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Robert E Lee
Lee, Robert E. (Edward) 1807 -- 1870
General in chief of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War. Born in Virginia's Westmoreland County on January 19, 1807, the third son of Henry ("Light Horse Harry") and Ann Hill Carter Lee. Declining fortunes forced the family's removal to Alexandria, where Robert distinguished himself in local schools. His father's death in 1811 increased responsibilities on all the sons; Robert, especially, cared for his invalid mother.
Lee graduated number two in his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1829. Commissioned a brevet lieutenant of engineers, he spent a few years at Fort Pulaski, Georgia, and Fort Monroe, Virginia. At Fort Monroe on June 30, 1831, he married Mary Ann Randolph Custis, with whom he had seven children. Lee worked in the chief engineer's office in Washington, D.C., from 1834 to 1837. He was transferred to Fort Hamilton, New York, where he remained until 1846.
In August 1846 Lee joined General John E. Wool's army in Texas. In the battle of Buena Vista, Lee's boldness drew his superiors' attention. Transferred to General Winfield Scott's Veracruz expedition, in the battle at Veracruz and in the advance on Mexico he won additional acclaim. Following American occupation of the Mexican capital, he worked on maps for possible future campaigns. Already a captain in the regular service, he was made brevet colonel for his gallantry in the war. Lee returned to engineer duty at Baltimore's Fort Carroll until 1852, when he reluctantly became superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. In 1855 he was made lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Cavalry, one of the Army's elite units.
The years 1857-1859 were bleak. Lee had to take several furloughs to deal with family business and seriously thought of resigning his commission. However, in 1859 he and his men successfully put down John Brown's insurrection at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. In 1860 he became commander of the Department of Texas.
Talk of secession in the South grew strident during Lee's Texas sojourn. No secessionist, he was loyal to the Union and the U.S. Army; yet he had no doubts about his loyalties if Virginia departed the Union. Ties of blood bound him to the South. Lee accepted a commission as colonel of the 1st U.S. Cavalry in March 1861. But offered command of the entire U.S. Army a month later, he hesitated. If he accepted, he might have to lead the Federal Army against Southern states and, if Virginia seceded, he might have to lead troops across its borders. He could do neither. Painfully, Lee resigned his army commission in April 1861.
Appointed commander of Virginia forces, Lee devoted himself to building an effective state army. He was so efficient that the new president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, asked him to become a full general in the Confederate Army and serve as presidential military adviser. The Confederate Senate confirmed this appointment.
A bad brush with field command in western Virginia-in a campaign marked by military rivalries, lack of supplies, wretched weather, and overly ambitious strategy on Lee's part-tarnished the new general's reputation. Davis still regarded him highly and sent him to organize southern Atlantic coastal defenses. Lee pursued this task efficiently until recalled to the Confederate capital, Richmond. In his role as presidential adviser, he tried to smooth the abrasive personalities of Davis and General Joseph E. Johnston and to utilize the daring of General Stonewall Jackson to frustrate Federal plans for sending aid to General George B. McClellan's army, which was approaching Richmond.
When Johnston was wounded in May 1862, Davis gave Lee command of Johnston's army. Lee renamed his force the "Army of Northern Virginia." The new commander looked the part: 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall, robust at 170 pounds, Lee had graceful, almost classic features. He attracted men and women alike, was easy in manner, courteous and kind as a friend, and was a loving husband and father.
Though Lee's was the largest Confederate army in the field, it was outnumbered almost three to two by McClellan's Federal Army of the Potomac, which was preparing for siege operations on Richmond. While Lee struggled to fortify Richmond, he and Jackson planned a daring ... more
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The Bay of Pigs Invasion
The story of the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs is
one of mismanagement, overconfidence, and lack of security. The
blame for the failure of the operation falls directly in the lap of
the Central Intelligence Agency and a young president and his
advisors. The fall out from the invasion caused a rise in tension
between the two great superpowers and ironically 34 years after the
event, the person that the invasion meant to topple, Fidel Castro,
is still in power. To understand the origins of the invasion and
its ramifications for the future it is first necessary to look at
the invasion and its origins.
