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Robert E. Lee

Military Leader / Civil War Figure

Born: 19 January 1807
Died: 12 October 1870 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Stratford, Virginia
Best known as:

Leader of Confederate armies in the Civil War

Name at birth: Robert Edward Lee

 

Robert E. Lee was the Confederacy's most famous general in the American Civil War. Robert E. Lee was first a soldier in the U.S. Army: He attended West Point (graduating second in his class) and became an engineer in the United States Army, serving with success in the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. As the Civil War broke out in 1861, Lee resigned his commission and joined the forces of the South. In 1862 he was made commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, and over the next three years became famous as he led the army to a series of victories over the larger and better-equipped Union forces. He was defeated at the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and finally surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on 9 April 1865, effectively ending the war.

Extra credit:

Robert E. Lee was the son of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, a cavalry commander during the Revolutionary War and a onetime governor of Virginia... After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee became president of Washington College in Virginia, a post which he held until his death. After his death the school was renamed as Washington and Lee... Lee's horse Traveller served him throughout the Civil War and is now regarded as one of history's famous steeds.

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