Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


General Lee - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Jul 24th, 2006 05:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
burnsideshot
Member


Joined: Wed Jul 5th, 2006
Location: Boston, MA - Jessica
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I understand that General Lee had helped to design and set up fortifications with the US military as well as various other assignments.  I have read the majority of his biography, yet I fail to understand from all of this why he was offered command of the North.  As far as I have heard, he didn't even experience combat until he was near 40 years old (I like Lee, I'm not knocking him.)  What set him aside from any of the others originally?  I have mentioned I'm fairly new to the study of the Civil War, but I have heard that even the South was hesitant after his performance in West Virginia.  From what I have read, he let others make too many calls even when he knew it may be disasterous during that campaign.  I'm not questioning the military, strategic and tactical genius of the man.  He proved to be excellent though many believe that the only reason he was offered command of the Southern forces was because of his relationship with Jefferson Davis.  The question then is:  Why was RE Lee offered command of the North over many other (perhaps more qualified) individuals of the time?...unless there were no more qualified, and then, what made him so qualified?  Continues to perplex me... waiting for enlightenment, once again.  Promise I'll get this stuff sooner or later as long as you continue to pardon my gross ignorance :D

Thanks - Jessie



 Posted: Mon Jul 24th, 2006 10:21 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
Shadowrebel
Member


Joined: Tue Sep 13th, 2005
Location: Old Forge, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 71
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Greetings Jessie,

You are not ignorant,not seeking knowledge is the only way to have "gross ignorance".

Here is a short answer during the Mexican War Lee servered under Winfield Scott and impressed him. Scott rose by the time of the war to command of the entire U.S. army. Try this site http://www.carpenoctem.tv/military/lee.html

Lee was serving with General Wool at the beginning of the Mexican War, but was reassigned to General Winfield Scott’s staff at his special request. In that capacity he had opportunity to demonstrate such brilliance and heroism that General Scott was prompted to write that Lee was "the very best soldier I ever saw in the field." source (http://www.swcivilwar.com/lee.html)

Have fun learning about the war.

Regards

Shadowrebel (John)

 

Last edited on Mon Jul 24th, 2006 10:22 am by Shadowrebel



 Posted: Mon Jul 24th, 2006 11:27 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
burnsideshot
Member


Joined: Wed Jul 5th, 2006
Location: Boston, MA - Jessica
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks John,

I knew he served under Scott, but I had no idea that Scott saying he was the best soldier he had ever seen in the field would have been enough to earn him the right to command such vital forces.  Could you imagine today if someone was given such a high rank just on the word of Gen. Peter Pace alone after serving relatively little in combat situations?  I guess times were just that different! :?

Thanks - Jessie



 Posted: Mon Jul 24th, 2006 03:16 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
connyankee
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: Colchester, Connecticut USA
Posts: 83
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I seemed to have read someplace that Albert S. Johnston, who was serving the US Army in California when the Civil War broke out, was offered a position second only in rank to Winfield Scott.  If true, was this before or after R.E. Lee was offered command of Union forces?  I think A.S. Johnson resigned on April 9th, 1861.

Can anyone help me out on this one?

ConnYankee



 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2006 06:15 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
BobbyLee
Member
 

Joined: Sun Aug 6th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

connyankee wrote: I seemed to have read someplace that Albert S. Johnston, who was serving the US Army in California when the Civil War broke out, was offered a position second only in rank to Winfield Scott.  If true, was this before or after R.E. Lee was offered command of Union forces?  I think A.S. Johnson resigned on April 9th, 1861.

Can anyone help me out on this one?

ConnYankee

Lee met with Blair and then Scott on April 18 where he was offered command of all Union armies, second only to Scott.

It is true that Scott's high regard for Lee prompted this offer.  Johnston was offered the same position after Lee turned it down.

One note on Johnston...after he resigned he remained in place until his replacement could reach California.  Though he had the fullest of intentions to side with the Confederacy, his sense of duty compelled him to remain at his post until he could be relieved.

