Lee, Henry (1756-1818), a Revolutionary War army officer known as “Light-Horse Harry.” Lee is remembered as a brilliant cavalry commander, as the father of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, and as the man who described George Washington as being “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Lee was born in Prince William County, Virginia, a cousin of Francis Lightfoot and Richard Henry Lee. In the Revolution, he won fame by his brilliant capture of Paulus Hook, New Jersey, in 1779. The next year he joined General Nathanael Greene in fighting the British in the South, where he displayed great daring and skill.
After the war, Lee served in the Confederation Congress (1785-88), was governor of Virginia (1792-95), and satin the U.S. House of Representatives (1799-1801). He commanded the federal troops that put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania (1794). A prison term for debt, and other misfortunes shadowed his last years.