Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert E. Lee’s Ghost

General Robert E. Lee

Lee took command of the Southern Confederate troops during American’s most decisive and deadly war--the Civil War.

Robert E. Lee was a military tactical genius and is ranked against the world’s finest generals, including Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, and Frederick the Great.

Born in Virginia in 1807 Lee graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with no demerits. He married Mary Anna Custis the great-granddaughter of George Washington.

After serving with distinction during the Mexican War, Lee gained a reputation for being the most courageous and intelligent officer in the American army.

He served as the Superintendent of West Point and then served in the cavalry in Texas in 1855. In 1859 he was called to put down John Brown’s slave rebellion at Harper’s Ferry. He did this within one hour.

At the beginning of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln asked Lee to head the Union forces. First and always a Virginian, he refused and then resigned his post.

He would not take up arms against his fellow southerners even though he adamantly opposed succession from the Union and he considered slavery an evil.

He did not fight for the south until his beloved Virginia was invaded. Lee distinguished himself on the battlefield and took command of the Army of Northern Virginia in 1862.

Lee’s Confederate troops experienced numerous victories on the battlefield-- basically because he was an expert at outmaneuvering the Union troops which were larger and better equipped than his.

It is said that he of all the great generals through history did more with less than any others.

But at Gettysburg in July of 1863, the tide turned against the Confederacy. The fact the Civil War lasted as long as it did is a testament to Lee’s abilities as a general.

Lee at Appomattox Court House
In 1865 Lee faced odds that were too great--this and the fact the Confederate’s had run out of supplies resulted in Lee surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant in April of 1865 at Appomattox, Virginia.

After the war, Lee became the president of Washington College--which is today Washington and Lee University. To his credit during this time he worked diligently to reconcile the South and North.

Lee died of a massive stroke while still president of this college in 1870.

Washington College
Lexington, Virginia

Haunted Boyhood Home

Lee was a dignified southern gentleman, but his family was more colorful. For several generations, his family had been plagued with scandals.

Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee
His father, Light Horse Harry Lee, was an American Revolutionary war hero who was a hell-raiser. He was a drinker and gambler who found himself in constant debt. At one point he served time in a debtor’s prison.

Lee and his mother were forced to leave his beloved childhood home in Alexandria, Virginia, because of his father’s debts.

This Alexandria mansion and two other homes where Lee lived during his life are considered haunted. But it is this mansion located on Oronoco St. where Lee’s ghost resides.

Lee's Boyhood Home
Alexandria, Virginia
In 1967, a family that moved into this mansion immediately experienced this haunting.

During the day, the whole family heard the soft footsteps of a child and giggling coming from the upper floors in the mansion. They also felt this child ghost walk around them as they stood upstairs.

This ghost made his presence known at least two to three times a day. He often ran around, and he sometimes moved objects. The wife had a cigarette lighter flung at her feet.

One neighbor that visited the home was sitting in the living room when snow started to drop on her from a foot above--now wet she left.

The family also saw the apparition of a black dog with floppy ears playing in the mansion’s backyard.

Subsequent families that have lived in the home have reported similar activity.

A child’s giggles are still heard upstairs, and this young ghost likes to ring the home’s doorbell. He always moves objects, and on two different occasions, he has dropped snowflakes on visitors.

One neighbor reported seeing an apparition of a small boy playing in the mansion’s backyard with a ghostly black dog.

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