Robert E. Lee (1807-70) served as a military officer in the U.S. Army, a West Point commandant and the legendary general of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-65). In June 1861, Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia, which he would lead for the rest of the war. Lee and his army achieved great success during the Peninsula Campaign and at Second Bull Run (Mansassas) and Fredericksburg, with his greatest victory coming in the bloody Battle of Chancellorsville. In the spring of 1863, Lee invaded the North, only to be defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg. With Confederate defeat a near certainty, Lee continued on, battling Union General Ulysses S. Grant in a series of clashes in Virginia in 1864-65 before finally surrendering what was left of his army in April 1865. Lee has been praised by many for his tactical brilliance, and remains a revered figure in the American South.