Light-Horse Harry Lee

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Light-Horse Harry Lee

The Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary Hero

Ryan Cole, John McLain


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He was a dashing military hero who led the fight for America’s independence. His son would later become the general who almost tore America apart.

Henry Lee III—whose nickname, “Light-Horse,” came from his legendary exploits with mounted troops and skill in the saddle—was a dashing cavalry commander and hero of America’s War for Independence. By now most Americans have forgotten about Light-Horse Harry Lee, the father of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, but this new biography reveals he may be one of the most fascinating figures in our nation’s history. A daring military commander, Lee was also an early American statesman whose passionate argument in favor of national unity helped ratify the Constitution. When President George Washington needed to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, he sent in his friend Light-Horse Harry Lee with twelve thousand militiamen. When Washington died, Lee was the man who famously eulogized our first president as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” With incredible stories about Light-Horse Harry Lee’s interactions with famous men and women—including George and Martha Washington, Nathanial Greene, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr—this book paints a rich portrait of an underappreciated American character and provides unique new insight into the upbringing and motivations of Lee’s infamous son, General Robert E. Lee.