He was a foe without hate

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cash

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It was the second bloodiest war of the nineteenth century, I would be amazed if the participants hadn't referred to the opposing side as the enemy.
Read the post more carefully. It's an answer to the popular myth that Lee always referred to the United States soldiers as "those people" instead of as the enemy.
 

Lnwlf

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I think Lee wins the 'dead guy with the most words stuffed into his mouth before the coffin lid was closed' contest! You could fill a library with letters he didn't write, causes he didn't support, things he didn't say, people he never met...the list disappears over the horizon with him and the horse he rode out on.

p s
This obfuscation - from miscellaneous sources for miscellaneous reasons - is a large part of why we now have a harder time than we should sorting out who Lee really was.
Ah Diane as always, you bring clarity to a muddled topic of discussion! :thumbsup:
 

CSA Today

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Read the post more carefully. It's an answer to the popular myth that Lee always referred to the United States soldiers as "those people" instead of as the enemy.
My reply was to a poster who seemed amazed at Lee's “ prolific use of the enemy." I suggest you read post #91 more carefully.
 
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CowCavalry

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Yeah. They would have said he won.
Yep, they would have said he won and thus he was the savior of Europe and all Western Civilization.

You mentioned German and Japanese authors and WW2, don't you agree that their treatment of the War and the regimes would have been different had the allies not been successful?
 

CowCavalry

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I've seen the specious claim put forward by those who can't understand context that it referred to Milroy. If one can understand English and what happened during that time period, one can tell he's obviously referring to the EP.
I guess you can include the original editors of the O.R. as incapable of understanding context.
 

Aussie Billy Sherman

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Read the post more carefully. It's an answer to the popular myth that Lee always referred to the United States soldiers as "those people" instead of as the enemy.
Exactly Cash. I think it was the Ken Burns series and the Gettysburg movie where I first heard about that myth
 
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cash

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Yep, they would have said he won and thus he was the savior of Europe and all Western Civilization.

You mentioned German and Japanese authors and WW2, don't you agree that their treatment of the War and the regimes would have been different had the allies not been successful?
Yep. They would have said, "We won."
 
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I suppose reading it in light of the popular myth of Lee never referring to Federals as "the enemy" is too difficult.
I read the post in light of the other poster's supposed amazement. To clear in your mind any misconception of my thoughts I suggest a careful reading of post #97.
 

matthew mckeon

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I'm so glad that the snark content has increased on this thread. I was terrified that we might go a few minutes without throwing shade, getting in a few digs and generally being snippy. Thanks guys!

Now I know that the other guy started it. Maybe we should, in the future, frame our responses in the spirit of increasing human knowledge. Or employ a little "self" deprecating humor.
 
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CowCavalry

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Yep. They would have said, "We won."
So had Napoleon or the Axis been victorious, the history their authors would have presented to future generations would be identical to what we have now with the simple addition of "we won"? And you accuse others of being incapable of understanding context; ironic.
 

cash

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So had Napoleon or the Axis been victorious, the history their authors would have presented to future generations would be identical to what we have now with the simple addition of "we won"? And you accuse others of being incapable of understanding context; ironic.
There's only one thing we know and that would be they would have said "we won" or words to that effect. Other than that, we have no idea what the interpretation would be.
 
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civilken

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I didn't read what you posted about Grant but how do you feel about him? Based on your statement he would at least be equal, right?
first of all it would be important to understand I do not dislike Robert E Lee no more than I would any other general that took up arms against the United States. It's when it is said that he was a good caring individual . And then he allowed Northern and Southern Man laying the field for three days because general grant did not follow proper procedure. Unlike the southern officer who stopped the fighting so the wounded could be gathered . He did not ask for a properly written statement he answered to a higher authority decency and humanity that's a man to be celebrating. This is supposed to be a site where we discuss the Civil War. It should not be a site for fairytales yes war is bloody and horrible on both sides and was grant a bloody general of course he was. Anyone who faced Robert E Lee knew if you were going to win there was no holding back. That was the problem with our other generals always looking for an easy battle. General Grant had no intention of making this an easy battle. It was a fight for the soul of the country literally a death match where only one Army would walk away. If doing everything he could to stop the rebellion made him a deadly general he stands accused.
 

