Skip to comments.Robert E. Lee: Remembering an American Legend
Posted on 01/16/2012 10:19:34 AM PST by BigReb555
January is the birthday month of War Between the States Generals; James Longstreet born on January 8, 1821, Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson born on January 21, 1824, George Pickett born on January 28, 1825 and
Thursday, January 19, 2012, is the 205th birthday of General Robert E. Lee.
(Excerpt) Read more at canadafreepress.com ...
Dear students, teachers, parents, church, community leaders, historians and folks everywhere,
January is the birthday month of War Between the States Generals; James Longstreet born on January 8, 1821, Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson born on January 21, 1824, George Pickett born on January 28, 1825 and
Thursday, January 19, 2012, is the 205th birthday of General Robert E. Lee, whose memory is still dear in the hearts of people everywhere.
Many events are planned around the nation that include .
The Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Robert E. Lee Birthday Celebration in Milledgeville, Georgia on Saturday, January 21, 2012, in the Old Legislative Chambers of the Old State Capitol Building at 11 AM. A Parade will begin at 10:45 AM from the Old Governors Mansion to the Old Legislative Chambers.
Did you know that .
During Robert E. Lees 100th birthday in 1907, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., a former Union Commander and grandson of US President John Quincy Adams, spoke in tribute to Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee Colleges Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia? His speech was printed in both Northern and Southern newspapers and is said to had lifted Lee to a renewed respect among the American people.
Who was Robert E. Lee?
Robert E. Lee, a man whose military tactics have been studied worldwide, was an American soldier, Educator, Christian gentlemen, husband and father.
Robert E. Lee was born on Jan. 19, 1807, at Stratford in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The winter was cold and the fireplaces were little help for Roberts mother, Ann Hill (Carter) Lee, who suffered from a severe cold.
Ann Lee named her son Robert Edward after two of her brothers.
Robert E. Lee undoubtedly acquired his love of country from those who lived during the American Revolution. His Father, Light Horse Harry was a hero of the revolution and served three terms as governor of Virginia and as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Two members of his family also signed the Declaration of Independence.
Lee was educated at the schools of Alexandria, Va., and he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1825. He graduated in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit.
Robert E. Lees first assignment was to Cockspur Island, Georgia, to supervise the construction of Fort Pulaski.
While serving as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers at Fort Monroe, Va., Lee wed Mary Ann Randolph Custis. Robert and Mary had grown up together, Mary was the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the Grandson of Martha Washington and adopted son of George Washington.
Mary was an only child; therefore, she inherited Arlington House, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., where she and Robert E. Lee raised seven children.
In 1836, Lee was appointed to first Lieutenant. In 1838, with the rank of Captain, Robert E. Lee fought in the War with Mexico and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.
Lee was appointed Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1852.
Gen. Winfield Scott offered Lee command of the Union army to Lee on April 17, 1861, but he refused. He said, I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children.
The Custis-Lee Mansion Arlington House would be occupied by Federals, who would turn the estate into a war cemetery. Today Arlington House is preserved by the National Park Service as a Memorial to Robert E. Lee. http://www.nps.gov/arho/
Lee served as adviser to President Jefferson Davis, and then on June 1, 1862, commanded the legendary Army of Northern Virginia.
After four years of death and destruction, Gen. Robert E. Lee met Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia and ended their battles.
In the fall of 1865, Lee was offered and accepted the presidency of troubled Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. It is today Washington and Lee University.
Lee was called Marse Robert, Uncle Robert and Marble Man.
Robert E. Lee died of a heart attack at 9:30 AM on the morning of October 12, 1870, at Washington College where he is buried at Lee Chapel.
Dr. Edward C. Smith, respected African-American Professor of History at American University in Washington, D.C., told the audience in Atlanta, during a 1995 Robert E. Lee birthday event, Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee were individuals worthy of emulation because they understood history.
On August 5, 1975, 110 years after Gen. Lee's application, President Gerald Ford signed Joint Resolution 23, restoring the long overdue full rights of citizenship to Gen. Robert E. Lee. Read more at: www.ford.utexas.edu/library/speeches/750473.htm
Lest We Forget!
Today is Lee Jackson King Day in VA.
Lee really messed up big at Gettysburg though.
I'm not big on the lost cause stuff myself, but technically, George Washington was a traitor too, depending on why you ask.
Huh, looks pretty good for his age...
