He was a foe without hate

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Rebforever

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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.
Grant left them too. But I guess that is alright with you.
 

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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/ga...vil-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.wordp...ee-responds-to-the-emancipation-proclamation/
You have applied your concept and read into Lee's words what you would like to believe, and you may well be correct. Lee was a product of his times certainly, actually much more liberal in his views on race and slavery than many of his northern counterparts in the US army were. If your point is that the South was fighting for a way of life and preservation of the status quo as regards race and slavery, and Lee, having cast his lot with secession, however reluctantly, was fighting for the same, than I concede your point. I don't think anyone will find any shocking revelation there.

Lee had written much earlier of Arlington having been "polluted by the enemy" and I don't think he was making any reference to racial pollution then.

The letter was written in Jan of 63'; seems Lee was late in getting around to fretting over the EP as the preliminary EP had been issued Sep of 62' but nevertheless, in the spirit of accuracy, I will post the letter addressed to Seddon in its entirety as only a select passage has been offered prior. The bulk of the letter is an appeal for men to fill the ranks, the paragraph you have been quoting from seems to be included almost as an after thought, an appeal to what Lee probably felt a secessionist politician might find most dear to his heart.

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

January 10, 1863



Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:



Sir: I have the honor to represent to you the absolute necessity that exists, in my opinion, to increase our armies, if we desire to oppose effectual resistance to the vast numbers that the enemy is now precipitating upon us. It has occurred to me that the people are not fully aware of their danger, nor of the importance of making every exertion to put fresh troops in the field at once; and that if the facts were presented by those whose position best enables them to know the urgency of the case, they and the State authorities would be stimulated to make greater efforts. I trust, therefore, that it may not be deemed improper by the Department to communicate these facts to the Governors of the several States, that they may give efficient aid to the enrolling officers within their limits, and arouse the people to a sense of the vital importance of the subject.

The success with which our efforts have been crowded, under the blessing of God, should not betray our people into the dangerous delusion that the armies now in the field are sufficient to bring this war to a successful and speedy termination. While the spirit of our soldiers is unabated, their ranks have been greatly thinned by the casualties of battle and the diseases of the camp. Losses in battle are rendered much heavier by reason of our being compelled to encounter the enemy with inferior numbers; so that every man who remains out of service increases the dangers to which the brave men, who have so well borne the burden of the war, are exposed.

The great increase of the enemy’s forces will augment the disparity of numbers to such a degree that victory, if attained, can only be achieved by a terrible expenditure of the most precious blood of the country. This blood will be upon the heads of the thousands of able-bodied men who remain at home in safety and ease, while their fellow-citizens are bravely confronting the enemy in the field, or enduring with noble fortitude the hardships and privations of the march and camp. Justice to these brave men, as well as the most urgent considerations of public safety, imperatively demand that the ranks of our army should be immediately filled.

The country has yet to learn how often advantages, secured at the expense of many valuable lives, have failed to produce their legitimate results by reason of our inability to prosecute them against the reenforcements which the superior numbers of the enemy enable him to interpose between the defeat of an army and its ruin.

More than once have most promising opportunities been lost for want of men to take advantage of them, and victory itself has been made to put on the appearance of defeat, because our diminished and exhausted troops have been unable to renew a successful struggle against fresh numbers of the enemy. The lives of our soldiers are too precious to be sacrificed in the attainment of successes that inflict no loss upon the enemy beyond the actual loss in battle. Every victory should bring us nearer to the great end which it is the object of this war to reach.

The people of the Confederate States have it in their power to prevent a recurrence of these misfortunes, and render less remote the termination of this desolating war, at much smaller expense of treasure, suffering, and blood than must attend its prosecution with inadequate numbers. They must put forth their full strength at once. Let them hear the appeal of their defenders for help, and drive into the ranks, from very shame, those who will not heed the dictates of honor and of patriotism. Let the State authorities take the matter in hand, and see that no man able to bear arms be allowed to evade his duty.

