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Who was Robert E. Lee?

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Quick Answer

Robert E. Lee was the supreme commander of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. While he personally preferred for the country to remain unified, he chose to follow the side of his home state of Virginia into the Civil War.

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Full Answer

Lee became the leader of Northern Virginian forces in 1862, but surrendered in 1865 after a series of battles known as the Appomattox Campaign. Lee, born in 1807, had a longstanding military career, joining West Point in 1825 at the age of 18. While he started out as an engineer, he later made a name for himself during the Mexican-American war as an aide for Major General Winfield Scott.

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