Robert Edward Lee, Defending Virginia and the Confederacy (National Cyclopedia)

"Lee, Rober Edward," National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: James T. White & Company, 1897), 4: 96.
Virginia passed an ordinance of secession on April 17th, and finding that he must soon be ordered on duty or be compelled to resign under orders, Lee, on the 20th, after a severe mental struggle, tendered his resignation to Gen. Scott. On the same day he announced his decision to members of his family, assuring them he had no other ambition than to remain at home, and that, save in the defense of his native state, he had no desire ever again to draw his sword. Three days later, on invitation of Gov. Letcher, he appeared before the Virginia convention in session at Richmond, having been nominated by the executive major-general and commander-in-chief of the forces of the state. The prestige of his deeds, and of those of his ancestors, the nobility of his character, his importance as a leader, shown by the efforts to keep him in the U.S. army, all had weight, and he was appointed by acclamation. Assuming command April 23d, he held it until June 8th, when, under an agreement between Virginia and the Confederate government, he turned it over to the latter. In May he was given the additional task of commanding all troops of the Confederate States as soon as they arrived in Virginia.
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