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Robert E Lee was born in Stratford Hall near Montross Virginia on January 19 1807 He grew up with a great love of all country life and his state This stayed with him for the rest of his life He was a very serious boy and spent many hours in his fathers library He loved to play with some his friends swim and he loved to hunt Lee looked up to his father and always wanted to know what he was doing George Washington and his father Light-Horse Harry Lee were his heroes He wanted to be just like his father when he In the 1820s the entrance requirements for West Point were not close to as strict as they are now It still was not that easy to become a cadet Robert Lee entered the United States Military Academy at West Point where his classmates admired him for his brilliance leadership and his love for his work He graduated from the academy with high honors in 1829 and he was ranked as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers at the age of 21 Lee served for seventeen months at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island Georgia In 1831 the army transferred him to Fort Monroe Virginia as assistant engineer While he was stationed there he married Mary Anna Randolph Custis who was Martha Washingtons great-granddaughter They lived in her family home in Arlington on a hill overlooking Washington DC They had seven children which were three sons and four daughters Lee served as an assistant in the chief engineers office in Washington from 1834 to 1837 but then he spent the summer of 1835 helping to lay out the boundary line between Ohio and Michigan In 1837 he got his first independent important job As a first lieutenant of engineers he supervised the engineering work for St Louis harbor and for the upper Mississippi and Missouri
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