View single post by Wrap10
 Posted: Wed Aug 27th, 2008 02:40 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 28th, 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 97

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I'd have to look it up to make sure. I just can't remember who the source was. If you're wondering about the accuracy of the quote - whether Lee actually said such a thing - you're not alone. I've wondered about that as well. But if it was simply made up out of thin air for some reason, I can't see why except as a possible shot at Grant. We'd need to know more about the person who quoted Lee.

That said, I suspect that Lee did give that answer, although I can't prove it. But I've wondered about it, and why he would have chosen McClellan. If you think about the possible choices, you've got a total of six - McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, Meade, and Grant. Of those, you can immediately eliminate Pope, Burnside, and Hooker. Lee dispatched each of them in a single battle, and there's no way he would have picked one of them as his best opponent. So that leaves McClellan, Meade, and Grant. He only faced Meade in one stand-up battle, and although he lost, I suspect he felt that loss was due more to his own mistakes than anything Meade did. Plus, Meade did not appear very eager to engage Lee in battle in the months after Gettysburg, even when he had the chance.

So that really only leaves McClellan and Grant. Of those two, only one of them was ever able to impose his will on Lee, force him onto the permanent defensive, and finally force his surrender. Yet Lee picked the other commander as his best opponent in the war. If we are to believe the quote. The question is, why? And would anyone here also pick McClellan as Lee's best opponent?


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