The civil war had many great soldiers fighting for what they thought was right for their country. It also had some of the greatest generals the United States of America has ever seen, sadly, some of these generals were on the losing side, but this fact does not make them any less great. Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson are all evidence of greatness in a time of darkness.
Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 in Stratford, Virginia. He was the youngest boy born to Henry Lee who fought in the American Revolution. Lee graduated second in his class in the U.S Military Academy at West Point, afterward joining the Corps of Engineering as a second lieutenant, and in 1838 he became a captain.
During the Mexican- American war Lee’s joined General John E. Wool’s operation, then and in 1847 he joined General Winfield Scott. After many other battles during the Mexican- American war, in which Lee was wounded, he rose through the ranks to make a pit stop at colonel. In 1852 Lee became the superintendent of cadets at his alma mater, even though he felt ill- prepared for the job, Lee’s strict policies proved to benefit the school. After three years though, Lee left and became the lieutenant colonel of the Second U.S Calvary. In 1859 when Lee suppressed John Brown’s uprising at Harper’s Ferry without any blood shed with the help of a company of marines, Lee became colonel of the First U.S Calvary.
Lee was very loyal to his home state: “He supported neither secession not slavery, but he felt deeply obliged to support his native state of Virginia” (Robert). When Abraham Lincoln offered him command of all federal armies he declined, to become the lieutenant-general of Confederate forces. Lee did not see much battle when he was first assigned, “he spent most of his time serving as a military advisor to the Confederate president Jefferson Davis” (Hillstrom 256), but in June 1862 Lee was needed to command a wounded Joseph Johnston’s army.
When Lee finally joined the battlefield he turned the luck of the Confederates around, “Robert E. Lee was one of the most brilliant tacticians in U.S military history,” (Robert) When Lee was finally defeated he had met a kind of general who would not lose his nerve, and that general was Ulysses S. Grant. When Lee won a series of battles causing 50,000 casualties, Grant did not back down. Grant made a strategic move and forced Lee to follow him near the Confederate capital, while Union forces came at Lee from behind. For a year after Lee kept his deteriorating army afloat. In February 1865 he was named general in chief of all Confederate forces, but on April 9, 1865, Lee realized that persistence was futile and decided to surrender.
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was another great general for the Confederates. When states first began seceding Jackson hoped that his home state would not. He supported the Union, but when Virginia eventually did secede he felt his support for his state was more...