Memorial Day and the Tale of Two American Generals

 

For most of our pop culture who take American freedom for granted Memorial Day Weekend is merely a time to take the boat out on the lake, have a few beers, enjoy the barbecue, or watch a ballgame. Sure everyone needs to relax and enjoy the occasional holiday. However, let us not forget the selfless sacrifice that our war veterans were willing to put themselves on the line so that we could enjoy those precious freedoms we take so much for granted.

Historical disinformation

In the annals of history we have seen how the actual events and reasons for what happened can often be distorted by arm chair quarterbacks who attempt to apply today’s standards to the events of yesteryear. If so, we might wonder how we ever digressed to rap and hip hop when such brilliant composers as Beethoven and Mozart spoke a colorful and melodic form of musical tapestry hundreds of years ago that uneducated audiences today appreciate little.

Irrelevant arguments

Still, for the sake of political delusion we have fools removing statues of our past military leaders because we are trying to impose present day values upon people and traditions that dwelled more than 150 years in our past, and still the true reasons for such events are not being honestly represented. This article is about 2 great generals that fought on different sides of the War Between the States yet both were brave and noble leaders. History is not always kind to those who were forced to take up the reigns of command when duty called. Their job was simply to do or die.

The better leaders

At the outbreak of the Civil War generals from the south and the Union who had trained together and graduated from West Point also knew each other quite well. It is well accepted that the South had the better generals as evidenced by the defeats that occurred early in the war with General McClelland, President Lincoln’s chief leader becoming more and more reluctant to pursue the Confederates.

Lee’s appointment

General Robert E. Lee, who had distinguished himself in combat on behalf of his country took up arms against the Union and became the choice of Jefferson Davis to carry the war effort to the Union. The major issues that provoked the war between the Confederacy and the Union were not based upon slavery. This was a false representation of the cause of the Civil War! From the very beginning Abraham Lincoln had stated that his goal was to preserve the Union whether or not slavery would be abolished! General Robert E. Lee was an abolitionist! Yet, thanks to modern day politics we once again have a distortion of historical fact. And to all those so willing to attribute blame the truth over slavery is that had African tribal leaders not been selling out their own people to the Slave Traders this practice never could have happened while it was Muslims who preceded the slave trade before it ever got started in  America.

False flag provocateurs

When the terrorist incident at Harper’s Ferry occurred the leaders of the southern states were already worried that the Union would be seeking any form of provocation to invade the southern states! The self-styled experts of today have conveniently forgotten that 60% of the slave plantations in Louisiana were owned by Blacks! That northern states regularly returned slaves who had escaped via the Underground Railroad only to be returned to their southern slave owners. That the KKK was formed by the Democrats who for decades denied civil rights to Black Americans is another conveniently overlooked fact when we consider the past.

Hold the line of die

Not long after a string of losses to the Confederates did a major crisis befall the North. The Confederate Army was poised to cross the Potomac and take Washington DC! There was only one thing holding them back. A thin line of Union soldiers under the command of one George Armstrong Custer! The hard charging US Cavalry commander rode up and down the defensive perimeter imploring his men not to give ground or desert their positions in the bloody fighting that ensued! With a sabre in his right hand Custer urged his men into a terrible victory suffering 70% casualties but more importantly defeating the Rebels and turning back the tide of victory that could have ended the war very shortly in favor of the Confederacy.

Blazing a path to glory

George Armstrong Custer, only a Captain at that point, would become a flamboyant leader that was both envied and hated for his heroism as he shamed many of his contemporaries who never would have ridden at the leading edge of a charge during battle! Yet, Custer would be later demonized for his pursuit of the Indian Nation and finally meeting his demise at the Little Big Horn on “Last Stand Hill” having been cut off from his divided regiments and encircled by overwhelming odds of Native American warriors led by Crazy Horse. To those of his time much as JFK was considered a hero and the nation’s son, so was George Armstrong Custer, who was being groomed for the presidency had he not met his untimely fate in the great plains on a June afternoon.

