Robert E. LEE

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Robert Edward Lee was a great leader for many reasons. Everywhere he went he gained the respect of his peers and even his enemies. This was due to all of his accomplishments in his early career at West Point, and through his service in both the Mexican American War and the Civil War. Lee’s tactics are revered by many and still analyzed today. The traits and principles he carried with him during his career allowed him to succeed, and rise above his peers. Robert E. Lee was bound for military greatness from his birth on January 19, 1807, in Stratford Hall, Virginia. Robert E. Lee was the fourth child born to Colonel Henry and Ann Lee. His family came from Virginia aristocracy. Robert’s mother, Ann Hill Carter, came from one of the wealthiest families in Virginia, and his father, Henry “Light-horse Harry” Lee, served as a governor of Virginia and had earned respect and friendship from George Washington, as a commander during the American Revolutionary War. Henry Lee made a series of bad financial investments which led him in debtors prison. This caused his wife to move to a house in Alexandria because he could no longer provide for them. His extended family members included a president, a chief justice of the United States, and signers of the Declaration of Independence. His family's history made him want to do some admirable with his life. His acceptance into West Point Military Academy gave him that opportunity. Lee enrolled at West Point Military Academy in the summer of 1825. Thats where he put in serious work, and started a good reputation for himself. Life as a cadet was not easy by any means. West Point helped him develop a strong work ethic and made him realize that success is not always dependent on perfection, but instead... ... middle of paper ... ...Once the war ended Lee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Later, in 1852, Lee became the superintendent at West Point. This opportunity honed his leadership skills, not only in the military world but also in academics. Many of his students at West Point went on to later fight against Lee in the Civil War. This is where J.E.B. Stuart and John Bell Hood became an important part of his life. Lee also showed great instincts both as a commander and as a father figure for many of the students. He would hold meetings every Saturday with young cadets at his home. His wife and daughters would entertain the guests as Lee would try to instill the importance of the education that these young men were receiving. He made a point of knowing each cadet by name and being aware of their progress or lack of. This experience really prepared him for leading the South in the Civil War.

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