ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Gen. Stephen D. Lee Home, MS
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Gen. Stephen D. Lee Home, MS
|Home of Gen. Stephen D. Lee
This beautiful antebellum home was built in 1847
and after the War Between the States became the
home of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee, CSA.
Gen. Stephen D. Lee Home
The brick residence is now
preserved as a museum. It is
at 316 Seventh Street North in
Home of Gen. Stephen D. Lee - Columbus, Mississippi
Heroic Confederate Commander
|Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Update: July 15, 2012
Confederate Leaders & Generals
Gen. Stephen D. Lee
The Confederacy's youngest
lieutenant general, Stephen
Dill Lee fought on fields from
Virginia to Vicksburg. He was
heroic under fire.
Door of a Visionary
Lee was a visionary who went
on to help found Mississippi
State University. He was its
Marker at the Lee Home
home was built in 1847. It
was added to the National
Register of Historic Places in
General Stephen Dill Lee was a heroic
soldier, educator, writer and political leader.
His home is now a museum in Columbus,
General Lee's vision continues to be seen in
Mississippi, particularly at Mississippi State
University and Vicksburg National Military
Park. He played critical roles in the founding
of both. He came to live in Columbus after he
married the daughter of a local family.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, on
September 22, 1833, Stephen Dill Lee was a
distant relative of both "Light Horse Harry"
and Robert E. Lee. He entered the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point at the age of
17 and graduated in the Class of 1854 along
with JEB Stuart.
Commissioned into the U.S. Army as a 2nd
lieutenant, Lee served in Florida, Kansas,
Texas and the Dakotas during the years that
followed. When his native South Carolina left
the Union in December 1860, however, he
resigned his commission and returned
Stephen D. Lee's first assignment as a
Confederate officer was as an aide-de-camp
to General P.G.T. Beauregard at Charleston
Harbor. He joined Colonel James Chestnut
in delivering the demand for the surrender of
Fort Sumter on April 11, 1861. The refusal of
Major Robert Anderson to surrender that fort
led to the opening battle of the War Between
the States (or Civil War).
For most of the early years of the war, Lee
served as an officer in the artillery of the Army
of Northern Virginia. He was praised for
gallantry at Second Manassas by President
Jefferson Davis, who credited him with
turning the tide of that battle and assuring
Promoted to Colonel, Lee fought at the Battle
of Sharpsburg (Antietam) in the furious action
around the Cornfield and West Woods. He
then moved his guns into a new position and
helped turn back Burnside's attack across
the infamous Stone Bridge over Antietam
Regarded as a brave and highly efficient
officer, Lee was ordered to Mississippi to
assist in the defense of the vital Mississippi
River bastion of Vicksburg. Now promoted to
the rank of brigadier general, he suffered a
shoulder wound in the preliminary fighting at
Champion's Hill and was taken prisoner
when Vicksburg fell in July 1863.
Exchanged from imprisonment on October 3,
1863, Lee was promoted to major general
and given command of cavalry in Alabama,
Mississippi, Western Tennessee and
Eastern Louisiana. Among his subordinate
commanders was the famed "Wizard of the
Saddle," General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Lee and Forrest together halted a major
Union raid into Mississippi at the Battle of
Tupelo on July 14-15, 1864. Less than one
month earlier he had been promoted to the
rank of lieutenant general. Thirty years old at
the time, he was the youngest officer in the
service of the Confederacy to attain such rank.
During Hood's Tennessee Campaign, Lee
performed critical service during the Battles
of Franklin and Nashville. He was wounded
again during Hood's retreat while leading a
rear guard action that saved the shattered
remnants of the Army of Tennessee.
After recovering from this second wound
received in active combat, General Lee
finished out the war resisting Sherman
during the Carolinas Campaign. He was
included in General Joseph E. Johnston's
surrender at Bennett Place, North Carolina.
|Photos by Kristina Martin
|When the war came to an end, Stephen D.
Lee returned to Mississippi and soon took up
residence in Columbus at a home belonging
to his wife, the former Regina Harrison. The
historic brick residence can be seen today at
316 Seventh Street North in Columbus.
During the post-war years, General Lee
devoted himself to education, his state and
his former comrades in arms. He was the
first President of Mississippi A & M (today's
Mississippi State University), served in the
state legislature, helped spearhead the effort
that led to the creation of Vicksburg National
Military Park. Vicksburg project was one of
many efforts to preserve Southern history in
which Lee became involved. He served as
the President of the Board of Trustees of the
Mississippi Department of Archives &
History, one of the finest such agencies in
Lee was instrumental in organizing the UCV
(United Confederate Veterans) and its
successor, the SCV (Sons of Confederate
Veterans). In 1906 he delivered in a speech
what became the official Charge of the SCV:
To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we
submit the vindication of the cause for which
we fought: to your strength will be given the
defense of the Confederate soldier's good
name, the guardianship of his history, the
emulation of his virtues, and the perpetuation
of those principals he loved and which made
him glorious and which you also cherish.
Remember, it is your duty to see that the true
history of the South is presented for future
General Stephen Dill Lee died at Vicksburg
on May 29, 1908, and rests at Friendship
Cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi.
President William H. Taft visited his home for
a reception the following year.
The Stephen D. Lee Home and Museum is
open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by
appointment other days of the week. It is
located at 316 Seventh Street North in
Please click here for more information.