On the Greene County Daily World Blog today I was reminded again of the connection between George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Here is how it goes in a nutshell. First of all, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow, after her husband, Daniel Custis died.
George and Martha raised her two surviving children, John “Jacky” Parke Custis and Martha “Patsy” Parke Custis. she was a beautiful girl, adored by her stepfather. Sadly, Patsy died, unmarried, at age 17.
Jacky, Martha’s son became a wealthy man at an early age, thanks to a large inheritance from his biological father. Jacky married, and he and his wife had four children.
According to the blog, even though Jacky was rather a scoundrel, Washington took him on as his aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War. Jacky died of dysentery at Yorktown. After he died his widow remarried and took her two oldest children with her.She left the youngest two at Mount Vernon with Martha and George.
They were Eleanor “Nelly” Custis and her brother George “Wash” Washington Parke Custis. Nelly lived to be 73 and had seven children, only 3 of whom lived past the age of two.
Wash graduated from Princeton and became a very successful businessman. He built a beautiful home on Arlington Heights and had four children, Mary Anne Randolph Custis, his only child to survive infancy married Robert E. Lee. The Lee’s former home, Arlington House, which he lost to the Union when he decided to fight for the Confederacy, sits upon a hill overlooking Arlington national Cemetery. I visited it once upon a time back when I was a child.