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  1. #1
    countybear's Avatar
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    Robert E. Lee: 1866

    In a letter to British Lord Acton, responding to his request as to how American politics should now be viewed in the post-civil war era and reconstruction, Robert E. Lee wrote the following, dated 15 December, 1866 :

    I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional party of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it a chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it. I need not refer one so well acquainted as you are with American history, to the State papers of Washington and Jefferson, the representatives of the federal and democratic parties, denouncing consolidation and centralization of power, as tending to the subversion of State Governments, and to despotism.
    ... and yet, we are to consider him a madman, rather than a patriot. I'd call him a 'visionary'.

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    I hardly have heard to him referred to as a madman. His miltary tactics have survived long after him.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  3. #3
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    General Lee is one of our finest examples of conscience, courage, and duty. His unselfish postwar activities to heal our Nation have not been given the honor truly deserved.
    Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbear111 View Post
    General Lee is one of our finest examples of conscience, courage, and duty. His unselfish postwar activities to heal our Nation have not been given the honor truly deserved.
    +1. The only thing mad the man ever did was Pickett's Charge.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

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    Lee was a brilliant tactician and a poor strategian.

    It is only that Grant was the opposite that our history looks as it does.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    +1. The only thing mad the man ever did was Pickett's Charge.
    One of my ancestors was a newly field promoted 2Lt in the 14th Conn. Vol. Inf, at the angle in the rock wall. They were right in front of the 1st Rhode Island Arty. He wrote home describing Picketts's Charge and his respect for the Confederate troops is apparent. His unit had just been equipped with the Sharps 54 cal paper cartridge breechloading carbines. From his Gettysburg letter dated July 4, 1863:

    "..... After skirmishing all day Thursday till 4 o’clock, one of our batteries opened up on the whole, the action soon became general all along our lines, our regiment supported two batteries, the 4th Regulars & the 1st Rhode Island, two of the best in the service. The Reb batteries tried to silence ours & of course we were under heavy artillery file. We held the center. Not much infantry fighting was done in front of us.

    The 12th N.J. made a charge on a barn occupied by the Reb. skirmishers, took it & captured about 50 prisoners. On the right and left they made seven attacks and drove us at first at both points, but were at last driven back. The 11th Corps was (repulsed?) in the night & the aid from our corps alone saved it, as Genl. Howard said. The fight continued till after dark, then save the occasional firing of the pickets, ceased till morning.

    At daylight yesterday the enemy opened rapidly with artillery but our replies were too heavy & our guns silenced them. This operation was repeated at intervals till one o’clock, we appearing to get the best of them in every trial of the artillery. They threw a shell which exploded a caisson of ours and we immediately in turn blew up one of theirs –

    About 4 o’clock A.M. Co. A & B of the 14th Conn. were detailed to go out as skirmishers – for nine hours we were engaged in this ticklish business of sharp-shooting with the enemy. Meantime the other Co’s of our regiment were not idle. They charged upon the brick barn & house which had again been occupied by the enemy’s skirmishers, drove them out, staid there half an hour, set fire to the buildings and returned – at one o’clock the Rebs massed nearly all their batteries and from three directions concentrated their fire upon the two batteries, which our brigade was supporting. According to the testimony of all engaged, there has not been such a cannonading, as we heard for two hours, so terrific & rapid, during the war, from the Army of the Potomac.

    The first Rhode Island which has been in service since the war commenced, said they never saw its equal. Their guns were dismantled & horses killed, yet the brave men stood till they had exhausted every round of ammunition, then had to withdraw (1st R.I. battery CO awarded MOH). The battery of 12 pounders (Regulars) lost 60 men, a very heavy loss for an artillery co. We poor fellows out skirmishing, already having lost from Co. B, 1 corporal dead & four wounded from the sharp-shooters, were exposed a good deal & to such shelling as I was never before exposed before, this awful ……, our only protection was a rail fence. We hugged the ground as close as possible & committing ourselves to God’s care, anxiously waited for the storm to cease.

    Shells had exploded all around us. Two of our little company were wounded from explosions, rails had been struck, one missle entering the fence post two inches above my head, about half a dozen unexploded shells lay within a few feet of us. I trusted that the Rebs. were preparing for a charge, and as soon as they silenced our guns, it came.

    Three splendid lines of Rebels, preceded by their skirmishers, came out from the woods & steadily advanced. Of course we skirmishers could not stand against them & we slowly retreated toward our lines. The bullets whistled pretty lively about me, but I reached our lines in safety. We brought our wounded in with us, also their rifles. We found our regiment with the brigade lying behind a stone wall waiting the approach of the Rebels. I looked behind for our good friends the cannons, but they were withdrawn for want of ammunition. I looked for a supporting brigade, which might to have been in our rear, but there was none in sight. We had got to stand the onset of that great force alone! The boys however were cool and determined. They were admonished to wait till the Rebs reached the second fence from us, then to take careful aim, fire low.

    The Rebs advanced in a manner, which we could not help admiring. Yelling in their peculiar style, cheered on by their officers, till they came with each range of our rifles, when we opened a deadly volley upon them from behind our stone wall, & continued the fire as rapidly as we could load. They (Rebs) kept up nobly, reached the last fence in front, within 100 yds of us, planted their colors on one of our guns on the left, but the work was too hot for them. They wavered, then one line after the other broke & retreated, leaving behind hundreds of their dead & wounded. So our single line with the aid of one gun whipped them terribly.

    Hundreds of Rebs threw down their arms & rushed right into our line & surrendered(a). The 14th captured as many prisoners as we have men in the regiment. We took 5 Rebel Colors. Bill Hinks sprung over one wall and took the first one (MOH awarded). We took prisoner a (Confederate) Col. Lieut. Col. & Major. The Rebs told us their best troops were chosen for this charge. A Tenn. Brigade took the lead. The commander of this brigade told us he led as brave a brigade, in the attack, as there was in the Rebel service, and that he met (just) as brave a one. 3 of our colors were from Tenn. Regiments (two were 4th and 14th Tenn)......... "
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note: (a) other sources said the still-standing Rebs were ineffective, wounded, shell-shocked, and out of ammo, standing dazed before the Union lines. Many Union troops went forward, grabbed them, 'hands-on' taking them prisoner, and led them to cover behind the Union lines.

    An erroneous report was passed in the Union lines of the capture of CSA General Longstreet. Longstreet got wind of this and replied to Union General Meade by messenger, expressing his thanks for their concern, that he was quite safe and with his troops.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The underlying causes of this war 1861-1865 have become relevant today. The first war with similar causes was circa 1773-1776.
    Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

    Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.

    The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.

 

 

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