Bee

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I am glad you like General Early. Basing this on observation you post about him quite a lot. Not only was he a terrific writer, but a Magnificent General!!
He was very efficient at what he did. There have been many witch hunts, propaganda campaigns, & blacklisting movements before, during, and after Jubal Early. Whilst I can appreciate the skill that it takes to achieve the goal -- sometimes with deadly accuracy, I do not make the mistake of becoming enchanted with the topic of my study.
 

civilken

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The trouble with defining Lee is that for decades, the "Lost Cause" movement suceeded in portraying Lee as an exalted, saintly figure who could do no wrong. But objectively speaking, Lee was a mortal man who could exhibit animosity towards his foe especially because of the personal losses in property and family that he suffered during the war. This, however, does not detract from his talent as a military leader who almost single handedly among confederate generals, gave the southern confederacy a real run for its money.
thank you that's all I was talking about. That when we speak we speak honestly as you just did.
 
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Those who mistakenly believe Lee's letter to Seddon refers to Milroy, we've already seen how that is not so:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/gary-gallagher-a-contemporary-view-on-civil-war-monuments.123621/page-11#post-1342385

As I wrote later in that thread:

Let's look at the words Lee uses:

"In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies."

When they referred to Milroy, they referred to him not as "the enemy," but as Milroy. "the vast increase of the forces of the enemy" clearly refers to the United States as a whole, not to Milroy who had not received a "vast increase" in his forces. Since that clearly refers to the United States, "of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed" also refers to the United States.

"Savage and brutal policy": As I showed, the confederates never referred to Milroy's orders as a policy. They sought to determine if it was a policy and found out it wasn't, which satisfied them.

"He has proclaimed": Lincoln's proclamation. Again, "he" refers to the national enemy, the United States. Lincoln, as president, makes the proclamations for the nation.

"No alternative but success or degradation worse than death." Nothing in Milroy's orders can pertain to this. Here's an example of how those words were used: "If the policy of the Republicans is carried out, according to the programme indicated by the leaders of the party, and the South submits, degradation and ruin must overwhelm alike all classes of citizens in the Southern States. The slave-holder and non-slave-holder must ultimately share the same fate --- all be degraded to a position of equality with free negroes, stand side by side with them at the polls, and fraternize in all the social relations of life; or else there will be an eternal war of races, desolating the land with blood, and utterly wasting and destroying all the resources of the country. Who can look upon such a picture without a shudder? What Southern man, be he slave-holder or non-slave-holder, can without indignation and horror contemplate the triumph of negro equality, and see his own sons and daughters, in the not distant future, associating with free negroes upon terms of political and social equality, and the white man stripped, by the Heaven-daring hand of fanaticism of that title to superiority over the black race which God himself has bestowed? In the Northern States, where free negroes are so few as to form no appreciable part of the community, in spite of all the legislation for their protection, they still remain a degraded caste, excluded by the ban of society from social association with all but the lowest and most degraded of the white race. But in the South, where in many places the African race largely predominates, and, as a consequence, the two races would be continually pressing together, amalgamation, or the extermination of the one or the other, would be inevitable. Can Southern men submit to such degradation and ruin? God forbid that they should." [Stephen F. Hale of Alabama to Gov. Beriah Magoffin of Kentucky, 27 December 1860]

Another example can be seen here, where "worse than death" is seen as a white woman raped by a black slave:

https://books.google.com/books?id=V...um South degradation worse than death&f=false

"save the honor of our families from pollution": Again, nothing in Milroy's orders has anything to do with this. Lee is talking about all of the confederacy, not the Shenandoah Valley. This is another reference to interracial sexual relations.

"our social system from destruction": This is a clear reference to the institution of slavery.

See also this from historian John Hennessy:
https://fredericksburghistory.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/degredation-worse-than-death-lee-responds-to-the-emancipation-proclamation/
 

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He was very efficient at what he did. There have been many witch hunts, propaganda campaigns, & blacklisting movements before, during, and after Jubal Early. Whilst I can appreciate the skill that it takes to achieve the goal -- sometimes with deadly accuracy, I do not make the mistake of becoming enchanted with the topic of my study.
Really!! :unsure:
 
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