Lee accomplished many things in his life since his birth in 1807. Many of these accomplishments have had an impact on the world today. Lee was a respected man, even during the Civil war the president and the opposing side (Union) admired him. General Robert E. Lee was the greatest war general in the history of the United States. When Robert was young, he was very close to his father. Harry Lee had taught his son, Robert, how to shoot a rifle. He would often tell his son about the exciting events that happened when he was fighting side by side with George Washington. Although they had fun these times, his father took a turn for the worst. In 1818, young Lee's father died of old war injuries. He was left with his mother and four other brothers and sisters to take care of. As he grew older, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father. With help from some of his relatives in the government, he got into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The school was hard. A lot of studying, bad food and hard bed could really mess up a person's concentration, but at eighteen, his dreams of becoming an army engineer kept him going. Lee always strived to be the top student in his class, but never made it. At his senior year he was second best. He couldn't wait to graduate. When the day finally came, in 1829 he was one of the best in the class to graduate they dubbed him Second Lieutenantant the Corps of Engineers. His first assignment was to assist in the design and construction of a U.S. army fort in Georgia. After his mission in Georgia, he went back to his home state, Virginia. There he met a woman by the name of Mary Anne Custis. Eventually, after courting, they fell in love and got married. With training at West Point, he was able to build many things for his country. Dikes, bridges and roads were some of the many things he made. An excellent engineer, Robert E. Lee was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1836 then Captain in 1838.