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Robert E Lee has always been thought by many as a god-like figure To others he was a contradiction Born on January 19 1807 at Stratford Virginia Robert E Lee was the fourth child of Revolutionary War hero Henry Light Horse Harry Lee and Ann Hill Carter Lee Raised mostly by his mother Robert learned patience control and discipline from her As a young man he was exposed to Christianity and accepted its faith In contrast to the strong example of his mother and the church Robert saw his father go from failed enterprise to failed enterprise As a result young Robert tried harder to succeed Robert was accepted to the United States Military Academy and graduated 2nd in his class But perhaps greater than his academic success was his record of no demerits while being a cadet which today has still not been equaled Following his graduation Lee like most top classmen was given a commission as an engineer As Lt Lee helped build the St Louis waterfront and worked on coastal forts in Brunswick and Savannah It was during this time he married Mary Custis the granddaughter of George Washington and Martha Custis Washington In 1845 the war between the United States and Mexico broke out Lee was given the important duties of mapping out the terrain ahead dividing the line of advance for the US troops and in one case leading troops into battle Following the Mexican War Lee returned to the service as an engineer Now a Colonel Lee was sent to put down a believed rebellion at Harpers Ferry Virginia the site of a United States arsenal A train rushed Colonel Lee and a young aide Lt Jeb Stuart with a detachment of US marines to Harpers Ferry where they were able to capture radical abolitionist John Brown and his followers Lee next offered his services to the newly elected President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis When
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