- Sep 4, 2014
- Lexington, SC
On the morning of April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee arose from what I’m sure was a sleepless night. He dressed in his finest uniform, had Traveler saddled and embarked for the home of Wilbur McClain on what would be his finest and most noble of rides. That’s right, he departed his camp on a mission of compassion and survival for his hard ridden, exhausted and spent Army of Northern Virginia. They simply could not be expected to give another drop of blood. Lee knew their spirt was willing but their bodies could not possibly give anymore, the cause was lost. His compassion for his men lead him to the ultimate unselfish act. As he dressed that morning his thoughts had to have wandered, will I be taken into captivity? Will Grant hang me there and then? Will Grant be pragmatic as Longstreet predicted? His mission was clear, he intended to sacrifice himself for the good of the skeleton of remainder of his once glorious ANV. He could not possibly have had any expectation that this ride, his final ride as Commanding General would end in anything other than his own death. This was a noble and unselfish mission. As the world turns and every individual action and act of everything confederate is under attack. I can’t help but envision the valor of the men on both sides of the line. To me, this was an example of what a truly exceptional individual would do. Regardless of what side he was on did Robert E. Lee exemplify the qualities of an individual worthy of our admiration?