Henry Lee III – 'Light Horse Harry'
American Revolutionary Calvary officer
Born in Leesylvania, close to Dumfries, Virginia. Entered Princeton at the age of fourteen with his brother Charles, and his friend James Madison. Charles, who entered Princeton at twelve, eventually became attorney general of the United States.
Henry graduated at seventeen, and soon entered the war as a cavalryman. He was soon placed as the captain of the fifth group of Virginia Light Dragoons and went north to join the Continental Army. In one surprise attack, he managed to capture 400 British soldiers with the death of only one man. Because of his amazing skills on a horse, he earned his nickname, 'Light Horse Harry'. His ability soon attracted the attention of the then-General George Washington. They became friends until the death of Washington. For the funeral service, Lee wrote the famous words: 'first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.'
After the war, Lee became the elected Governor of Virginia, and later a Congressman. Also after returning home, he married his second cousin, 'divine' Matilda Lee. They were married eight years until her death, and Henry Lee was left with three children. He remarried, to Ann Hill Carter. He had two more children by her, including the soon to be famous Robert E. Lee. However, Henry Lee had an extremely hard time supporting his family. After paying for the war out of his own pocket, and speculating in a few failed businesses, he eventually went to debtor's prison, where he wrote his memoirs, 'Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States'
His last years were not good ones. After leaving prison, he was beaten by a mob while protecting a friend and the freedom of the press in Baltimore. The attack left him with significant internal injuries. He tried moving to the West Indies, hoping to find relief, but his health kept on getting worse. Knowing the end was near, he tried to return to his home, but died on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Eight years after his death, Lee County, GA was named after him, and after the Civil War, his son Robert E. Lee brought out a new edition of his memoirs.