Favorite Robert E. Lee Quotes

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#21
Not from R.E. Lee but about him. William Mack Lee, Gen'l Lee's body servant and cook throughout the war and until his death in 1870:

"I was raised by one of the greatest men in the world. There was never one born of a woman greater than Gen. Robert E. Lee, according to my judgment. All of his servants were set free ten years before the war, but all remained on the plantation until after the surrender."

wm. mack lee.jpg
 

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ErnieMac

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#22
"We made a great mistake, Mr. Hill, in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. ...in the beginning we appointed all our worst generals to command the armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers."
 

matthew mckeon

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#23
"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."

"We have fought this fight as long, and as well as we know how. We have been defeated. For us as a Christian people, there is now but one course to pursue. We must accept the situation."

That's kind of a key to his character. Deportment was a moral value for him.
 

matthew mckeon

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#24
I don't quite recall it, but he said something very sarcastic about the Confederate Congress eating peanuts while his men starved.
 

AUG

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#25

cash

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#31
Not from R.E. Lee but about him. William Mack Lee, Gen'l Lee's body servant and cook throughout the war and until his death in 1870:

"I was raised by one of the greatest men in the world. There was never one born of a woman greater than Gen. Robert E. Lee, according to my judgment. All of his servants were set free ten years before the war, but all remained on the plantation until after the surrender."

View attachment 20290
That's a memoir that's filled with inaccuracies, so I wouldn't trust a word in it.
 
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#32
Actually, that's not a genuine Lee quote. He apparently never said it.

http://leearchive.wlu.edu/reference/addresses/graves/01_index.html
http://www.hcsedu.com/ARTICLES/Duty_&_Robert_E._Lee/

The 19th of January is the birthday of Robert E. Lee. The following is taken directly from Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee by J. Steven Wilkins.

Do your duty in all things…You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less.

It is likely not true that Lee made the statement so often attributed to him, that “Duty is the sublimest word in the English language.” But there is no question that his view of duty was equal to this sentiment. Faithfulness to duty dominates his life wherever you look: at home as a child caring for his mother; at West Point, incurring not a single demerit; in the army of he United States, serving with nobility and grace; at the head of the Southern forces, leading with boldness and fortitude; as president of Washington College, quietly molding the lives of young men. “Duty” echoes throughout Lee’s life.

After the fall of Mexico City, when the army was celebrating the victory—with great joy and relief—in the emperor’s palace, someone arose to propose a toast to the captain of the Engineers, who had been the one to find a way for the army to take the city. It was only then that the men noticed that Robert E. Lee, the captain of the Engineers, was not present. Major John Magruder was immediately dispatched to find him and bring him to the hall to receive his honors.

After an extended search, Magruder finally found Captain Lee in a remote, quiet room in the palace, busily working on a map! It was his responsibility to make maps of the area and he had not yet finished this task. Magruder reproached Lee for ignoring the festivities. Lee calmly responded by pointing to his instruments. Magruder was incredulous.

But this is mere drudgery! Make somebody else do it and come with me.
No,” replied Lee, “no, I am but doing my duty.
 
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#33
That's a memoir that's filled with inaccuracies, so I wouldn't trust a word in it.
http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/leewilliam/lee.html

History of the Life of Rev. Wm. Mack Lee
Body Servant of General Robert E. Lee Through the Civil War:
Cook from 1861 to 1865:
Electronic Edition.

Lee, William Mack, b. 1835

Copyrigthed year 1918, by Rev. Wm. Mack Lee
STILL LIVING UNDER THE PROTECTION
OF THE SOUTHERN STATES

 
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#35
"We must destroy this Army of Grant's before he gets to the James River. If he gets there it will become a siege and then it will be a mere question of time."
 

cash

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#36
Pretty harsh, Cash. The Reverend not black enough for you?
His account doesn't hold water. This group has discussed this phony account before.

Combining my comments with observations by "Horace Porter:"

"I was cook for Marse Robert, as I called him, during the civil war and his body servant. I was with him at the first battle of Bull Run, second battle of Bull Run, first battle of Manassas, second battle of Manassas and was there at the fire of the last gun for the salute of the surrender on Sunday, April 9, 9 o'clock, A. M., at Appomatox, 1865."

R. E. Lee wasn't at First Bull Run/First Manassas, and they are the same battle, as are 2nd Bull Run/2nd Manassas. This account makes it seem as those are all four separate battles. And how many confederate guns saluted Lee's surrender?

"The onliest time that Marse Robert ever scolded me," said William Mack Lee, "in de whole fo' years dat I followed him through the wah, was, down in de Wilderness--Seven Pines-- near Richmond. I remembah dat day jes lak it was yestiday. Hit was July the third, 1863."

R. E. Lee was otherwise occupied in Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863 and wasn't anywhere near the Wilderness or Seven Pines.

"On dat day--July the third--we was all so hongry and I didn't have nuffin in ter cook, dat I was jes' plumb bumfuzzled. I didn't know what to do. Marse Robert, he had gone and invited a crowd of ginerals to eat wid him, an' I had ter git de vittles. Dar was Marse Stonewall Jackson, and Marse A. P. Hill, and Marse D. H. Hill, and Marse Wade Hampton, Gineral Longstreet, and Gineral Pickett and sum others."

It must have been a very smelly meal if they brought Stonewall Jackson's body with them to eat a meal with it while they were in Pennsylvania. Interesting that they brought D. H. Hill back for the meal, too.

He claims to have been raised at Arlington, but his name doesn't appear on the list of slaves at Arlington. He claims to have been a slave of Lee's, but I find no other case where an identified slave of Lee's took Lee's last name. I've yet to find any documentation that puts William Mack Lee together with Robert E. Lee at any time.

"Having stayed on Marse Robert's plantation 18 years after the war and with limited schooling, "
Did R. E. Lee have a plantation after the war? And 5 years after the war Marse Robert was dead. Arlington was a cemetery.

On page 5 of the account: Lee claims that after his 1881 ordination, he built the Third Baptist Church in Washington, DC for $3,000, pastored two years, and increased the membership from 20 to 500. But the church's website says it was built in 1885 under Rev. William B. Jefferson, with Patrick Umbles as interim. The next pastor was a Rev. Lee - James H. Lee, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who formerly served as church clerk:

http://www.thirdbaptistchurch.org/history.html

Cromwell's history states that the church was completed in 1893, and cost $26,000, and that under James Lee around 200 members were added:

http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/cromwell/cromwell.html (p.88)

Two years after building another unnamed D.C. church (and increasing *its* membership from 8 to 200), our Rev. Lee says he then built a church at "Cantorsville, Maryland", where in four years he increased membership from 12 to 365. I couldn't find a "CaNTORsville," although there is a CaTONsville (perhaps this is a printing or scanning transcription error).
 
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cash

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#37
"We must destroy this Army of Grant's before he gets to the James River. If he gets there it will become a siege and then it will be a mere question of time."
So what does that say about Lee when, in 1864 it became a siege and realizing it was just a mere question of time he didn't surrender?
 

matthew mckeon

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#38
The thing about Lee is, like Lincoln, he is a quote "attractor" pithy sayings of all kinds get attributed to famous people, especially ones that are admired.
 



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