Lee/Jackson Day bump
On a worst Military leaders in history list Lee would probably fall between Boudica and Santa Anna
Lee was a great general, one of the best of the period but he was very much a legend in his own time; a legend that was stretched beyond reality. Lee gained many victories by going up against substandard union leadership who projected their intentions and movements openly. That is not to say that he was not a great tactician and strategist; he was. Lee worried that Lincoln would eventually bring in a general whom Lee would not be able to figure out and who would not back down. Lincoln did that when Grant and Sherman finally took control of the effort. Lee’s disaster at Gettysburg was in large part a result of him believing in his own press a little too strongly and unfortunately his subordinate officers and his troops also believed in the mythology a bit too much. He thought himself invincible. Longstreet was the better commander who used common sense in that engagement but he would not stand up to the “great” Bobby Lee. Lee was a traitor to his country but was still a great man in the way he comported himself after the war by working to bring former confederates back into the union.
Lee-Jackson Day has been moved to the Friday before the third Monday. It was changed about ten years ago.
“On a worst Military leaders in history list Lee would probably fall between Boudica and Santa Anna”
I always thought that if the chain of command were reversed between Lee and Jackson in the East, and Bragg and Forrest in the West, the results would have been very different.
Idle speculation. It is done.
The only thing Grant did differently than his predecessors was to realize that the North had an overwhelming advantage in men and material and to be willing to kill as many Union soldiers as necessary to win in a war of attrition.
Most of Sherman’s “fame” was made by waging warfare on an unarmed and defenseless civilian population.
Lee viewed Virginia as his country and was not a traitor to it.
Thanks, CC ... nice job.
Thank you Cripplecreek.
Deo Vindice !
Sic Semper Tyrannis
I thought they moved Lee/Jackson Day a few years ago to the Friday before MLK Day.
I just dated my time at VMI....ha ha. I didn’t realize it had changed.
Grant was an excellent strategist as well. Did he make mistakes? Sure, and so did Lee. Grant knew how to use the advantages the union had in men and material and motivate his troops just as Lee knew how to make the best of what he had to work with.
What you put down as Serman’s “fame” is mythology as well, put forth by the defeated as an excuse for why they lost. It is pretty arrogant and ignorant to believe that the opposing force is not going to march into your territory and remove the means to continue to support your troops. Using that logic would say that allied forces should have stopped at the German border during WWII. You destroy the opposing forces ability to provide for their troops.
There were plenty of military targets in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Starving little children and murdering old men. Celebrate Sherman all you care to.
Do your duty in all things.
You cannot do more.
You should never wish to do less.
~R. E. Lee
To the people in the North it was a “Civil War.”
To the politicians and media in the South it was the “War for Southern Independence.”
To the people in the South who did the killing and the dying and their families it was the “War against Northern Agression.”
The women of the South carried the hate for years and were very unforgiving. My grandmother’s middle name was Lee, she was born 1902, her grandfather had served in the Army of Virginia.
Both were excellent tacticians but I would give Grant the edge because he really never made the same mistake twice. Lee's mistakes at Gettysburg mirrored his loss at Malvern Hill and the North's loss at Fredricksburg. Attacking an army which was dug in on higher ground generally proved suicidal in the Civil War. With regard to strategy Grant was flat out superior. I don't really find much strategy at all on Lee's part at all other than to invade the North twice and both campaigns were failures and accomplished nothing but to weaken the South. The Gettyburg campaign never should have been undertaken and Longstreets plan to devote more resources to the Western campaign instead was the better play.
Yes, but Washington chose the right side and Lee chose the wrong one. However, Lee was well respected during and after the war by both sides. It just seems the war would have been much shorter and much less bloody had Lee chosen the Union. Some justified Civil War losses as God's punishment for slavery and the Mexican War.
I read Grant’s memoirs recently. If you have a Kindle, you can download it for free at Amazon.
He had a lot of respect for Lee, but at the same time, he was emphatic in his view that Lee was misrepresented by the press as a much greater general than he was. Having fought with Lee in Mexico, he knew that Lee was not invincible. The media in both the South and the North, however, portrayed him as such.
As far as his military philosophy was concerned, his was not all that different from Lee’s. He believed that he who attacks offensively carries the day, particularly after he’s demonstrated a time or two that he can do so and prevail. At that point, the opponent becomes demoralized, and is easily made to retreat.
