Robert E. Lee
American Civil War
The Civil War is said to have been caused by a wide variety of conflicts, though it is most commonly said to trace its origins back to disputes over slavery, sectionalism, and states rights.
The commander of the Union armies was President Abraham Lincoln, while Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, served as the commander of the Confederate forces. Notable military leaders included: (Union) Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, William T. Sherman, (Confederacy) Robert E. Lee, and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
In April of 1865, the Confederate armies, lead by Robert E. Lee, surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, after being surrounded by the Union army, cutting off all means of retreat.
At the start of the Civil War, Lee was scouted by President Abraham Lincoln to become the general of the Union armies. However, Lee turned down the offer after his home state, Virginia, seceded from the Union. Instead, Lee became a general within the Confederate army.
Towards the end of the Civil War, Lee was finally given full command of the Southern armies. However, his promotion was too late, preventing him from making any lasting changes, and he was forced to surrender to Union general Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, less than three months after Lee was promoted.
After the War
Today, Robert E. Lee is considered by many historians to be the greatest general of the Civil War, as well as one of the greatest military leaders in world history. Quite a few also argue that the Confederacy might've won the Civil War if Lee had been given full command of the Confederate armies sooner.