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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:29 PM   #1

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Has anyone read this book on Robert E. Lee? How accurate is it? I read a review which stated that he had snipers behind his men to keep them from retreating. I can't find any other sources for this on the net. Anyone know if it's true. I don't want to get into a raging debate with people defending Lee. All I want to know is if everything I've been taught about Lee was a myth. thanks
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:39 AM   #2

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I've read it. I give it mixed reviews. There is a lot of good primary source material in it that provides insight into Lee as a human being. But Pryor's analysis is often flawed and disingenuous, if not downright deceitful. One particular chapter stands out as a true hatchet job. I've previously posted about that chapter here:

http://www.historum.com/american-his...ml#post1156804

Sadly, there seems to be a real dearth of good, objective books about R. E. Lee.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #3

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As I recall, the closest thing to the op I have read about was Jackson's orders to his provost to run a dragnet in the rear of his line of march for stragglers, and to shoot those who did not comply with orders to rejoin the march. Especially when there was great urgency in the movement. Not much help in regard to the question about Lee, but I would guess he would have known about it, I suppose.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
Has anyone read this book on Robert E. Lee? How accurate is it? I read a review which stated that he had snipers behind his men to keep them from retreating. I can't find any other sources for this on the net. Anyone know if it's true. I don't want to get into a raging debate with people defending Lee. All I want to know is if everything I've been taught about Lee was a myth. thanks
Not everything you have been taught was a myth. I honestly can't answer the question about snipers behind the lines. I would also point out that R. E. Lee made mistakes at Gettysburg that cost him the battle. Much of his popularity seems to have arisen after the war as the defeated South searched for an identity. I would think that most of all I get the impression that he was a very capable man, and a very decent man.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #5

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Much of his popularity seems to have arisen after the war as the defeated South searched for an identity.
Lee's popularity arose during the war when he took command of the ANV. His deification arose after the war.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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Lee's popularity arose during the war when he took command of the ANV. His deification arose after the war.
Excellent point Rongo. That is an important distinction to make.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:40 AM   #7

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Lee's popularity arose during the war when he took command of the ANV. His deification arose after the war.
As it should have. There was no greater American to emerge from The War of Northern Aggression than General Robert Edward Lee of Stafford Virginia.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:02 AM   #8

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As it should have. There was no greater American to emerge from The War of Northern Aggression than General Robert Edward Lee of Stafford Virginia.
Lee's status in the War of the Rebellion was somewhat behind that of Jackson until his death actually; then the Lost Cause movement deified him beyond all reason. Lee wasn't even one of the two greatest Americans to come from Virginia in my book.

In any case, objective biographies of Lee are in short supply, as on one end you have Pryor, and on the other end, hagiography like Freeman's work. Alan T. Nolan wrote a short book called "Lee Considered" that functions as an effective rebuttal to much of the Lee mythology.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #9

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Lee's status in the War of the Rebellion was somewhat behind that of Jackson until his death actually; then the Lost Cause movement deified him beyond all reason. Lee wasn't even one of the two greatest Americans to come from Virginia in my book.

In any case, objective biographies of Lee are in short supply, as on one end you have Pryor, and on the other end, hagiography like Freeman's work. Alan T. Nolan wrote a short book called "Lee Considered" that functions as an effective rebuttal to much of the Lee mythology.
All of the greatest Americans have come from Virginia and Lee ranks just below Jefferson on the scale of greatest Americans.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:10 AM   #10

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All of the greatest Americans have come from Virginia and Lee ranks just below Jefferson on the scale of greatest Americans.
Really? All of the greatest Americans? You can't be one of the greatest Americans if you didn't come from Virginia? Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams weren't among the greatest Americans? Nor either of the Roosevelts? Nobody at all was among the greatest without being from Virginia? One suspects a highly inflated sense of ego on your part here.

Let alone by Jefferson and other Founding Fathers from Virginia, Lee is surpassed as an American by his fellow Virginians Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor, both of whom gave devoted and great service to their country without waging war against it. His contemporary George Thomas also proved himself a greater American when he chose to remain loyal to America and fight for the Union in the War of the Rebellion.
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