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Lee, Charles

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Definition: Lee, Charles from

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

, Charles 1731–1782.


British-born American Revolutionary general whose performance at the Battle of Monmouth (1778), when he ordered a retreat instead of attacking, brought about his court-martial and dismissal.

Summary Article: Lee, Charles from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Lee, Charles, 1731-82, American Revolutionary army officer, b. Cheshire, England. He first came to America to serve in the French and Indian War and took part in General Braddock's disastrous campaign (1755), in the unsuccessful campaign against Ticonderoga (1758), and in the capture of Montreal (1760). His duties as a British officer later took him to Portugal under Gen. John Burgoyne (1762) and to Poland. In 1773 he went to Virginia to live and became a supporter of colonial independence. At the start of the American Revolution his military experience won him a commission as major general in the Continental army. After directing the fortification of New York City early in 1776, he went to Charleston, S.C., and received credit for the successful defense of that city, despite his having advised William Moultrie to abandon the fort that saved the city. Returning to New York, he repeatedly disregarded General Washington's command to cross the Hudson River in t...    Continue Reading
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