General Robert E. Lee was not only a great man, but also one of the greatest military leaders in American history. He led brother against brother, and he did it all for his home state of Virginia. Not because he agreed with all the politics of the South, but he loved where he had grown up and where his ancestors started in America.
Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia on January 19th, 1807. He was the third son of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee and Ann Hill Carter Lee. When the Lees started having financial trouble they moved to Alexandria, Virginia. There, Robert E. Lee distinguished himself in the local schools. In 1811 Henry Lee died and increasing responsibility fell on the Lee brothers. More responsibility was put on Robert because he had to care for his aging mother.
In June of 1825, Robert E. Lee arrived at West Point Military Academy and at the end of four years; he graduated second in his class.
Although Lee did not finish at the head of his class, he still holds one unshakeable record. he never receiving a demerit or a bad mark, all four years of his schooling. (http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/B/relee/relee.htm 1) After West Point he was commissioned as a brevet lieutenant of engineers. Soon he was stationed at Fort Pulaski, Georgia and Fort Monroe, Virginia to build up their defenses. At Fort Monroe, Lee met his future wife Mary Ann Randolph Custis, and they were married on June 30th, 1831. (www.biography.com 1) In November of 1834, they moved to the Arlington House where they raised their seven children. From 1834 to 1837, Lee worked in the chief engineer's office in Washington D.C. and was transferred to Fort Hamilton, New York until 1846. (Stern 54, 69)