Genius tactician

Robert E. Lee often with considerably less resources than his Union counterparts consistently out maneuvered the Union Army and was narrowly denied the deciding hand in many battles after his early successes. Had France entered the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy the aid from the French could well have been the deciding factor of the war. The Union possessed the greater manufacturing capacity but lacked the raw material that was being produced by the southern states and prior to the Civil War this had been a point of contention as tariffs and fees had been unfairly assessed upon the goods sold to the northern states.

Indisputable character

General Lee was a moral man, he did not tolerate the abuse of prisoners, and he was well respected by his Union opponents who saluted him when he surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia in 1865. He could not bear to see his beloved state of Virginia ravaged by the Union as had happened when General Tecumseh Sherman led a path of destruction all the way to the sea burning and pillaging as his men plowed through what was left of the South and the unguarded farmland that was to be burned to the ground.

“It is a good thing that war is so terrible,” Robert E. Lee observed, “lest we grow so fond of it.”

Legacy of irony

Both Robert E. Lee and George Custer would become demonized for following their orders and fighting on behalf of their nation thanks to the politically correct interjections that led to the 7th Cavalry being retired out of disgrace until the Vietnam War under a new incarnation of helicopter Air Cavalry tactics.

Victim of propaganda

Today statues of Robert E. Lee in many states in the US are being hauled off, vandalized, or considered for removal as are many other war heroes of the south by a leftist movement that uses the same tactics as the Soviet Union did in erasing the history and heritage of a society that it targeted to demoralize and destabilize in its quest to render a nation into internal turmoil prior to overthrow.

 

Views: 103

Comment by Ron Powell on May 24, 2019 at 5:35pm

Do you ever credit the sources for the material you post?

Or, did you build the log cabin you were born in?

Comment by Bob Burns on May 24, 2019 at 11:54pm

Comment by Bob Burns 2 minutes agoDelete Comment

What do you call a general who disobeys orders, abandons his post, and takes up arms against the country that a day earlier gave him his paycheck. What do you call a general who takes a solemn oath to serve and protect the Constitution of the United States and then consciously breaks that solemn oath and causes the death of hundreds of thousands of troops he formerly led?

You call him a traitor.

Comment by Doc Vega on May 25, 2019 at 6:55am
Ron is a black man who happens to be a patriot always an Uncle Tom? Especially one who has done more for the people besides bitch?
Comment by Doc Vega on May 25, 2019 at 7:00am

Bob Burns Robert E. Lee was an honorable man who rose to the occasion for the states he chose to defend! He was an abolitionist and one hell of a better man than impotent fools like yourself who stand in judgement with your lack of ability to critically analyze!

Comment by Bob Burns on May 25, 2019 at 7:36am

The facts speak for themselves, no matter how stridently people like your self attempt to canonize Robert E. Lee. He is uncanonizable. I note you do not challenge the facts I cited in my original comment, thus rendering yours no more than an opinion.

Furthermore, Lee owned plenty of slaves, hardly the actions of an abolitionist. (https://www.nps.gov/arho/learn/historyculture/slavery.htm). Lee, as the military leader of a revolt against his own country, became in effect a staunch supporter of chattel slavery.

Comment by Doc Vega on May 27, 2019 at 7:34am

Robert Burns, if you really want to explore who was responsible for a war that did not need to be you can thank Abe Lincoln who presided over the bloodies conflict in US history thanks to the south being constantly pressured over state's rights and would later be scandalously exploited by carpet baggers as private property was pillaged by a government who had no right to intervene in such matters! Once again arm chair quarterbacking trying to impose your truth today is not applicable! Once again Robert E. Lee was an abolitionist! He took up command as his duty to his countrymen! he was not charged with any war crime and held in high esteem by his Union opponents!  

I would say looking back in history much more recent was the involvement of Generals MacArthur and Patton in the "Shanty Town Fires" when ordered by the President to crush the WWI squatters in DC who protested not getting their much needed pensions in the midst of the Great Depression as they raided the encampment, used tear gas and gun fire, and even a little baby was left dead once the smoke cleared and the place was burned to the ground. 