 



 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2006 10:46 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
connyankee
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: Colchester, Connecticut USA
Posts: 83
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks & welcome to the board :)



 Posted: Mon Aug 7th, 2006 05:47 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
CountyGrey
Member


Joined: Mon Aug 7th, 2006
Location: Mejale, Virginia USA
Posts: 3
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Anywyas... as being from Virginina myself... the Union military offered to give Robert E. Lee a promotion to serve the U.S. because of how he was affiliated with being the son of Light horse Harry Lee, knowing extensive knowledge of fortifications such as Fort Monroe and military strategies, he served during the Mexican War, and also they tried to get him so he wouldn't join forces of the Confederacy...



 Posted: Tue Aug 8th, 2006 06:36 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
BobbyLee
Member
 

Joined: Sun Aug 6th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 3
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks.  I am a long-time Civil War buff, but just started to look for discussion boards.

I participate in several boards relating to my profession, but it just dawned on me that there should be some good Civil War conversation out there.

 



 Posted: Wed Aug 9th, 2006 12:58 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
burnsideshot
Member


Joined: Wed Jul 5th, 2006
Location: Boston, MA - Jessica
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Interesting county... thanks for your post.  This board is a great supplement to my civil war studies.  Gives me new things to look up all the time... I find it rather addictive... Maybe for right now I should get back to work.  Cancer doesn't cure itself you know and I have some prostate patient samples I need to analyze :)

Godspeed - Jessie



 Posted: Fri Aug 11th, 2006 03:08 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
James Longstreet
Member


Joined: Thu Aug 3rd, 2006
Location: Arkansas USA
Posts: 89
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top


Last edited on Sun Sep 24th, 2006 02:02 am by James Longstreet



 Posted: Fri Aug 11th, 2006 11:25 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

If Ken Burns said that, then Ken Burns is an idiot.

Let's leave aside the ridiculous proposition of comparing what is a deity to some with a sometimes competent Civil War general. Greater than Socrates? Aristotle? The greatest thinkers, philosophers, humanitarians and leaders of all time? The word hogwash keeps popping into my head.

I'm not a "Lee-hater" but I certainly am not one that believes he walked on water. Not only don't I believe he was the best Civil War general, I don't even think he was the best Southern general. He was great at rare times; competent most times; imprudent, rash and a rather poor leader at other times.

Last edited on Fri Aug 11th, 2006 11:26 am by javal1



 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 03:02 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
James Longstreet
Member


Joined: Thu Aug 3rd, 2006
Location: Arkansas USA
Posts: 89
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Whoa now, it was just a joke.  Sorry to offend.



 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 03:09 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
javal1
Grumpy Geezer


Joined: Thu Sep 1st, 2005
Location: Tennessee USA
Posts: 1503
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

LOL - no offense taken or meant James. I don't take these things seriously. As far as I know Burns did say it (I'm not a big fan of his). I was expressing hostility towards him (if he said it), not you. BTW, welcome to the board - I see you've met many of us already! ;)



 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 03:15 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
James Longstreet
Member


Joined: Thu Aug 3rd, 2006
Location: Arkansas USA
Posts: 89
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Oh, thanks for the welcoming.  And I'm not too big of a fan of Ken burns either.

--Casey



 Posted: Sun Sep 24th, 2006 01:58 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Malemute9
Member
 

Joined: Wed Sep 20th, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 5
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

It is an interesting question, but I think there are several reasons Lee was offered the job.  First, of course, was Scott's impression of him.  Second was Lee's impressive performance at West Point.  As a military officer, I can tell you that Honor Graduates and those who distinquish themselves at a Military Academy get known.  Lee had certainly done that.  Further, Lee's standing at West Point got him a post in the Corps of Engineers, which was considered the pre-eminent posting for an officer.

Lee did the right service, before the right set of eyes, during the Mexican War.  He performed acceptably at Harper's Ferry in the John Brown incident. Finally, he was from Virginia, which made him a good political choice.  There was probably some hope that by picking the most prominent Virginian in the US Army to lead it, they might be able to split Virginia in the days following secession.



 Current time is 02:23 am
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4145 seconds (12% database + 88% PHP). 27 queries executed.