Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was born on January 19, 1807. He was the son of a career officer named Henry lee the 3rd. . He then In 1831 he married Mary, daughter of G.W.P. Custis, the adopted son of Washington and the grandson of Mrs. Washington. became an American military officer who was best known for having commanded the Confederate army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil war.
Robert E. Lee went to the prestigious West point military academy in 1825. Graduating four years later second in his class, he was given a commission in the U.S. Engineer Corps. In 1836 he became first lieutenant, and in 1838 captain. In this rank he took part in the Mexican War, repeatedly winning distinction for conduct and bravery. He received the brevets of major for Cerro Gordo, lieutenant-colonel for Contreras-Churubusco and colonel for Chapultepec.
After the Mexican-American war
After the war he was employed in engineer work at Washington and Baltimore, during which time, as before the war, he resided on the great Arlington estate, near Washington, which had come to him through his wife. In 1852 he was appointed superintendent of West Point, and during his three years here he carried out many important changes in the academy.
After the civil war
In August 1865 he was offered, and accepted, the presidency of Washington College, Lexington (now Washington and Lee University), a post which he occupied until his death on the 12th of October 1870 He was buried in the college grounds.
Lee was strongly averse to secession, but felt obliged to conform to the action of his own state. The Union offered Lee the command of the field army about to invade the South, which he refused. Resigning his commission, he made his way to Richmond and was at once made a major-general in the Virginian forces. A few weeks later he became a brigadier-general (then the highest rank) in the confederate service.