View single post by 5fish
 Posted: Wed Aug 13th, 2008 04:13 am
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Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Posts: 142

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I bring the following question to this board: 

Was Lee the audacious commander as historians have portrait to be?

The next is what Freeman mention about Lee's audacity.

From Freeman's great biography of Lee:

1. Lee was inspired to audacity. This was, perhaps, his greatest strategical lesson in Mexico, for all the circumstances favored a daring course on the part of his teacher. The nucleus of Scott's army was professional; the forces that opposed them were ill-trained and poorly led. Scott could attempt and could achieve in Mexico what even he, bold as he was, would not have undertaken p296 against an army as well disciplined as his own. Some of his actions were little more than sham battles with ball cartridges, and were, in one sense, about as good schooling as could be devised for a beginner in the practice of strategy. When it is remembered that the son of "Light-Horse Harry" received his practical instruction, in that particular campaign, under as daring a soldier as Scott, and followed that by a study of Napoleon, it will not be surprising that audacity, even to the verge of seeming overconfidence, was the guiding principle of the strategy he employed as the leader of a desperate cause.

I have read other historians talk about Lee's audacity and many mention he had to take risk to win battles because he always had a smaller and less supplied army then his opponent. I think about this and I do not see such an audacious commander as historians have told us.

One can say Chancellorsville was and audacious move and maybe his first strike at Grant in the Wilderness then after those it becomes tougher. Fredericksburg, Sharpsburg, and Gettysburg I am not seeing any audacity just will fought battles.

Do we call Pickett's charge or Malvern Hill assaults audacious acts or something less kind??

I think maybe the audacity of Lee is more folklore then reality.....

An understanding needed.......














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