Lee's Leadership Style

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dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
1,279
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I've always been interested in exploring Lee's leadership style a bit. By this I mean the way he related to people in a professional capacity.....primarily his corps and division commanders, but to a certain extent his brigade commanders too. Lee was a very successful general and I'm wondering if part of that success was attributable to the way he "managed" his commanders.

Was he a good communicator? Did people understand what he expected of them? Did they understand their particular role in Lee's scheme of things.

If we look at two of his key subordinates, Longstreet and Jackson, do we see people who improved their skills under Lee's leadership. Did he put them in positions and give them assignments that allowed them to use their strengths or was it more "the luck of the draw"?

I think he treated Jackson differently than Longstreet because he realized they had quite different strengths and weaknesses but I'm wondering what other people think.
 

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
2,148
Location
Manor, TX
Lee's style of leadership worked best with Jackson and Early, two subordinates who could be trusted to conduct independent operations within the framework Lee provided. It also worked with Longstreet and (late in the war) Gordon, with whom Lee enjoyed a mutual understanding and ease of communication. It did not work very well with Hill or Ewell, though, who needed a closer level of supervision than Lee was in the habit of giving.
 

dlofting

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
1,279
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
It did not work very well with Hill or Ewell, though, who needed a closer level of supervision than Lee was in the habit of giving.
Good point....did this in any way influence the outcome at Gettysburg....could things have different if he'd supervised Hill & Ewell a bit more closely, at least until they were a bit more seasoned as corps commanders.
 
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