Robert E. Lee resignation 2.jpg

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Today In History- April 20

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Robert E. Lee resigns U.S. army commission to join Confederate forces.

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In a surprising move in military history, on Apr. 20, 1861, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army.  He was appointed a commander of the forces of Virginia, who had previously seceded from the Union, prompting the beginning of the American Civil War.  Lee was offered a position of high leadership in the U.S. Army, though felt obligated to Virginia and their loyalty to the confederacy.  Despite being on opposite sides, military leaders from both the Union and Confederacy respected Lee and his capabilities as a general.
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • 20 Apr 1861


Contributor: This_Day_In_History
Created: January 24, 2008 · Modified: July 19, 2011


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