In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of 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, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General
 
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Interestingly enough, on the same day Lee wrote Secretary Seddon the letter in question, he also wrote Union Gen Halleck regarding Milroy's policies towards the civilian population in VA.:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 10, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit to you copies of two papers recently served upon Mr. Job Parsons, a citizen of Tucker County, Va., by the military authorities of the United States in that region.* The originals of these papers are now in the possession of His Excellency the President of the Confederate States, who has directed me to communicate with you on the subject.
I am unwilling to believe that such threats against unarmed and defensless citizens as are contained in the extract from what purports to be an order from Brigadier-General Milroy have received the sanction of any soldier, and have the honor to ask whether the extract from the order referred to is literally or substantially correct.
Should it unfortunately prove to be true. I am instructed to ask whether your Government will tolerate the execution of order so barbarous and so revolting to every principle of justice and humanity. Should you not deem it proper to respond to these inquiries it will be reluctantly assumed after the expiration of ten days from the date of this communication that the order is that of General Milroy, and that its execution will not be restrained. In that event I am directed to inform you that this Government will be completed to protect its citizens by the immediate adoption of stern retaliatory measures.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General.
 
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cash

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You have applied your concept and read into Lee's words what you would like to believe, and you may well be correct. Lee was a product of his times certainly, actually much more liberal in his views on race and slavery than many of his northern counterparts in the US army were. If your point is that the South was fighting for a way of life and preservation of the status quo as regards race and slavery, and Lee, having cast his lot with secession, however reluctantly, was fighting for the same, than I concede your point. I don't think anyone will find any shocking revelation there.

Lee had written much earlier of Arlington having been "polluted by the enemy" and I don't think he was making any reference to racial pollution then.

The letter was written in Jan of 63'; seems Lee was late in getting around to fretting over the EP as the preliminary EP had been issued Sep of 62' but nevertheless, in the spirit of accuracy, I will post the letter addressed to Seddon in its entirety as only a select passage has been offered prior. The bulk of the letter is an appeal for men to fill the ranks, the paragraph you have been quoting from seems to be included almost as an after thought, an appeal to what Lee probably felt a secessionist politician might find most dear to his heart.

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

January 10, 1863



Hon. James A. Seddon,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:



Sir: I have the honor to represent to you the absolute necessity that exists, in my opinion, to increase our armies, if we desire to oppose effectual resistance to the vast numbers that the enemy is now precipitating upon us. It has occurred to me that the people are not fully aware of their danger, nor of the importance of making every exertion to put fresh troops in the field at once; and that if the facts were presented by those whose position best enables them to know the urgency of the case, they and the State authorities would be stimulated to make greater efforts. I trust, therefore, that it may not be deemed improper by the Department to communicate these facts to the Governors of the several States, that they may give efficient aid to the enrolling officers within their limits, and arouse the people to a sense of the vital importance of the subject.

The success with which our efforts have been crowded, under the blessing of God, should not betray our people into the dangerous delusion that the armies now in the field are sufficient to bring this war to a successful and speedy termination. While the spirit of our soldiers is unabated, their ranks have been greatly thinned by the casualties of battle and the diseases of the camp. Losses in battle are rendered much heavier by reason of our being compelled to encounter the enemy with inferior numbers; so that every man who remains out of service increases the dangers to which the brave men, who have so well borne the burden of the war, are exposed.

The great increase of the enemy’s forces will augment the disparity of numbers to such a degree that victory, if attained, can only be achieved by a terrible expenditure of the most precious blood of the country. This blood will be upon the heads of the thousands of able-bodied men who remain at home in safety and ease, while their fellow-citizens are bravely confronting the enemy in the field, or enduring with noble fortitude the hardships and privations of the march and camp. Justice to these brave men, as well as the most urgent considerations of public safety, imperatively demand that the ranks of our army should be immediately filled.

The country has yet to learn how often advantages, secured at the expense of many valuable lives, have failed to produce their legitimate results by reason of our inability to prosecute them against the reenforcements which the superior numbers of the enemy enable him to interpose between the defeat of an army and its ruin.

More than once have most promising opportunities been lost for want of men to take advantage of them, and victory itself has been made to put on the appearance of defeat, because our diminished and exhausted troops have been unable to renew a successful struggle against fresh numbers of the enemy. The lives of our soldiers are too precious to be sacrificed in the attainment of successes that inflict no loss upon the enemy beyond the actual loss in battle. Every victory should bring us nearer to the great end which it is the object of this war to reach.

