1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lee, Stephen Dill

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LEE, STEPHEN DILL (1833–1908), Confederate general in the American Civil War, came of a family distinguished in the history of South Carolina, and was born at Charleston, S.C., on the 22nd of September 1833. Graduating from West Point in 1854, he served for seven years in the United States army and resigned in 1861 on the secession of South Carolina. He was aide de camp to General Beauregard in the attack on Fort Sumter, and captain commanding a light battery in General Johnston’s army later in the year 1861. Thereafter, by successive steps, each gained by distinguished conduct on the field of battle, he rose to the rank of brigadier-general in November 1862, being ordered to take command of defences at Vicksburg. He served at this place with great credit until its surrender to General Grant in July 1863, and on becoming a prisoner of war, he was immediately exchanged and promoted major-general. His regimental service had been chiefly with artillery, but he had generally worked with and at times commanded cavalry, and he was now assigned to command the troops of that arm in the south-western theatre of war. After harassing, as far as his limited numbers permitted, the advance of Sherman’s column on Meridian, he took General Polk’s place as commander of the department of Mississippi. In June 1864, on Hood’s promotion to command the Army of Tennessee, S. D. Lee was made a lieutenant-general and assigned to command Hood’s old corps in that army. He fought at Atlanta and Jonesboro and in the skirmishing and manœuvring along middle Tennessee which ended in the great crisis of Nashville and the “March to the Sea.” Lee’s corps accompanied Hood in the bold advance to Nashville, and fought in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, after which, in the rout of the Confederate army Lee kept his troops closed up and well in hand, and for three consecutive days formed the fighting rearguard of the otherwise disintegrated army. Lee was himself wounded, but did not give up the command until an organized rearguard took over the post of danger. On recovery he joined General J. E. Johnston in North Carolina, and he surrendered with Johnston in April 1865. After the war he settled in Mississippi, which was his wife’s state and during the greater part of the war his own territorial command, and devoted himself to planting. He was president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Mississippi from 1880 to 1899, took some part in state politics and was an active member—at the time of his death commander-in-chief—of the “United Confederate Veterans” society. He died at Vicksburg on the 28th of May 1908.