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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #201

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Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
Come on, he addressed your points, he didn't fly off the handle. Can we discuss this issue without trying to unfairly talk down to each other?

If people want to believe Lee was a good Christian man, I can't argue with them. My problem, though, is that if he was so great, why all the lies? Almost everything I've read about him is untrue. So many apocrypal stories. Lee gave his slaves freedom before the war, out of the kindness of his own heart. That he fought out of duty to VA, while in reality, he tried "sit the war out." etc.
So much that is written and said on the character of Lee is rather anecdotal, used by revisionists and opposing debunkers. Whether he had slaves beaten or patted them on the head, kept them or freed them, or said and wrote anything that is now used to mitigate or condemn his actions... the one inescapable act that forever stains him was his failure to honor, "I, Robert Edward Lee, do solemnly swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies..." That alone keeps him out of my pantheon of Greatest Americans.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #202

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Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
What is an oath? When it is required as part of your job, is the allegiance
truly felt or just lip service or is just uttered to get the job?

Perhaps the Founders of the CSA and those who enlisted to fight for her cause,
had this on their minds:
"That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved
from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain,
is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War,
conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent
States may of right do."
I'm sorry, TJ, but I have to take issue on this one. We southerners portray Lee as a tragic hero-a man of great honor and integrity who was unwillingly pulled along by the course of events and forced to make an impossible choice. I find it difficult to believe that a man who, by all accounts, believed the USMA's creed-Duty, honor, country-could so cynically lie to get a job.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #203
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Which is legal under the Constitution in time of rebellion. Did Lincoln act hastily? Perhaps, but Congress wasn't in session and there seemed to be an imminent national crisis at hand. We have the benefit of hindsight in shaking a finger at Lincoln for taking firm measures in Maryland; Lost Causers and other such revisionists would do well to take historical context into account before blithely condemning anyone who doesn't fit into their narrative as evil. I personally don't approve of many of Lincoln's domestic actions taken in the name of national security; but there's nothing in the record to suggest that Lincoln was motivated by anything but genuine concern for preserving the nation and the Constitution.

How exactly did he make Congress do that? Are you unable to even comprehend the idea that they genuinely approved?

Exactly the type of hyperbolic characterization necessary in the Lost Cause narrative to convince everyone that Lincoln was some sort of sadistic tyrant. It would be more accurate to say Lincoln believed he was justified in taking broad action in defending the Constitution from an extra-constitutional threat. Lincoln certainly didn't believe he could do anything he wanted, and he understood presidential authority had it's limits; witness his careful buildup to the Emancipation Proclamation. Of course, this is all unrelated to the topic of Confederate military aggression, the subject of my original reference to Kentucky and Missouri, which I notice you've now dropped without so much as a whimper since the facts are clear. Goalpost shifting is rarely the sign of a successful argument.

You're engaging in far worse character assassination against Lincoln than anything anyone has said about Lee in this thread.
Confederate Military Aggression in Missouri? Well the link you provided starts with the Camp Jackon Massacre which is on the previous page.
Community and Conflict Archive Seeds of Discontent: Political Policy in Missouri, 1861
Sounds to me like Lyon and Blair were the aggressors once again violating the United States Constitution.

Last edited by Unrevised; November 13th, 2012 at 08:48 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:44 AM   #204

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I apologize for my strong stance. I'm not trying to offend anyone. I don't mean any slight to the confederate soldiers many of whom were either conscripted or really did believe they were fighting for freedom. But I'm sure it's obvious that I don't like Lee. I'm trying to keep my opinion out of this. But the facts are what they are. I'm participating in this because I don't want to say anything about Lee that isn't true. I'm here to find out what is true and what isn't.
You're doing a very poor job of it. Are you looking for history or data to discredit Lee? Based on your posts, it appears the latter.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
So much that is written and said on the character of Lee is rather anecdotal, used by revisionists and opposing debunkers. Whether he had slaves beaten or patted them on the head, kept them or freed them, or said and wrote anything that is now used to mitigate or condemn his actions... the one inescapable act that forever stains him was his failure to honor, "I, Robert Edward Lee, do solemnly swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies..." That alone keeps him out of my pantheon of Greatest Americans.
He chose home. More honor in that than any oath he could have ever swore.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #206

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The world sees how Robert E. Lee was!

Robert Edward Lee

--Born in 1807 into a prominent Virginia family, Lee grew into the flower of Southern manhood, embodying the best of Southern virtue. He treasured his faith, his country, his honor, and his family, remaining faithful to each through incredible adversity. He maintained his faith in defeat; gave the best years of his life to his country, first as an officer in the US army and then as Commander-in-Chief of Confederate forces; he refused graft as a general and as a the most famous veteran of the War of Secession; and he remained faithful to an invalid and spoiled wife.

A deeply practical vision towards life complemented Lee's remarkable sense of duty. After the War, when he could have taken any number of fabulously well paying jobs, Lee chose instead to serve as president of tiny Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. As president, he preached reconciliation among the sections, applied for his US citizenship, and made Washington College a national education leader

Lee's dazzling military exploits, his deep devotion to duty, and his fabled graciousness made him the symbol of bygone Southern beauty. Remembered fondly by many as "Marse Robert", the gentle warrior rides in the center of the carving at Stone Mountain, eternally noble in defeat.

R. E. Lee
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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #207

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The OP mentions neither Jefferson Davis nor Abraham Lincoln. Please return to topic.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #208

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Confederate Military Aggression in Missouri? Well the link you provided starts with the Camp Jackon Massacre which is on the previous page.
Community and Conflict Archive Seeds of Discontent: Political Policy in Missouri, 1861
Sounds to me like Lyon and Blair were the aggressors once again violating the United States Constitution
Not in the slightest. The militia were called out by the secessionist governor and armed with stolen federal artillery and weapons from Baton Rouge. Military action was entirely justified under the circumstances, especially as pro-confederate mobs had already been attacking arsenals in Missouri. The only violence in the "Massacre" occurred when secessionist mobs attacked the federal troops following their arrest of the militia; the militia fired a volley after a drunk shot a pistol into their ranks, wounding one of their own. Indeed, the German troops involved earned a reputation as the saviors of Missouri, so it hardly seems they were viewed as the aggressors by the population at large.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #209

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The problem with discussing the ACW (and this thread more than amply proves it) is that there is almost no impartiality. Lee serves as a symbol for both sides of this impossibly polarized debate. We either demonize him or canonize him depending on our particular axe to grind. Was he the genius of the Seven Days or Chancellorsville-yes. Was he the fool of Gettysburg-also yes. Likewise his personal life and character are viewed through either the lost cause or pro-unionist prism with no real attempt understand the context of the times.

Saint or devil? It doesn't matter.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:21 AM   #210

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--By his achievements he won a high place amongst the great generals of history. - Though hampered by lack of materials and by political necessities, his strategy was daring always, and he never hesitated to take the gravest risks. On the field of battle he was as energetic in attack as he was constant in defense, and his personal influence over the men whom he led was extraordinary. No student of the American Civil War can fail to notice how the influence of Lee dominated the course of the struggle, and his surpassing ability was never more conspicuously shown than in the last hopeless stages of the contest. The personal history of Lee is lost in the history of the great crisis of America's national life; friends and foes alike acknowledged the purity of his motives, the virtues of his private life, his earnest Christianity and the unrepining loyalty with which he accepted the ruin of his party.

Robert E. Lee Biography
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