The people of the Confederate States have it in their power to prevent a recurrence of these misfortunes, and render less remote the termination of this desolating war, at much smaller expense of treasure, suffering, and blood than must attend its prosecution with inadequate numbers. They must put forth their full strength at once. Let them hear the appeal of their defenders for help, and drive into the ranks, from very shame, those who will not heed the dictates of honor and of patriotism. Let the State authorities take the matter in hand, and see that no man able to bear arms be allowed to evade his duty.

In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of 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, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee

General
Interestingly enough, on the same day Lee wrote Secretary Seddon the letter in question, he also wrote Union Gen Halleck regarding Milroy's policies towards the civilian population in VA.:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 10, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit to you copies of two papers recently served upon Mr. Job Parsons, a citizen of Tucker County, Va., by the military authorities of the United States in that region.* The originals of these papers are now in the possession of His Excellency the President of the Confederate States, who has directed me to communicate with you on the subject.
I am unwilling to believe that such threats against unarmed and defensless citizens as are contained in the extract from what purports to be an order from Brigadier-General Milroy have received the sanction of any soldier, and have the honor to ask whether the extract from the order referred to is literally or substantially correct.
Should it unfortunately prove to be true. I am instructed to ask whether your Government will tolerate the execution of order so barbarous and so revolting to every principle of justice and humanity. Should you not deem it proper to respond to these inquiries it will be reluctantly assumed after the expiration of ten days from the date of this communication that the order is that of General Milroy, and that its execution will not be restrained. In that event I am directed to inform you that this Government will be completed to protect its citizens by the immediate adoption of stern retaliatory measures.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General.
Apparently you didn't bother to go to the links I posted in my Post #119. The second letter is there, along with the orders of Milroy to which Lee referred.

You should also look into the differences between the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and the Final Emancipation Proclamation. Only the Final EP had an effect on Union manpower, since it authorized the enrollment of African-Americans in the army, which is something the Preliminary EP did not mention.

Milroy's orders would have no effect on Union manpower, and thus could not have been what Lee referred to in his letter to Seddon.
 

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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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.
Grant knew you didn't play with Robert E Lee, that's certain. Both generals were highly aggressive and determined, and very good at their jobs.

That episode with leaving the wounded out - that's really hard to fathom but it does show how hard both generals had gotten. Lee had to remind Grant that those were mainly his men out there. Grant was trying to get Lee to ask for the truce because that would be an admission that he had been defeated. Lee knew he had not. So...the poor guys were stuck in the middle. But it was more than just procedure and protocol. Grant had done the same thing at Vicksburg and Pemberton had finally been 'stunk out' and asked for a truce. It sort of put a 'the end is near' sign up in Pemberton's subconscious. That is what Grant wanted and, sure enough, he ended up surrendering.
 

civilken

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Grant left them too. But I guess that is alright with you.
okay reb. We have to stop meeting like this people are beginning to talk. I will say this you certainly give me a run for my money. I personally believe you're a lot smarter than you pretend. So have a wonderful weekend from your friend in Pennsylvania.
 

Rebforever

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Yes "really". I have posted on Northern racism, the value of Shelby Foote, & yes - surprise!- the weaknesses of General Grant. However, ido not expect that you follow my postings any more than I follow yours, so ignorance of my content has probably been acquired, honestly.
Your post noted without comment.
 
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Don't let the facts get in the way, eh?
If your reasoning for even introducing the letter in question was to illustrate the fact that Lee was acutely aware and uniquely prescient of the situation his country and army was facing in 1863, then it belongs in another thread, if it was to illustrate that he was a product of his time and environment, I have already conceded that point. Maybe you missed that in post #123.
 

cash

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If your reasoning for even introducing the letter in question was to illustrate the fact that Lee was acutely aware and uniquely prescient of the situation his country and army was facing in 1863, then it belongs in another thread, if it was to illustrate that he was a product of his time and environment, I have already conceded that point. Maybe you missed that in post #123.
Fallacy of the false choice.
 
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