College president and legend

After the war, Lee became president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Vir-

The Appomattox County home of Wilmer McLean, site of Robert E. Lee's Confederate surrender to Union general Ulysses S. Grant. (Photography by Timothy O'Sullivan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

ginia. He spent five years at the school, where he helped introduce the country's first educational departments of journalism and commerce. He also reshaped the school's curriculum to provide more training in subjects like science and engineering.

Lee also emerged as the war's most beloved and respected figure in the South. His fabulous military record and his lifelong emphasis on personal honor and dignity made

The Appomattox County home of Wilmer McLean, site of Robert E. Lee's Confederate surrender to Union general Ulysses S. Grant. (Photography by Timothy O'Sullivan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

him very attractive to Southerners, who remained angry and upset over their defeat. "Southerners needed Lee to prove that good people can and do lose and to demonstrate that success in battle or elsewhere does not necessarily denote superiority," wrote historian Emory M. Thomas.

Lee died in October 1870, after suffering a stroke. News of Lee's death triggered a tremendous outpouring of grief all across the South. Ordinary citizens and thousands of devoted soldiers who had served under him offered testimonials (public statements declaring a person's merit) about his leadership and courage. Lee's funeral service in Lexington was attended by thousands of mourners, many of whom traveled for hundreds of miles to pay their respects. Today, more than a century after his death, Lee's status as a legend of the American South remains unchanged.

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