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General Robert E Lee was born in the year 1807 and died in 1870. Having served as an army officer in the United States during the turbulent times of civil war, Lee was promoted to a cadet adjutant. Although he is said not to have excelled a lot in academics, Lee was able to graduate in 1829 and later joined the Corps of Engineers in the United States. For over one decade and half, Lee's work was to ensure the nation's frontier defenses remained intact. Having been given responsibilities throughout United States, he would survey the new territories acquire by America, redirect rivers and design coastal projects. In the entire army, Lee was well known for his sociable character and taking instructions seriously. Due to the nature of his work, Lee was ever absent to be with his family (Arthur & Monsell, 1986).
When the Mexican war came knocking, Lee was the man at the centre of the action. For a number of months, he designed a route for transport. This to him was a perfect way of outdoing the enemy and responding to crises in a bright manner, rather than in an emotional way. The army, and especially his work mate General Winfield Scott, relied heavily on his knowledge in engineering and planning tactics. In some of the battles, which Lee will forever be remembered for, include Vera Cruz in 1847, Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec in the same year (Page, 1999). Upon taking part in these battles, he got promotion for an outstanding performance at Cerro Gordo. Although a lot of credit goes to Lee, he never took part in organizing the troops or in designing a plan for these battles.
After the Mexican war, Lee went back to engineering projects until in 1852 when Jefferson David promoted him to become a superintendent. He was not happy about this appointment, as he wanted to spend much of his time in innovations. His well known contribution is his insistence on equestrian rule (Gillis, 2006). It was under his leadership that some of the senior cavalry soldiers were trained. Three years after, Lee was appointed as a lieutenant colonelship in a newly formed United States cavalry. Having been assigned to Texas region, he was responsible for dealing with Mexican bandits in that region.
In 1895, Lee was appointed to be the leader of a marine force in order to assist in putting to an end John Brown's dynasty. While serving in the south, his responsibilities involved: major general in the land of Virginia, a commander of Virginia forces, brigadier general, he later became a commanding army in the northern side of Virginia. Being in charge of the Virginia's military, he mostly involved himself with organizing the soldiers. In the capacity of deputy brigadier general, and later the head general, he would supervise all forces in the southern part of Virginia (Schlesinger & Grabowski, 2000). When he attended battle for the first time in Virginia, he received his first field in command in one side of Virginia. This would later see him being taken to the coastal side of Virginia.
In 1862, Lee received an invitation to the president's office where he acted as an advisor. From then on, he became very popular in the military operations especially in part of Shenandoah Valley. When the commander Joseph E. Johnston who led the seven pines attacks was badly injured, Davis requested Lee take command. He took over to fight on the second day but all had been lost. He later made a brave move in the following month when he moved across Chickahominy to attack Union corps northern side of the river. He led the soldiers to war for a period of seven days and he achieved the set goal of removing McClellan's soldiers from the entrance of Richmond.
Upon the removal of McClellan, Lee became very popular in the south. However, a new threat came knocking almost immediately. Pope John in the northern part of Virginia was a man under siege. McClellan moved very first to attack the Pope, but Lee came to his defense. He managed to bring McClellan down two days later. When the year was almost coming to an end, he easily won the battle over Burnside and he managed to bring down Hooker. However, in his attempt to launch another attack at Gettysburg, he lost. He would later make another terrible mistake of leaving the responsibility of issuing orders to his subordinate.
Upon return in Virginia, he took over Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns. In Petersburg, he took part in a battle against Grant where he made use of all retrenchments which made him very popular (Field, 2010). Unfortunately, he found himself under siege although he held onto Richmond and Petersburg for almost one year before commencing his retreat to Appomattox where he was left with no choice but to give in to the demands of enemies.
While in Richmond, he was under pressure and submitted with a lot of humility a changed destiny. He began to devote his life to being a role model to the thousands of ex-confederate. He turned down a number of offers which would have given his family a fortune. Having served in the army for all those years, he decided to commit his life as a president of a college in Washington and this rekindled his reputation.