As I stated, Lee had the same philosophy, but at Gettysburg, he took it way too far. He apparently began to believe that he WAS invincible. There is really no other way to describe the battle plan he concocted. It was pure recklessness.
My grandmother’s middle name was also “Lee”.
She was born in 1900.
3/4/1862-enlisted-49th Regiment, Ga. Volunteer Inf., Army of Northern VA., Company A;
8/9/1862-Wounded at Cedar Run, Virginia-amputated right thumb;
7/3/1863-Wounded at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-in artillery barrage;
4/3/1865-Captured in hospital at Richmond, Virginia;
4/31/1865-Prisoner Of War in Richmond, Virginia;
6/25/1865-Released at Newport News, Virginia.
“Lee really messed up big at Gettysburg though.”
Gettysburg was NOT considered, by either side, as a game changer back when it happened, and for a long time afterwards. Those who win the wars get to write the histories.
Washington, Jefferson, Lee, Jackson and so many others - makes me proud my roots were there.
My Grandmother’s grandfather enlisted in the Georgia 21st Infantry and was at the Battle of the 2nd Manassas. The first day was known as the Battle of Groverton. The Ga. 21st was under General Thomas Jacksons command. He was discharged and sent home Oct, 1862 with the measles and re-enlisted Spring 1863 in the Georgia 8th Infantry and was wounded June 1864 at Cold Harbor, Virginia. He was sent home to recuperate but was unable to return.
“Strike the tents”
My wife still feels this way today and has never crossed the Mason-Dixon line.
“...we have had enough eulogized of this loser...”
What is your purpose for being here?
The funny thing these Yankees forget is the Northern States are now full of hard-core democrats and Communists when it come time to vote.
The South is where more Conservatives are located today.
Read Grant’s, Sherman’s, and now am working on Sheridan’s. I did not know about Longstreet’s, but will take a look at it as well.
Sherman’s was actually very interesting. He becomes a bit defensive at points. He virtually ignores the burning of Atlanta. He talks about the burning of Columbia, mainly to disavow any intent on his part to burn it.
What was most interesting to me was to see the names of places I’m familiar with in there.
My favorite part of the book though, was a part about the aftermath of Bull Run. Some soldier came up to him and told him he was leaving for home in the morning, to which Sherman replied, “How can you leave? I have not signed any such papers.” The soldier explained that he had a 90 day enlistment, and needed to get back to his law practice as his enlistment had expired some days earlier. Sherman, seeing that other soldiers were listening, realized that if this guy were permitted to leave, his entire regiment would soon leave as well. Therefore he shouted for everyone to hear that “You are forbidden to leave, and if you do, I will track you down and have you shot!”
The soldier was of course shocked, but did not challenge him. Later in the day, Lincoln came by in a buggie to see how his troops were doing. Sherman, of course, met Lincoln and arranged for the President to speak to his men. The lawyer approached, and told Lincoln that he had a grievance. Pointing to Sherman, he said “He threatened to shoot me!”
Lincoln said, “Threatened to shoot you?”
“Yes sir... Threatened to shoot me.”
Lincoln looked at the man, then looked at Sherman. Then looked at the man, and then looked at Sherman. Then he said to the man, “Well, if he threatened to shoot you, then I would be very afraid, because I believe he would do it.”
The men standing around broke out laughing. Later, Sherman explained what had happened to Lincoln, and he responded, “Well I did not know what it was about, but I figured you know your business.” Sherman assured Lincoln that the President’s reaction would make it much easier to maintain discipline in the future.
“If he had not married who he did he would have still been an unknown, sorting toilet paper in some no name post.”
His service in the U. S. Armed Forces before the Civil War disproves this statement in and of itself. His private life both before and after his service is more than sufficient evidence to make your statement ridiculous.
Being that I’m from the Midwest originally (though my state had its own nasty little civil-war-within-the-Civil_war), I just don’t see why people are still going on about it 150 years after it ended.
Ironically, Sherman's march helped to shorten the war. Sherman was smart enough to avoid a lot of the stalemating head-on collision of forces that were so common in the CW. He preferred a war of manoeuvre and surprise. Part of what made him so feared by the South was that you just didn't know exactly where he was going to turn up striking. He split his columns, and they didn't know if he was going for Savannah, or if he was heading south into Florida, or if he was going to turn up into South Carolina, or what. As a result, the Southerners tended to hole up behind entrenchments in cities, while he just went around them and lived off the land, while demoralising the entire Confederacy, but especially its plantation class.
