From the depths of German and American archives comes a story one soldier never wanted told. The first volunteer killed defending Robert E. Lee s position in battle was really a German assassin. After fleeing to the United States to escape prosecution for murder, the assassin enlisted in a German company of the Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Mexican-American War and died defending Lee s battery at the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee wrote a letter home, praising this unnamed fallen volunteer defender. Military records identify him, but none of the Americans knew about his past life of crime.