Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807. He was the son of Revolutionary War hero "Light Horse Harry" Lee. He attended the U.S. Military Academy and then proved himself in the Mexican-American War. Robert E. Lee actually opposed the U.S. Civil War until Virginia decided to secede from the Union. He then chose to fight for his home state and was appointed to be a General in the Confederate Army by President Jefferson Davis. Lee was put in charge of the Army of Northern Virginia. Even though he was on the losing side of the war, he was seen as a southern hero and eventually lauded in the north for his valor and military tactics.