Why Was Robert E. Lee’s Mother Buried Alive In Virginia?

Anne Carter Lee, the Southern general’s mother, suffered from cataleptic spells that caused her to fall unconscious and grow rigid with tremors.

As the story goes, she was mistaken for dead during one of these spells and buried in the family plot in Virginia.

Hearing a noise a while later, one of the servants called attention to it, and she was dug up, alive but traumatized. This supposedly happened in 1806, a year before Robert E. Lee was born.

This is a wonderfully gruesome and touching tale, but it’s probably erroneous.

There is no official record of it, nor is it alluded to in Robert E. Lee’s biographies or those of his father, Henry, who was prominent in his own right.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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