American career military officer who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. He surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
He attended West Point and graduated as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.
President Abraham Lincoln offered him a position in the Union Army, but he decided to follow his home state into secession despite his belief that the Union should remain intact.
He served as Jefferson Davis's senior military advisor for part of the Civil War.