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Well here's a hatchet job on Lee

Discussion in 'Robert E. Lee' started by Jamieva, May 19, 2017.

  1. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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  3. SharonS

    SharonS Private

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    Thanks for posting the link. Whether you agree with the author or not, it's a useful review of the history of Lee revisionism. I didn't realize it started nearly 50 years ago.
     
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  4. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    If he was so bad at his job...

    when he took command the AotP was 8 miles from Richmond. It took them 3 years to get into Richmond.

    Of course none of that is mentioned. Lee fought on the defensive at many battles. They make him sound like a guy that just threw his forces into attacks at every battle.
     
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  5. Stony

    Stony 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    I got about half way through it before I stopped.
     
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  6. Irishtom29

    Irishtom29 Sergeant

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    I don't think the article itself is a hatchet job but an article about those who are doing what some consider a hatchet job: there's a difference.

    Anyway blaming Lee for not having a Confederacy wide strategic scope is unfair to Lee, it wasn't his job, that was the job of Davis and the rebel government. Defending Virginia was his job and he did it well.
     
  7. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    Robert E. Lee tried to win the war. A defensive strategy for the Confederacy had to deal with problem that the infrastructure of the economy could not be maintained, and as the war continued, resistance from white people and an exodus of black people, made it very difficult for the Confederacy to continue.
    Lee as a general was not the problem.
    The problem was not accepting the defeat and not helping the defeated states escape the crushing burden of the Lost Cause mythology. A legitimate excuse is that by 1865 he was a worn out man.
    But frankly my dear, Hollywood did not give a darn.
     
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  8. Bruce Vail

    Bruce Vail Sergeant Major

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    Isn't the caption on the illustration inaccurate?

    I presume that is Jackson on horseback at left. An accurate date would have to 1862 or 1863 then, no?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  9. Dom71

    Dom71 Private

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    Interestingly it seems that Lee is starting to get some of the treatment his opponent at Gettysburg used to get, from historians. All I will say is it is easy to criticize decisions and maneuvers made 150 years ago having the luxury of 20/20 Hein sight, and not having to evaluate those decisions within the moment or fog of war as they did. I have argued that on Meade not counterattacking I say it here for Lee as well. I also think their is a tendency by certain factions now to tear down the legacy of historical figures that are no longer "main stream". It's easier eliminating statues if people think that person was a boob.
     
  10. Jimbo_Poke

    Jimbo_Poke Private

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    I think a number of these historians are underestimating the resolve of the Union and ability of the U.S. Army. I read at times that Lee should have been more like Washington (ignoring that there is no ocean to separate the rebelling states like the one separating the rebelling colonies). I think sitting back and only being defensive would lead to well what happened between Sherman and Johnston. For the rebelling states to win, they need to crush one of the principle U.S. Armies whether it be the AotP, AotT, or AotC. The closest the south got was Lee against the AoV at 2nd Manassas.

    Did Lee make mistakes, sure, but some of these reads go a bit far. Somewhat like a pendulum of historical thought.

    When will it be that people can accept that to be a good or even great general does not equate to them not making mistakes? @Dom71 well said
     
  11. Mint Julep

    Mint Julep Corporal

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    I never got past the first sentence.
     
  12. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    This is a way for present media to put a justification behind removing monuments. You could probably put Grant and Sherman under the chopping block as well. The Overland Campaign was a blood bath for Grant. But they ended up on the winning side, so we won't talk about that here.
     
  13. Lewis214

    Lewis214 Cadet

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    The writer found opinions he wants to agree with, and decided to use them to put those ignorant Southerners in their place.
     
  14. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Darn thing wouldn't open for me so I can't really comment. But...Grant is on the upswing so you know Lee has to be on the downswing!
     
  15. Mint Julep

    Mint Julep Corporal

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    By doing so he promoted ignorance.
     
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  16. Irishtom29

    Irishtom29 Sergeant

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    How would you know, you didn't read the article.
     
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  17. Mint Julep

    Mint Julep Corporal

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    A wild guess.
     
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  18. Irishtom29

    Irishtom29 Sergeant

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    I'm sure we can talk about it if you like.

    In any event setting the rules is a privilege earned by, you know, winning. And one of the rules the winners set is that you can express yourself and even honor the rebellion the winners suppressed. Not so bad, is it?
     
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  19. Irishtom29

    Irishtom29 Sergeant

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    Fair enough.
     
  20. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    Although the newspaper seems to take glee in lampooning anything south of the Potomac, I don't think the article itself was a "hatchet job". There are those historians who think that Lee made some costly mistakes. I, myself, have always thought that Lee was an excellent Virginian but something less than a great Confederate, who had difficulty seeing things west of the Alleghenies or south of the Dismal Swamp. Had the North not had in Lincoln an inflexible commander in chief who flat out would not cave in to the Confederacy under any circumstances, his strategy of making it too costly for the North to invade the South just might have worked. As a commander he did the best any Southern commander could have done, given the physical limitations of the Confederacy. But even Lee recognized, and that early in the war, that defeating Northern armies by itself would not win the war unless he could crush his opponents by cornering and trapping them and this he could not do. As for Gettysburg, it was not a battle entirely explainable as something that Lee either did or did not do. Fighting on their own dunghill the Yankees had something to do with that.
     
  21. truthckr

    truthckr 2nd Lieutenant

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    It's an opinion piece. You don't have to agree, it's just the writer's opinion.
     

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