Shoot, if I'd been a Northern general, I'd have done the same thing.
Of course, if I'd been a Southern general, I would have cut loose and burned an arc from Cincinnati to Philadelphia, shipping machinery and machine tools back along my track the whole way across.
Lee’s real problem at Gettysburg was the loss of Jackson who was his #1 offensive field commander. Longstreet was much better on defense. That and Stuart suffering from an attack of the stupids and depriving Lee of intelligence by riding off in search of glory.
Let me guess, you're one of those types that equates the War of Southern Independence to Naziism and Japanese Imperialism. Placing Southerner in your pathetic mind on par with those peoples, really?
You are very right about Jackson, but Lee’s mistakes at Gettysburg were so incredible that I find myself asking if maybe it was actually Jackson who was the smart one instead of Lee.
I heard recently while watching a History Channel show that some scholars think Lee may have suffered a heart attack just before Gettysburg, which precluded him from thinking clearly. I can see why they might think that, given what he did, but it strikes me as just an attempt to make excuses for him.
An interesting question in my mind is whether Longstreet maybe should have handled it differently. Could he have removed Lee? Could he have at least been more forceful in his argument? He clearly knew that what Lee was doing would bring down the Confederacy, but he did not stop him.
Apparently, his deference to authority was greater than his desire for a Confederate victory. I suppose that is something he learned at West Point, but actually having to make the decision in real life is something very different from theory.
Next you’ll be telling me that the victorious Japanese raping undefended Nanking, Manilla and so many others was also justified as a normal part of war.
Hamburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki all were legitimate military targets surrounded by civilian populations. To attack military targets, the civilians also ended up being attacked. In modern parlance, this is known as “collateral damage”.
As there were no effective military forces opposing him, the only legitimate military objective for Sherman was the southern rail net. Transportation of goods and military supplies having been completely brought to a halt, pillage and killing in the surrounding undefended rural countryside had no military value and did nothing to shorten the war. As Sherman himself proudly stated it was simply for the sake of retribution and revenge.
Find me another more example in U.S. military history where an undefended civilian population was attacked specifically for the sake of attacking civilians without any legitimate military objective.
In any event, his actions don’t make Sherman some kind of military genius. In the long run, if the goal was to reunify the country, Sherman’s actions, and the subsequent revenge and retribution in the form of “Reconstruction”, were counter productive.
As the north, from Wisconsin to Massachusetts, spirals into economic oblivion the south will be arriving to help any day now. Or maybe not.
The war DID turn into stalemate trench warfare around Richmond. Beyond tearing up the railways, Sherman’s rapine had no impact in Virginia. Grant made costly frontal attack after costly frontal attack against heavily fortified positions. The eventual difference there was that Grant had overwhelming superiority and could “afford” the losses. Grant was simply able to stretch the lines to such a distance that the defenders were spread too thin and Grant was about to get around behind the defenders.
I would probably agree that Grant was probably superior and the evidence is in the fact that he along with his handpicked subordinates such as Sherman proved that they were superior by winning. Longstreet is another whom I believe was better than Lee in strategic and tactical thought. Longstreet seemed more able to evaluate the circumstance of the moment and come up with viable plans of action. The difference between him and Lee was that Longstreet’s thinking was not skewed by the accolades he received. The mythology of Lee and his invincibility will not go away anytime soon, even after all of these years.
Lee knew Longstreet was always “Mr. Negative” and discounted his advice on many occasions. Had Jackson been there and advised then something else might have been done.
In battle after battle, Longstreet defended against a Union attack while Jackson maneuvered for a counterstrike with Lee conducting from on high with faith in each field commander’s strength in his respective role. Lee’s version of Patton’s “We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re going to kick him in the ass.”
With Jackson gone, one of the essential elements that had served the south so well was gone. Cut off one leg from a three-legged stool and the stool falls over.
Where is the documentation that any of that happened? As in all wars, those things happen and did I’m sure along the way there were incidents but there is little evidence that most of what went on was anthing more than sporadic and to say that Sherman or his subordinates ordered it is pure BS. As far as taking food from little kids mouths goes, the confederate armies also confiscated what they needed as they marched through the south in the latter part of the war. There are so many claims that this town or that was pillaged and burned when the towns mentioned were nowhere near the path of the troop movement that the whole narrative becomes ridiculous.
The south lost, get over it.