The Patriot Resource - American Revolution


Continental Colonel Henry 'Lighthorse Harry' Lee
Henry Lee Born: January 29, 1756; Leesylvania, Virginia
Died: March 25, 1818; Cumberland Island, Georgia

Battles: Guilford Courthouse



Southern Campaign: 1781
Following the victory at Fort Motte, Lt. Colonel Henry Lee made his way to Fort Granby, South Carolina again with little time because of the approaching British force. On May 15, 1781, Lee secured the position by negotiating a surrender from the garrison commander Tory Major Andrew Maxwell. He did so by agreeing to allow Maxwell to retain his personal plunder as well as allow the men of the garrison to withdraw to Charleston, South Carolina to await being exchanged as prisoners of war. On May 21, 1781, Lee captured Fort Galphin, South Carolina where he mainly secured supplies that would have been of use to the British forces in Augusta, Georgia.

On May 23, 1781, Lee arrived at Augusta, Georgia to support the ongoing siege by Elijah Clarke and Andrew Pickens. Lee was influential in the strategies that allowed the Patriots to finally secure the surrender of Augusta from Colonel Thomas Brown on June 4, 1781. Escorting prisoners, Lee then left for Ninety-Six, South Carolina to reinforce Maj. General Nathanael Greene's ongoing siege there. He arrived on June 8, 1781. Lee began operations to the north to cut off the water supply. On June 18th, his Legion fought well in an attack against the fort, but the overall attack was repelled and Greene was forced to withdraw before Lord Rawdon arrived with reinforcements.

In the last major battle of Greene's Southern Campaign, Lee's Legion again distinguished itself at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina on September 8, 1781. Lee was present at Yorktown, Virginia in October, 1781 while General George Washington carried out the final siege operations against Lt. General Charles Cornwallis. He then returned south to his command under Greene and saw action on December 1, 1781 at Dorchester, South Carolina. He also planned the aborted operations against Johns Island, South Carolina on December 28-29, 1781.


After the Revolutionary War: 1782-1807
In February 1782, Lee was granted a leave of absence and never returned to duty. Even though he and Maj. General Nathanael Greene would remain good friends, Greene could sense a discontentment in Lee which may have been depression caused by battle fatigue. Soon after returning to Virginia, Lee married his cousin Matilda Lee and inherited Stratford Hall. He entered politics as a Federalist and was elected to Congress in 1785. In 1788 he led the fight for Virginia to ratify the United States Constitution. In 1790, his wife, Matilda, died, leaving Henry with three children.

From 1791-1794, he was governor of Virginia. On June 13, 1793, he married Ann Carter Hill at Shirley Plantation, Virginia. In 1794, President George Washington gave Lee command of 15,000 troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, which Lee accomplished without any loss of life. He served in Congress from 1799 to 1801. On September 2, 1802, Henry's first son by his second wife, Sydney Smith Lee, was born at Camden, New Jersey. On January 19, 1807, his son Robert Edward Lee was born at the family home Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Robert E. Lee would go on to eclipse his father's notoriety when he commanded the Confederate forces in the Civil War.








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