It seems Lee had three choices. (1) He could have remained loyal to the United States, retained his commission and served where ordered. (2) He could have resigned, joined the rebels and fought against the United States. (3) He could have resigned his commission, stayed at home and not served either side.That's an interesting question, really. A lot of people followed Lee's lead - a lot of fence sitters might not have joined the Confederate cause. It does make one wonder how affairs would have turned out in Virginia if Lee had not left with the government of his state. Plenty of Unionists in West Virginia!
I have always wondered what was sticking in Pickett's craw, at Gettysburg, he was gung ho to lead the charge.
Wonderful post! Sehr gut!Well, it's good to read something nice about Longstreet for a change, but the context is wrong. There was no contrast between Lee and Longstreet. As opposed to the slanting article, Lee was not the evil brute, nor was Longstreet the secret abolitionist. Both had their values, both were products of the times and conditions they lived in and both had to cope with changed conditions after the war - trying to live their lives accordingly, which must have been much more difficult than it reads after 150 years. Both deserve our respect.
Are you in some way related to my daughter, Sarcasma? Seriously, I increasingly am suspect of those who complain of the insidious political schemings of people who are labelled now as creating a Lost Cause Myth. I do believe they protest too much and, in fact, are projecting their own political motives onto those who lived a long time ago.Big surprise; Atlantic and former Salon and Village Voice writer doesn't like Lee and smears him. People on the site who don't like Lee still don't like him and still mad at the way Grant has been treated. Rinse and repeat.
I agree.Ub, at some point this one-note reply to every discussion doesn't really contribute much to the conversation, does it? We all know quite well that slavery was immoral. I doubt very much any of us disagree with you on that. It's a given, and saying "slavery was legal" is not a defense of immorality, it's a reminder. Sometimes it's useful to discuss the implications of that legality when we're trying to understand what our ancestors did and what motivated them.
I suppose some might believe mischaracterizing is better than no characterizing.Y'know, once you figured Forrest wouldn't let his only son enlist in the war so you didn't believe a 14 year old kid would be where he was...but you don't seem to have a problem believing Lee would shoot at his three sons. Don't see how they could have done otherwise than join the rebels.
That's true! Which is why the Lee family is important. A large number of people went with Lee. Just about every other general in the ANV was some sort of a cousin...!I suppose some might believe mischaracterizing is better than no characterizing.
They could all have stayed loyal to the United States.
Sometimes Lee puts me more in mind of Hamlet - especially his father's ghost popping up all the time!Robert E. Lee's life illustrates how a good man can make one decision under the influence of those around him, and that one decision ruins everything. Would King Lear be the apt comparison?
It was, indeed, a "national sin", but one which- by 1860- the people of eighteen of the 33 states had recognized and admitted their 'sin' and taken steps to redeem themselves.As much as we hate to admit it, slavery was an American institution, protected by the Constitution and the courts until the passage of the 13th amendment changed that. It was a national sin, not a regional one.
Supposedly, the allegations of a rift between Pickett and Lee are unfounded. as summarized in a letter from author and historian Clifford Dowdey, October 5, 1957:I have always wondered what was sticking in Pickett's craw, at Gettysburg, he was gung ho to lead the charge.
Sad, indeed, particularly for those who died during those last days and their loved ones.And by the end of the war, when he realized the terms that Grant was willing to offer to begin the winding down of the war, Lee wondered out loud to Grant if needless fighting could have been avoided by discussing similar terms in March 1865.
Journalist Sylvanus Cadwallader claimed that when Grant and Lee met in the morning of April 10 at Appomattox, “Lee stated that if Grant had assented to a meeting which he had proposed some weeks before, peace would undoubtedly have resulted there-from.” <Sylvanus Cadwallader, Three Years with Grant as Recalled by War Correspondent Sylvanus Cadwallader. (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1955), p. 334.>And by the end of the war, when he realized the terms that Grant was willing to offer to begin the winding down of the war, Lee wondered out loud to Grant if needless fighting could have been avoided by discussing similar terms in March 1865.
Probably shooting at him...Had Lee gone with the Union, would his sons have been shooting at him or would they have gone with the Union as well?
Maybe the mob didn't know who he was but those who set him up sure did... some know him from the Contental Army where the Marylanders had a great presents. Remember shots had been fired. It was a volatile situation & Harry Lee & his constituents gave themselves up to men/authorities they trusted.Get the pirates but keep the clippers! They loved those and always tried to get them.
I don't think the mob knew - or cared - who Lee was. His fame had died down quite a bit and he no longer had the dashing reputation he once had, and he was in his mid-fifties. I think he got mashed, slashed and thoroughly trashed because he was there.
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