View Full Version : The Sergeant Hugged the General Robert E. Lee

01-16-07, 03:29 PM
Name: Robert Edward Lee
Birth Date: January 19, 1807
Death Date: October 12, 1870
Place of Birth: Stratford, Virginia, United States
Place of Death: Lexington, Virginia, United States
Nationality: American
Gender: Male
Occupations: General

http://thesquadbay.com/tempforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=4938.0;id=3608;ima ge

The Sergeant Hugged the General Robert E. Lee

by Charley Reese

This month, all over the South, Southerners will raise a glass of buttermilk to toast the birthdays of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson. Lee was born on Jan. 19, and Jackson on Jan. 21.

No American general comes close to matching their battlefield exploits until we get to Gen. George S. Patton in World War II. Lee, despite being on the losing side, was universally admired the world over and was showered with offers of lucrative jobs and even an estate in England.

Lee – unlike today's lesser generals who leap at book contracts and fat speaking fees despite have no record of any great accomplishment – refused to profit from the fame earned at the expense of so many young men's lives. He turned down the gifts and the job offers and instead accepted the position of president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). His salary was $1,500 a year.

Americans in all regions would do well to recommend this man's life as a model for their sons. Lee came as close to being perfect as a human being can be. He was tall, handsome and bright, and finished second in his class at West Point without a single demerit. He married a descendant of George Washington and, again unlike some people these days, kept his wedding vows and loved and cherished his wife.

Lee was a hero long before the secession crisis. He was superintendent of West Point. He distinguished himself during the Mexican War and showed such sterling character, courage and leadership that he was the first choice to lead the Northern armies when the secession crisis arose. Now think for a moment what a decision this man faced.

He was by choice a professional soldier, and here he was being offered the highest position a professional could hope for. Furthermore, he thought slavery was a moral evil, and he was opposed to secession. As a professional soldier, he surely knew that if war came, the South would lose. It was outmanned, outgunned, out-railroaded and out-industrialized from Day One. A man who put ambition above all else would have accepted in a New York minute, and no doubt the War Between the States would have been over much sooner. It was Lee's tactical genius that kept the South going.

But Lee could not bear to make war on his native state of Virginia, where all of his family and friends lived. He declined the offer and resigned his commission. He showed such brilliance on the battlefield that he is ranked among all the greats in the history of the world. But it is Lee's character, not his war exploits, that marks him as a man worth emulating.

One of his generals said of Lee, "As a soldier the men respected him; as a man they loved him." Though old for his time (he died at age 63 in 1870), he shared the hardships of the men, often sleeping on the ground. Any presents sent to him were passed along to his men. He wore a plain uniform. He never spoke ill of anyone, even his enemies. He never took credit for victories, but he always accepted personal responsibility for defeats. He was a devout Christian.

His son tells a story that illustrates how revered he was. After the war, Lee's sons answered a knock on the door to find a big Irish sergeant wearing a Yankee uniform and carrying a large basket of food. He had heard that Lee was hungry, and having served with him on the frontier before the war, could not stand that thought. Lee's sons were assuring him that no one was hungry when Gen. Lee came to the door. He convinced the sergeant that he would accept the gift only if he could pass it along to the wounded in the hospital. The sergeant grabbed Lee in a bearhug and said, with tears streaming down his face, "Goodbye, Colonel. God bless ye. If I could have got over in time, I would have been with ye." I doubt any sergeant has hugged a general since then.

January 15, 2005

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese154.html

This was a Solider's solider.

Thus ends the history lesson!!

Robert E. Lee quotes( words to live by and Gen Lee did):

"What a glorious world God Almighty has given us. How thankless and ungrateful we are, and how we labor to mar His gifts." - Gen. Robert E. Lee, CSA

"Duty is the sublimest word in our English language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less." Robert E. Lee

"I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people, and save in defense will draw my sword on none."

"In spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair the future? The truth is this: the march of Providence is so slow, our desires so impatient, the work of progress is so immense, and our means of aiding it so feeble, the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope." ~ Robert E. Lee

"We could have pursued no other course without dishonour. And as sad as the results have been, if it had all to be done over again, we should be compelled to act in precisely the same manner."

General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A.

The consolidation of the States into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it. --General Robert E Lee

"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."

"Every one should do all in his power to collect and disseminate
the truth, in the hope it may find a place in history and descend
to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns, and
battles, and generals or other individuals, but that which shows
the principles for which the South contended and which justified
her struggle for those principles." Gen. Robert E. Lee

"All that the South has ever desired was the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth."

Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." CSA General Robert E. Lee

To his daughter, he wrote, "I hope you will also find time to read and improve your mind. Read history, works of truth, not novels and romances. Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret."

Harper's Ferry and Texas, 1859-61
When John Brown led a band of 21 men (5 African Americans) and seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in October 1859, Lee was given command of detachments of Maryland and Virginia militia, soldiers , and United States Marines, to suppress the uprising and arrest its leaders. [17] By the time Lee arrived later that night, the militia on the site had surrounded Brown and his hostages. When on October 18 Brown refused the demand for surrender, Lee attacked and in three minutes of fighting, Brown himself was captured.

When Texas seceded from the Union in February 1861, General David E. Twiggs surrendered all the American forces (about 4000 men, including Lee) to the Texans. Twiggs immediately resigned from the U. S. Army and was made a Confederate general. Lee went back to Washington, where he was offered a senior command of the U.S. Army.


01-16-07, 03:40 PM
Robert E. Lee was, in my opinion, America's greatest General, and surely one of it's greatest men.


01-16-07, 04:36 PM

01-16-07, 04:39 PM
When asked who he (Lee) considered his best General, Lee remarked "It is a man I have never met, General Nathan Bedford Forrest."

Hoorah for Marse Robert!

Remember to celebrate Lee/Jackson Days this weekend!:thumbup:

01-16-07, 10:49 PM
One little known fact about General Lee is that for the first couple of years of the war he was sent into the field in an advisory capacity only, with no command authority.

He could only make suggestions, not give orders. And many times his suggestions were ignored by the troop commanders. That makes his accomplishments stand even taller in the narrower time frame when he was given command authority.

On the flip side, before he became their CO, Grant's fellow Generals complained to President Lincoln that Grant was a drunken incompetent. Lincoln dismissed their complaints saying simply, "Grant fights".


01-22-07, 06:24 PM

That order was given by Edwin Stanton, the Union Secretary of War, who disliked guerillas in part due to the telegram Mosby sent him after capturing BG Stoughton in Fairfax, complaining of the quality of horses and mules he (Stanton) furnished to the Confederate Army. After sending Stanton the wire, Mosby had the telegraph lines cut.

The 43rd Partisan Rangers never surrendered, Mosby disbanded the unit some time after Appomattox.