Part I: The Invasion and its Origins.
The Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961, started a few days
before on April 15th with the bombing of Cuba by what appeared to
be defecting Cuban air force pilots. At 6 a.m. in the morning of
that Saturday, three Cuban military bases were bombed by B-26
bombers. The airfields at Camp Libertad, San Antonio de los Baos
and Antonio Maceo airport at Santiago de Cuba were fired upon.
Seven people were killed at Libertad and forty-seven people were
killed at other sites on the island.
Two of the B-26s left Cuba and flew to Miami, apparently to
defect to the United States. The Cuban Revolutionary Council, the
government in exile, in New York City released a statement saying
that the bombings in Cuba were ". . . carried out by 'Cubans inside
Cuba' who were 'in contact with' the top command of the
Revolutionary Council . . . ." The New York Times reporter
covering the story alluded to something being wrong with the whole
situation when he wondered how the council knew the pilots were
coming if the pilots had only decided to leave Cuba on Thursday
after " . . . a suspected betrayal by a fellow pilot had
precipitated a plot to strike . . . ." Whatever the case, the
planes came down in Miami later that morning, one landed at Key
West Naval Air Station at 7:00 a.m. and the other at Miami
International Airport at 8:20 a.m. Both planes were badly damaged
and their tanks were nearly empty. On the front page of The New
York Times the next day, a picture of one of the B-26s was shown
along with a picture of one of the pilots cloaked in a baseball hat
and hiding behind dark sunglasses, his name was withheld. A sense
of conspiracy was even at this early stage beginning to envelope
the events of that week.
In the early hours of April 17th the assault on the Bay of
Pigs began. In the true cloak and dagger spirit of a movie, the
assault began at 2 a.m. with a team of frogmen going ashore with
orders to set up landing lights to indicate to the main assault
force the precise location of their objectives, as well as to clear
the area of anything that may impede the main landing teams to be
added when they arrived. At 2:30 a.m. and at 3:00 a.m. two battalions
came ashore at Playa Girn and one battalion at Playa Larga beaches.
The troops at Playa Girn had orders to move west, northwest, up the
coast and meet with the troops at Playa Larga in the middle of the
bay. A small group of men were then to be sent north to the town of
Jaguey Grande to secure it as well.
When looking at a modern map of Cuba it is obvious that the
troops would have problems in the area that was chosen for them to
land at. The area around the Bay of Pigs is a swampy marsh land
area which would be hard on the troops. The Cuban forces were quick
to react and Castro ordered his T-33 trainer jets, two Sea Furies,
and two B-26s into the air to stop the invading forces. Off the
coast was the command and control ship and another vessel carrying
supplies for the invading forces. The Cuban air force made quick
work of the supply ships, sinking the command vessel the Marsopa
and the supply ship the Houston, blasting them to pieces with five-
inch rockets. In the end the 5th battalion was lost, which was on
the Houston, as well as the supplies for the landing teams and
eight other smaller vessels. With some of the invading forces'
ships destroyed, and no command and ... more
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Robert E Lee Lee, Robert E. (Edward) 1807 -- 1870 General in chief of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War. Born in Virginia\'s Westmoreland County on January 19, 1807, the third son of Henry (Light Horse Harry) and Ann Hill Carter Lee. Declining fortunes forced the family\'s removal to Alexandria, where Robert distinguished himself in local schools. His father\'s death in 1811 increased responsibilities on all the sons; Robert, especially, cared for his invalid mother. Lee graduat...
E: The Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion The story of the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs is one of mismanagement, overconfidence, and lack of security. The blame for the failure of the operation falls directly in the lap of the Central Intelligence Agency and a young president and his advisors. The fall out from the invasion caused a rise in tension between the two great superpowers and ironically 34 years after the event, the person that the invasion meant to topple, Fidel Castro, is still in power...
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