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This Day in Georgia History

March 30, 1870

Robert E. Lee Arrived in Augusta

On his way from Virginia to Savannah, where he hoped to recover his health, a weak and ailing Robert E. Lee arrived in Augusta aboard an evening train. Staying at Augusta’s Planters Hotel for two nights, the general had hundreds of visitors call on him the next day - including several of his former generals. In the afternoon, Lee was driven through the streets to cheering crowds. The next morning, before boarding the train to continue his trip, Lee addressed a large crowd expressing his appreciation for their hospitality. Working his way through the crowd to stand close to the Confederate icon was the 13-year-old son of the minister of Augusta’s First Presbyterian Church. That boy was future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.