|Gen. Robert E. Lee continued|
"Standing in the Gap" after the
war in defense of his beloved
Southland by educating the next
generation of Southern leaders.
He received lucrative offers after the end of the war. In defeat, he stood taller than the vindictive, hateful, victors ever did. Once, before he accepted the college presidency, he was offered $50,000 to accept a position at a questionable company. He was told, "You have to do nothing. All we want is the use of your name."
General Lee raised himself from behind his desk and responded, "Sirs, my name is the heritage of my parents. It is all I have, and it is not for sale."
Lee lived modestly with his wife and family at Lexington, revived the college, and his main goal was to see that every student was a sincere Christian and an honorable gentleman.
He wrote to Governor John Letcher of Virginia in August 1865, saying, "We must look to the rising generation for the restoration of the country." Lee also wrote after the war, "I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest right. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and I have never seen the day when I did not pray for them."
Robert E. Lee set an example for the people of the South on how to deal with the Northern carpetbaggers and military occupiers of their land, and live with dignity during the humiliation and corruption imposed on them in those post-war years.