A military general of the Southern Confederate states, viewed by many as a highly knowledgable and intellectual officer. Robert was actually born a Virginia man and because of this fact, he was kept from serving as a general under the Union. For he was such a recognized man, that Abraham Lincoln himself offered him control of the Union army due to his vital military experience from the Mexican-American War and Lee actually believed quite deeply in preserving the Union. However, when Virginia seceded from the Union, he reluctantly followed behind. When he was then offered command of the Confederate Army, he accepted the request, this time, and led the Confederacy to major victories against the Union. Commonly, Lee was up against much bigger Union armies but would miraculously pull off a win each time. He was only matched by the new Union general Ulysses S. Grant, who would later be the 18th president of the United States. Grant stopped Lee from invading the Union at the Battle of Gettysburg and from then on, he would only experience defeats during the war. Eventually, Robert E. Lee was forced to surrender to Grant on April 9th, 1865. After the war, Lee settled down but still took part on national issues. He highly supported the Reconstruction that Andrew Johnson had started but greatly opposed the law that kept former Confederates from voting or taking roles in the government. He tried his best making his opinions be heard about the positions of the North and South until he died on October 11th, 1870.