With all the unwelcome attention Fort Lee, N.J., has received lately, people might wonder why a Northern town carries the Southern-sounding name Lee. It is indeed named for a high-ranking general from Virginia — but not the obvious one. This one is buried right here in Philadelphia.
Charles Lee was a frustrated British army officer who came to America in 1773 after being repeatedly passed over for promotions in London. After buying a home in Berkeley County, Va. (now in West Virginia), he schmoozed his way into a major general’s commission from the Continental Congress. Like that of an out-of-control rock star, his career soared to stratospheric heights and then plummeted to the lowest of depths in just a few years.
Though he could be charming, Lee was not a good man. His approach to military discipline was to “flog them in scores.” Though he hated King George III, a relative of Lee’s wrote, “I think His Majesty and poor Mr. Lee are much upon a par; they are both vain and obstinate.”
...continue to The Philadelphia Inquirer
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is researching the history of the Revolutionary War's 8th Virginia Regiment. Its ten companies formed on the frontier, from the Cumberland Gap to Pittsburgh.
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