look away Dixie…

I won’t ever stop loving you my Dixie till they put me in the ground
And the last words they probably hear from me are God bless Robert E Lee