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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #211

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Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
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.
I agree completely. The proper way to approach a subject like this from a historical standpoint is to gather information and facts, then form an opinion based on them. But that's rarely the way it works. People form their opinions first, then gather the information and facts that support their opinion and toss everything else in the toilet.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #212

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You're doing a very poor job of it. .
Oh yeah? What did I say that was so offensive?

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Are you looking for history or data to discredit Lee?
These are not mutually exclusive. And I have not hidden the fact that I don't care for the man. I'm sorry it offends you that I no longer wish to believe made-up stories about him.

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Based on your posts, it appears the latter
Data that discredits him can be historical. And I want to know this history so I can counter the oft repeated stories at communion rails and offering of seats.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:49 AM   #213

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He chose home. More honor in that than any oath he could have ever swore.
His home was wrong! This "my country, right or wrong" is nonsense. If he really loved Virginia he wouldn't have betrayed neighbors and posterity in such a fashion.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #214

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"He was a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two and only two; simplicity and spirituality....He was what he seemed to be."

Actor George C. Scott once said those words to describe the great James Cagney, but they were originally written about Robert E. Lee.

He was what he seemed to be.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #215

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"He was a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two and only two; simplicity and spirituality....He was what he seemed to be."

Actor George C. Scott once said those words to describe the great James Cagney, but they were originally written about Robert E. Lee.

He was what he seemed to be.
I've been on a James Cagney movie kick(watched Fighting 69th on Vet's Day). I love his acting. He wasn't a good guy. So I have to laugh that this was sad about him. He catted around on his wife and was a fall down drunk. I don't think Lee did those things but it makes me wonder when all this praise is heaped on someone.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #216

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--“Wolseley, the English general, regarded Robert E. Lee as the greatest of American generals. Lee was neither an enthusiast nor a fanatic: he believed when he took up the sword in hostility against the Federal Government that he was doing his duty.”

Robert E. Lee
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #217

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Oh yeah? What did I say that was so offensive?
It's less about what you said than your motivation. You aren't posting to discuss history, but rather to discredit Lee. If you go back through my posts, you would know that I have been critical of Lee on more than one occasion-but that criticism is based on the historical record rather than an attempt to either discredit him or lionize him.

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These are not mutually exclusive. And I have not hidden the fact that I don't care for the man. I'm sorry it offends you that I no longer wish to believe made-up stories about him.
It doesn't offend me that you no longer believe stories about Lee, made-up or otherwise. It offends me that you clearly opened this thread to discredit Lee. Your protests to the contrary notwithstanding, you are only interested in making Lee look bad.

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Data that discredits him can be historical. And I want to know this history so I can counter the oft repeated stories at communion rails and offering of seats.
No you don't. You want to portray Lee in the worst possible light. Even if you can't see it, everybody else in this thread can.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #218

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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.
Lee's strategy was foolish, even in most of his victories. He was an agressive commander, yes, but in attacking an enemy army, an army that outnumbers him and is armed with the same weapons he is using is an invitation to disaster.

He is credited with winning the Battle of the Seven Days, but this was mostly set up by McClellan's ineptness as a battlefield commander. In every engagement, McClellan's army BEAT Lee's army and inflicted heavier casualties. Yet, McClellan retreated and in directions that would not allow him to stay near Richmond for long...

And yet the Union didn't surrender and recognize the Confederacy after the Seven Days.

He handled Second Bull Run better, but was unable to destroy the Union army, and again Lincoln didn't immediatelely ask for peace terms.

He managed to hold the Union army to a draw at Antietam, but mostly because McClellan let him hold on and didn't commit his reserves, regardless of how small they were. Fredericksburg was set up failures in the Union War Department and then Burnside's foolish decision to press on anyway. Here, Lee didn't attack, as he didn't have to, and Fredericksburg didn't have as many Confederate casualties as other battles did.

Again, Lincoln didn't surrender.

Chancellorsville is considered one of his most spectacular victories, but the Union army wasn't destroyed, and Lee lost Jackson in the battle. And again, Lincoln did not surrender.

And following the defeat at Gettysburg, Grant came east and would hammer away the Confederate Army. By the time the war ended, Lee's army a tiny force that had no hope of winning any battle.

Much of this was set up by Lee's agressive tactics. When an army is outnumbered and outsupplied, it can not take risks that would throw away large numbers of them. Lee took these risks repeatedly, and even in most of his victories still took heavy casualties. I've read that he was already stripping units protecting the Carolina coast, as well as Carolina militia units following Second Bull Run to prepare for Antietam to replenish his forces.

The Confederacy's only hopes for victory were in breaking the will of the northern people, which would require doing to the north what Sherman would do to Georgia and the Carolinas. This opportunity, however, only happened once in the American Civil War, and Lee was not at that battle. There, the men who pushed for it were Jackson and Longstreet.

Once Lee took command, the South's only hope (as McClellan had succesfully trained the Union Army) was foriegn recognition, as the war had by then become clear that it would be a long one that played to the North's superiority in manpower and material. Lee had to conserve his forces as much as possible to try and keep them together and in large numbers... and even in victory, Lee failed to do that...

Lee was a great commander with regard to winning individual battles. Winning the war however, he could not do.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:39 AM   #219

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It's less about what you said than your motivation.
Thought crimes eh?
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You aren't posting to discuss history, but rather to discredit Lee.
No, if I was trying to discredit Lee, I would make something up and post it. I want to get actual history.And yes, I want to know the bad things.
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If you go back through my posts, you would know that I have been critical of Lee on more than one occasion-but that criticism is based on the historical record rather than an attempt to either discredit him or lionize him.
Ok. But I'm not hear to compare myself to you. I am hear to find out about the real man.

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It doesn't offend me that you no longer believe stories about Lee, made-up or otherwise
Don't say made up or otherwise. I have no problem believing good things about him that are true. You are trying to discredit me because you don't like me digging about Lee.
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It offends me that you clearly opened this thread to discredit Lee.
Again, you don't seem to know what it means to discredit. I'm trying to find about the real history. If that happens to be a discredit to him, take it up with Lee. And if you don't like the thread, then don't read it.
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Your protests to the contrary notwithstanding, you are only interested in making Lee look bad.
True, I am interested in exposing the real Lee. But only what is real. Unlike the people who have made him a mini god.

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No you don't. You want to portray Lee in the worst possible light. Even if you can't see it, everybody else in this thread can.
Please stop trying to blame me for Lee's shortcomings. I would like to discuss history. You are taking it very personal that Lee had bad traits and that I am interested in them. I can't help that.

This thread was going along fine. People are disagreeing but everyone has been pretty good about sticking to the facts. I'd prefer not to bring this down to a personal back and forth.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #220

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Originally Posted by Rongo View Post
I agree completely. The proper way to approach a subject like this from a historical standpoint is to gather information and facts, then form an opinion based on them. But that's rarely the way it works. People form their opinions first, then gather the information and facts that support their opinion and toss everything else in the toilet.
Might this be what is wrong with our education system? Everything knowledge wise is @$$ backwards.
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