Dwight Eisenhower on Lee and Secession

Nathanb1

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#61
Ok, the wording might have been bad, but if his genius hadn't let the ANV survive longer then it should have how many lives did that cost, or just think if he had accepted the position that Scott offered and defeated the Confederacy within the first year,(hypothetically thinking) how many lives on both sides would have been saved.. But he went where he thought his honor and duty belonged and thats all a man can really do in such a situation..

I can live with that, Wilber!
 

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#65
Can I join you two in imagining bunnies or do I have to post something serious?

To hedge my bets, I do think Eisenhower is mostly correct about Lee being an honorable man.

Ignoring the issue of his decision to fight against his country, Lee acted as someone scrupulously concerned about such things. And he tried to do his best at what he did - while Eisenhower doesn't say that's one of the awesome things about him (unless my mind is blanking on it), I'm pretty sure he thought it was (I don't know anyone who has any shred of respect for Lee who doesn't).
 

Nathanb1

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#66
Eisenhower was a big guy for conscience and duty.....some of the things I try to remind myself daily, and the ways I cope with adversity, I learned about while reading his biography when young. Therefore, I take his recommendations very seriously.
 

larry_cockerham

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#68
Hmmm I might agree with you if he hadn't planned and led offensives out of Virginia into other states.. Thats more then just trying to defend his native state, its trying to defeat the Union.
He was just swinging a bit wide to the left on the way to Washington picking up a little lunch for the horses.
 

OpnCoronet

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#72
George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Masdison, 'Light Horse' Harry Lee etc., were men of honor and had many estimatable qualities of character, but, they were traitors and if Great Britain had won, they would, in all probability, have been executed for their acts.
Does any West Pointer ever, really, find real fault with a fellow 'Brother of the Ring;?
Was the oath taken by Lee and his fellow officers, meant for the 'good times' or was it meant for the times of trial for the gov't and country, they swore their allegiance? The gov't that educated him, fed him, paid him, employed him, suddenly, was not worthy of his sword, when the going got tough.
 
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#73
George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Masdison, 'Light Horse' Harry Lee etc., were men of honor and had many estimatable qualities of character, but, they were traitors and if Great Britain had won, they would, in all probability, have been executed for their acts.
Does any West Pointer ever, really, find real fault with a fellow 'Brother of the Ring;?
Was the oath taken by Lee and his fellow officers, meant for the 'good times' or was it meant for the times of trial for the gov't and country, they swore their allegiance? The gov't that educated him, fed him, paid him, employed him, suddenly, was not worthy of his sword, when the going got tough.
That is the thing (bolded for emphasis by me). I don't know if the oath specifically stated "all enemies foreign and domestic" in Lee's time, but surely he had to know that it obligated him to serve against such. And resigning his commission to take up arms with those enemies...well, its questionable at best.

Speaking for myself, I would be more comfortable with the idea that it was a hard choice if he was anything other than someone bound to fight the enemies of his country by being an officer of the US Army. I don't want to say it wasn't, but when the likes of John Gibbon (raised in North Carolina) and George Thomas (a fellow Virginian) act for their country, despite any and all ties back in their home states - and they did have such - its harder to accept.

Lee speaking prior to making the decision that secession was a bad thing doesn't help either. What is going on? I don't know.
 

K Hale

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#74
It seems obvious to me, but we've already been down that road on this subject. For the record, I don't see any problem with what Lee did, or with what Gibbon and Thomas did either. Either everybody's a traitor or nobody is. I vote for the latter.
 

OpnCoronet

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#76
Just saying, that because a person follows conscience over duty, does not keep them from being a traitor and worthy of execution. It is not a question of sentimentr, but of Law.
 

K Hale

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#77
Just saying, that because a person follows conscience over duty, does not keep them from being a traitor and worthy of execution. It is not a question of sentimentr, but of Law.
You think Thomas and Gibbon ought to have been executed? Dude, that's way harsh.
 

K Hale

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#79
As I said, either everyone's a traitor or no one is. What's good for the goose is a long drop and a quick stop for the gander.
 



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