General Robert E. Lee

Posted On: Saturday - August 19th 2017 9:23PM MST
In Topics: 
  History  Liberty/Libertarianism  alt-right  ctrl-left

Charlottesville is in the South. Virginia, though not the first state to secede from the Union of States back in 1961, was at least the biggest battleground, on a large scale view, of the War of Northern Aggression. It was the home of Robert E. Lee, though he was taught to be an officer of the US Army at West Point, New York State, and was in the Corps of Engineers starting in 1829. From the Army Corps of Engineers website (not taken down yet ... somebody screwed the pooch ...):
Robert E. Lee was a United States Army engineer officer from 1829 to 1855. Born on 19 January 1807 in Stratford Hall, Westmoreland County, Virginia, Lee’s father was Revolutionary War hero Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee. Home-schooled by his parents until he was thirteen, he then entered an academy in Alexandria, Virginia. After a year at a Quaker prep school, he entered the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York on 1 July 1825. An excellent student, Lee graduated number two in the class of 1829 and entered the Corps of Engineers.
Well, first off, notice that even in those years, the US Constitution was being ignored as the concept of the "standing army" was anathema to the founders of this country (they allowed for a Navy for defense). The idea was that the various States would raise militias if the need for defense arose. However, compared to the violations instigated by President Lincoln to come, that was kid stuff.

This post will not get into the actual reasons for the War of Northern Aggression, as it is just to write about General Lee.

General Lee on his beloved horse Traveler

When it looked like there would be war, President Lincoln requested that he become leader of what was left of the United States Army. Now, we're getting to the part that people in the modern day just don't get or CAN'T get due to their totally misunderstanding of the point of this country according to the founder's creation of it.

This is about the term "State", really. Nowadays, the word "state", as spoken about within the US, is meant by most people as "province", "district", or "prefecture", just some boundaries to help organize things at a smaller than Central "Federal" Government level. That's all. Anyone who has thought about it more and has read some history should know better. The word "State", just as it sounds in that phrase from King Louis 14th orf centuries-ago France, "L'etat, C'est Moi" ("The State - that's Me"), means the ultimate sovereign. No earthly power is stronger. There may be treaties between States, or a NATO-type organization, but the signatories can pull out of a treaty anytime they want, or quit the organization (say, NATO), as after all, they are the ultimate power over their destinies. OK, we use the term "country", but the word "state" has pretty much the same definition as the way we use "country".

Back to General Robert E. Lee, now, we all know he was the General of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia which fought the Union Army of the Potomac in the big battles of the war. (Yes, there were big battles in "the West", back then meaning the areas surrounding the Mississippi River, but think about it, Richmond, VA, former capital of the CSA is only 120 miles from Washington, FS! There were a lot of the big battles in the area.) This relates to the definition of "state" from a coupla' paragraphs back, so I didn't write all that for nothing. Anyone calling this man a traitor doesn't understand the concept I explained there. Virginia was Robert E. Lee's COUNTRY, whatever word you want to use. His country was to be invaded by the army of the "United", not-so-much, States, and his defending it was nothing but pure patriotism.

Leading an army of another organization of states with, what, 25% or so of the industrial might and resources as the Northern one, this General came very close to putting an end to the invasion. I have read many books about this war, but not being a military man or military historian, I could not describe what made Lee's strategy or tactic brilliant. However, what made him a great leader is easy to understand from the reading, mostly just the respect men had for him.

The more you read about this honorable man, the more you will realize that the whole idea of "honor" can barely be understood today. I don't think there are men today like there were back then, at least at any high level in governments, corporations, universities, or any other institutions. The concept has been lost, but also the society we live in does not honor "honor". It does not get appreciated, and is not encouraged.

Until recently, even the people who were simple suckers for the kindergarten explanation of the War of Northern Aggression that "it was fought to free the slaves" (haha, ask Lincoln about that), had no animosity toward the honest generals and common soldiers of The South. It was war, and they were doing their duty. The monuments and gravestones were there for remembrance of the sacrifices and heroic efforts on both sides. Why have things changed regarding respecting the past over the last few decades?

Pat Buchanan, as a good writer and a pretty damn good historian too, has the following explanation in his latest column, and does much better than we at Peak Stupidity could:

“They had found a leader, Robert E. Lee–and what a leader! … No military leader since Napoleon has aroused such enthusiastic devotion among troops as did Lee when he reviewed them on his horse Traveller.”

So wrote Samuel Eliot Morison in his magisterial “The Oxford History of the American People” in 1965.

First in his class at West Point, hero of the Mexican War, Lee was the man to whom President Lincoln turned to lead his army. But when Virginia seceded, Lee would not lift up his sword against his own people, and chose to defend his home state rather than wage war upon her.

This veneration of Lee, wrote Richard Weaver, “appears in the saying attributed to a Confederate soldier, ‘The rest of us may have … descended from monkeys, but it took a God to make Marse Robert.'”

Growing up after World War II, this was accepted history.

Yet, on the militant left today, the name Lee evokes raw hatred and howls of “racist and traitor.” A clamor has arisen to have all statues of him and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen pulled down from their pedestals and put in museums or tossed onto trash piles.

What has changed since 1965?

It is not history. There have been no great new discoveries about Lee.

What has changed is America herself. She is not the same country. We have passed through a great social, cultural and moral revolution that has left us irretrievably divided on separate shores.

Going back to the 1970's, The General Lee was the Duke boys' nickname for their Dodge Charger that could outrun all the cops in Hazard County. Yes, of course its horn played Dixie! I never heard any stink about that, even with the big Rebel Flag painted on the roof. Indeed, we must be different people now, a big bunch of us anyway.

(The) General Lee, out on maneuvers:

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