Robert E. Lee served in the Mexican War, was superintendent of West Point, and commanded the U.S. forces that captured John Brown’s body of men at Harper’s Ferry. He refused the offer of command of U.S. forces at the outbreak of the Civil War. He resigned from the U.S. Army on April 20, 1861, as he could not fight against his beloved Virginia. He was commissioned in the Confederate Army April 23. For a year he served as military advisor to President Jefferson Davis.