There was nothing morally correct about slavery, but abolition was imminent! 600 to 750 thousand men did not need to die in order for a solution to be arrived at! Modern historians have tried to make the Civil War all about slavery when it was not! And those indoctrinated by America hating educators like yourself can choose to remain in your self assured stupor all you want and this is why there is a divide among Americans! Just as Obama's administration has been caught influencing foreign election using billions of US dollars of taxpayers money to install foreign leaders they want while selling us out, but people like you would applaud Obama out of total ignorance! IN A WAY YOUR BUNGLING LOGIC IS LAUGHABLE!

Comment by Doc Vega on May 27, 2019 at 7:37am

Ron you can get off your lazy ass and do your own homework! I'm not going to do it for you! Then you can earn the knowledge rather than ask me to prove what I already know just so you can dispute the truth as you clearly do with each one of your articles! 

Comment by Bob Burns on May 27, 2019 at 8:17am

Geez, Ron! Stray from the topic much?

I have no need for edification from the likes of yourself! I know my history. (I taught it, for godssakes.)

We were talking about R.E. Lee. one of the more undeserving, yet mythologized of military men in American history. Essentially, he lost the war, along with his subordinates.

I suggest you pick up a copy of The Myth of the Lost Cause by Edward Bonekemper III. Lee was a lousy general and an unreconstructed racist. And by the way, there was no way slavery was going to be abandoned by all those rich planters in the South. As usual, people like you like to fit "facts" to your politics.

Comment by koshersalaami on May 27, 2019 at 12:49pm

There is absolutely no question from sources of the period that the motivation for secession was the preservation of slavery. One could make the case that Lincoln was more concerned with preserving the Union than with ending slavery but that would only be relevant if the Union had started the war. The Union didn’t; the war was started by rebels firing on Ft. Sumpter. So yes, the war was about slavery. Specifically about slavery. 

Not about states’ rights. When the state of New York refused to recognize the owning rights of slaveowners when in state, the Southern states complained in Congress about New York’s excessive use of states’ rights. 

And I’d love a source for saying that most of Louisiana’s plantation owners were Black. That really sounds like a myth. 

Comment by Doc Vega on May 27, 2019 at 3:53pm

Bob Burns all I can say is that you were obviously misinformed and though Lee was a human being apt to make mistakes the following clearly and historically demonstrates his capabilities! 

Robert E. Lee was viewed before the Civil War, at least by the one man that counted, as the greatest officer in the Army.

Here's a quote made by Winfield Scott, longtime commander of US Forces until after the Civil War begun: Lee is the greatest military genius in America, myself not excepted.

Robert Preston of Kentucky once reported that Winfield Scott also once told him this: “I tell you that if I were on my death-bed to-morrow, and the President
 of the United States should tell me that a great battle was to be
fought for the liberty or slavery of the country, and asked my judgment
as to the ability of a commander, I would say with my dying breath, 'Let
it be Robert E. Lee.’ "

This is not idle praise, Lee had served gallantly in the Mexican War, personally showing great bravery in putting himself in danger in order to scout the ground and find a way to attack through ground which was previously thought impossible.

Lee began to shine as a commander during the Civil War during the Peninsula Campaign.  He took a situation that looked hopeless, went on the attack, and drove the larger Union forces back.  In a matter of days, the Confederate War situation went from almost over to strengthened greatly.  Before the end of the Summer, Lee had completely driven back the Peninsular Attack, but drove the battle line in front of Richmond back far closer to Washington.  He then executed an attack into Union territory, and that would have been more successful had his plans orders not accidentally fallen into Union hands.  Within a year of taking command in June 1862, Lee scored victories over larger Union armies in the Seven Days Battles, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.  He drew a tactical draw at Antietam, and had opportunities to win at Gettysburg.

After Gettysburg, Lee's greatest defeat and failure as a commander, he continued to win major battles in the face of overwhelming odds.  The Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor were all tactical victories.  The only difference was the Grant used the manpower and logistical supremacy to force Lee to step back in spite of Lee's victories in face-to-face fighting.

Lee should stand in the pantheon of American Generals along with Washington, Andrew Jackson, John Pershing, and Douglas MacArthur.  Other names should be included, but in the 19th Century Lee was arguably the greatest commander tactically, as a leader of men, and in his ability to make the Army do what he wanted to do.  In an even fight, Lee probably never would have beaten, so I believe the answer to be yes, he was as brilliant as some in history have recorded,
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