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Robert E Lee who was considered to be the greatest soldier fighting for the Confederate States of America descended from a long line of famous heroes Many of Lees ancestors played important roles in Americas history His father was a Revolutionary War hero and a friend of George Washington He was often referred to as Light Horse Harry Lee Lee was born on January 19 1807 in Stratford Virginia Lee always admired Washington and was his hero as a youngster Young Lee decided to become a soldier partly because of the military tradition of his family Lee enrolled in West Point Military Academy and graduated 2nd in his class in 1829 Lee majored in military engineering and supervised several army projects he was named Second Lieutenant in the Corp engineers His devotion and hard work in supervising harbor improvements in Saint Louis got him promoted to Captain in 1838 As a captain his first experience in actual battle was in the Mexican War He served under General Winfield Scott and was the best engineer in General Scotts campaign Lees actions at the battles of Cerro Gordo Churubusco and Chapultepec received many high praises and earned him a reputation General Scott claimed that the success of the war was due to Lees bravery and skills Lee was appointed the rank of Colonel In 1582 he was appointed superintendent of West Point Military Academy Under his service James B McPherson Phillip Sheridan and John Bell Hood would graduate from the academy soon to be famous Lee finished his duty as the superintendent in 1855 and served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Second Cavalry stationed in Texas In 1859 while serving in Texas Lee was sent to command a group of Marines to suppress John Browns uprising John Brown was a northern abolitionist would believed a rebellion in the south would
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