Leave it to Lee-Jackson Day to bring out the crazies. According to Henry Kidd, Robert E. Lee saved this country by agreeing to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox rather than disband it to fight in a guerrilla war that would have turned this country into something like Bosnia. Perhaps I am mistaken, but wouldn’t a Confederate victory also have led to the fracturing of the United States? So much for Lincoln, Grant, and the Union army playing a role in saving this nation. At some point I was hoping to see the interviewer bust out in uncontrollable laughter in response to such a ridiculous statement. That we live in a society that grants any legitimacy to such a position is all the reason I need to continue to teach.
It’s another one of those slow days here at Civil War Memory, but I didn’t want Robert E. Lee’s birthday to pass without showing due respect. With that in mind I thought we would once again try our hands at giving this print a caption. This is a truly bizarre print. I assume that in addition to Lee and Longstreet we are looking at John Bell Hood and A.P.Hill. It looks like Hill’s horse is eating blood-stained grass. What’s Lee complaining about? Even Traveller looks upset with Longstreet. I will leave the rest to you.
OK Ken, what do you got for us?
And if you are looking for something to listen to this Saturday evening, here is a nice discussion between Peter Carmichael, Allen Guelzo, and James McPherson.
Gary Gallagher’s forthcoming book explores Confederate loyalty through the lives of Robert E. Lee, Steven D. Ramseur, Jubal Early. Gallagher has analyzed the lives of all three, including an early biography of Ramseur, but this might be his most extensive treatment of Early to date. Many of us anticipated a full-length biography of Lee’s “Bad Old Man”, but that is not going to happen.
Last week the Lovett School in Atlanta hosted Gallagher as part of its speaker series, which you can watch below. I am very much looking forward to this book.
Here is a short clip of Tom Dugan portraying Robert E. Lee. There is a short interview with Dugan and the director, but the clip that I found most interesting was Dugan’s portrayal of Lee’s views on slavery and race. What you get is a very loose reading of the historical record and a great deal of fantasy.