Death of Robert E. Lee

On September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke that left him without the ability to speak.

Lee died from the effects of pneumonia shortly after 9 a.m. on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia. He was buried underneath Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University, where his body remains today. According to J. William Jones' Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes, and Letters of Gen. Robert E. Lee, his last words, on the day of his death, were "Tell Hill he must come up. Strike the tent," but this is debatable because of conflicting accounts. Since Lee's stroke resulted in aphasia, last words may have been impossible. Lee was treated homeopathically for this illness.

The aged Lee never discussed the war nor wrote about his war-time experiences. He was given many offers of money for his memoirs, which an adoring public wished to read, but turned everyone down. Lee was sincere in his feelings in not discussing the war or the results of it, letting the record of his army speak for itself. On October 12, 1870, General Lee died after a short illness and is buried in the chapel of the university that bears his name.