Robert Edward Lee

Essay by Ross McClureHigh School, 10th gradeF, February 1997

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Robert Edward Lee

Robert Edward Lee was born of two distinguished Virginia families. He was a devoted son, an outstanding Westpoint cadet, and an United States army officer for thirty two years. He graduated second in his class.

Lee started his impressive Military career as a Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. His first assignment was to work on the construction of Fort Pulaski in 1830 near Savannah, Georgia. Then in 1831 he was transferred to Fort Monroe, Virginia where he worked on harbor defenses.

In 1834 he moved to Washington, D.C. as an assistant to the chief of engineers. In 1835 he was assigned to resolve the Ohio-Michigan boarder conflict.

In 1837 he went to Saint Louis to work on stabalizing the Mississippi river channel. He was promoted to captain in 1838. Being sucessful in Saint Louis he was assigned to Fort Hamilton in 1841 to work on the New York Harbor fortifications.

When war broke out with Mexico in 1840 Lee was sent to Mexico for two years as an engieneering officer. There he was praised for his galantry and good conduct. In the war with Mexico he was wounded in the Storming of Chapultepec in 1847. The Mexican war was suposed to be the help that Lee needed in the experance of commanding troops.

After the Mexican war Lee was assigned to Baltimore in 1848, he was to supervise the construction of Fort Carrol for nearly four years.

In 1852 the United States military academy at West Point became Lees home when he was appointed superintendent. During his three year stint he raised acidemic standards, lengthened the program from four to five years, and improved facilities.

In 1859 in Arlington, Texas Lee was given command of Federal forces which were there to make sure Mexicans did not...