Facts and Events
Charles Lee ( – 2 October 1782) was a British soldier who served as a General of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence. Lee also served earlier in the British army during the Seven Years War. After the war he sold his commission and served for a time in the Polish army of King Stanislaus II. In 1773 Lee, who had Whig views, moved to America and bought an estate in Virginia. When the fighting broke out in the American War of Independence in 1775 he volunteered to serve with rebel forces. Lee's ambitions to become Commander in Chief of the Continental Army were thwarted by the appointment of George Washington.
During 1776, forces under his command repulsed a British attempt to capture Charleston, which boosted his standing with the army and Congress. Later that year he was captured by British cavalry under Banastre Tarleton and held as a prisoner until exchanged in 1778. During the indecisive Battle of Monmouth later that year, Lee led an assault on the British which miscarried. He was subsequently court-martialed and his military service brought to an end. He died in Philadelphia in 1782.