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AB3A's Journal: Quotes of Robert E. Lee 4

Journal by AB3A

He was one of the most reviled and adored characters of the American Civil War. Yet his quotes show a very different man. Check them out.

Some of the ones I like best: "So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained."

I didn't know he felt that way about slavery.

Here's another: "It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."

And another: "[W]e made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers".

It seems little has changed in this regard...

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Quotes of Robert E. Lee

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  • My understanding is he could easily have fought on either side, but stuck with his home state in the end. It certainly would have been a whole different (and probably a hell of a lot shorter) war if he had been in charge of the northern armies.
    • Although Lee has been canonized in the South, his actual military record (when faced with competant opposition) is somewhat more mixed.

      He was good, but not great, and Gettysburg was an outright disaster that he could have salvaged early on.

      DG
      • We typically look at military campaigns with perfect 20/20 hindsight. Yes, Gettysburg was a disaster for Lee. In war, things like this happen. Lee was also a pretty good judge of character. He had a pretty good staff of people working for him while the North had a knack for finding some of the most appallingly uncreative and unaware leaders. Sure, the North could have had better Generals and the South made mistakes. However, Lee was undoubtably the best general of the Civil War, even though he was on
        • Grant was *by far* the best general of the Civil War. He made an accurate estimate of the situation, came up with a plan to defeat his enemy, sucessfully carried out that plan, and won the war.

          It may not have been the most flashy or sexy plan, but it accurately captured the realities of the situation and led to victory.

          Gettysburg wasn't just a disaster in hindsight; it was apparent that it was a disaster on the day that it happened. Lee, however, refused to march away (as he should have) to pick a fight on

"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen

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