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Social Studies Biographies
Robert E. Lee
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 7 to 9|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||6.56|
Torn by War
By Toni Lee Robinson
1 Robert E. Lee is best known as the beloved leader of southern forces in the Civil War. Did you know that he could as easily have been commander of the Union Army? Shortly before the first shots were heard in the Civil War, Lee was offered the position.
2 A glimpse of Lee's heart is revealed in his letters. To his sister, Lee wrote: "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home."
3 The looming war created a terrible dilemma for Lee. He felt that the people of the North were interfering with the rights of southern states. He believed the federal government was overstepping its bounds. However, he also believed in the principles on which America was founded. Although he owned slaves, he considered slavery a "moral and political evil." Honor and morality were very important to Robert E. Lee. This included submission to proper authority. He felt that the action of the southern states was wrong. Secession, he said, damaged the things for which the founding fathers had fought.
4 Principle was a major part of Lee's upbringing. He was born in Virginia in 1807. He was the youngest son of Revolutionary War hero "Light-Horse Harry" Lee. The elder Lee frequently held up former commander George Washington as a role model to his six children. Their lives should be marked by the same honor and integrity, urged their father, as that possessed by "the great Washington."
5 Robert's father was absent for much of his childhood. Besides that, "Light-Horse Harry" was never good at financial matters. The family was never well off. When Robert was 11 years old, his father died. Robert's mother was hard-working and thrifty. She raised her children to be strong in faith, kindness, and love.
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English Reading Comprehension: Torn by War
Spanish Reading Comprehension: Desgarrado por la guerra
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