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Offered Command Of Both Armies - North & South

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Most people do not realize that Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army by the Secretary of War for the Union Govt before he resigned his commission from the U.S. Army and went south to Virginia.  When Virginia finally did succeed from the Union, Robert E. Lee offered his sword to the Gov of Virginia first and was given a Brigadier General's Commission and then eventually a regular commission in the Confederate Army as an Aide To Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

We all know what a great general Robert E. Lee turned out to be and how he kept the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the field for 3 years and defeating just about every army that the Union had sent against him - till the massive amount of Northern Manpower and Resources just became far too much for any army to endure.

My point would be this to all of you history fanatics like myself:  I honestly believe if given the vast amount of manpower and resources that the North had from the beginning of the war and up till the very end - General Robert E. Lee as the Commanding General of the Union Army of the Potomac would have over powered and defeated the South in about two years due to his great strategy for battle  and thoroughly knowing how to size up his opponent.   General Lee was most excellent in a defensive battle - but his blood always yearned to go on the offense and have the manpower and resources available to carry out his battle plans.  The South was very lucky that Virginia did vote to succeed and General Robert E. Lee fought for the South.

What say all of you historical fanatics out there?

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Most people do not realize that Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army by the Secretary of War for the Union Govt before he resigned his commission from the U.S. Army and went south to Virginia.  When Virginia finally did succeed from the Union, Robert E. Lee offered his sword to the Gov of Virginia first and was given a Brigadier General's Commission and then eventually a regular commission in the Confederate Army as an Aide To Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

We all know what a great general Robert E. Lee turned out to be and how he kept the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the field for 3 years and defeating just about every army that the Union had sent against him - till the massive amount of Northern Manpower and Resources just became far too much for any army to endure.

My point would be this to all of you history fanatics like myself:  I honestly believe if given the vast amount of manpower and resources that the North had from the beginning of the war and up till the very end - General Robert E. Lee as the Commanding General of the Union Army of the Potomac would have over powered and defeated the South in about two years due to his great strategy for battle  and thoroughly knowing how to size up his opponent.   General Lee was most excellent in a defensive battle - but his blood always yearned to go on the offense and have the manpower and resources available to carry out his battle plans.  The South was very lucky that Virginia did vote to succeed and General Robert E. Lee fought for the South.

What say all of you historical fanatics out there?

 

Just a hypothetical here, because I agree it would not have needed well if he fought for the north. But it didn’t really end well for the south with him either.

 

The war would have been much shorter with the same outcome, with countless lives saved and without Sherman burning his way through the south. Might have been better off in the long run.

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Good points and one must remember that General Lee did not first have overall command of the Army of Virginia as it was so styled under General Joe Johnston, who was wounded in the Battle of the Peninsula or The Battle of 7 Days.  Gen Joe Johnston had a style that called for retreat to a more defensive position which caused him a lot of heartburn with the Confederate Govt in Richmond for giving up so much ground.  This would also cost dearly in the command of the Army of Tenn after Gen Braxton Bragg resigned after losing Chattanooga back to the Union Armies later in the war.

Had Gen Lee had first been given overall command of the Army of Virginia/Northern Virginia in the early stages of the war before the mass influx of the northern industrial might was felt and then the massive numbers of men Abraham Lincoln was able to call on to fill the ranks of the Union Armies, Confederate General Lee might have been able to march right into Washington City and force an immediate surrender and generous peace terms for the South, especially after the Battle of 1st Manassas (Confusion and exhaustion was the only thing that stopped the South that day).  General Lee has been considered by many as the "Greatest American General ever".   Gen Lee always faced an uphill battle in not only manpower (usually 3-1 & at times 4-1 odds), but also in rations to feed his men, ample transportation, Confederate Cavalrymen had to furnish their own horses and even then there was never enough food for them.  Medicine was basically nonexistent - unless it was smuggled through the lines. Weapons and cannons were always inferior to what the Northern Armies had in the ranks and in their artillery units. Yet, with all these negatives  that Gen Lee had to deal with daily - he still put a whipping on every Union General he fought other than General Meade and even there, basically fought the Union Army to a standstill.    My point is that I think that if Gen Lee had been given command of the Southern Armies at the beginning, he may have been able to shorten the war and had the North suing for peace.

Just think of what he could have done with the overall command of the Union Armies in the beginning - unlimited manpower - unlimited weapons & artillery - a strong and very large Navy.  Medicine and a full staff of doctors at his call.  Wagons, horses and the all and empowering might of the industrial North!!!!  Add all of this to the genius of Robert E. Lee and I don't think we would have had a very long war and hopefully the South after losing many battles to Gen Lee would have decided to come to the peace table and settled for the terms that would have been offered by a very generous Abraham Lincoln.

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I would say that Lee's greatest contribution to American history overall was his steadfast opposition to protracted guerilla warfare following the South's defeat.

Had that happened, certain areas of the South would have remained lawless and in poverty for generations.

That does speak to a certain degree to the message of the OP if you stop and think about it.  It speaks to the overall brotherhood of American military officers before and after the Civil War as well as the hard choices regarding their loyalties that the Civil War forced them to make.

While Lincoln decided not to execute Lee, he did seize his plantation property named Arlington in Northern Virginia, and designate it as a National Cemetery to shame Lee for the incredible amount of deaths he was responsible for.

So in a sense, the Arlington National Cemetery has provided unity, closure, and healing to many American families in the wars that have followed the American Civil War.

The revisionist history that is common today is chocked full of ignorance about how the foundation of this country was formed in its early years.

 

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Yes Kingofnerf, General Robert E. Lee was very steadfast in not wanting his troops to form small bands of guerilla fighters and continue the fight.  That statement was always a very truthful and heartfelt duty that General Lee felt like his "Beloved South land & Soldiers should honor".  One thing else - albeit a different sort of fighting, General Lee also stated when he was President of Washington College in Lexington, VA  a few years after the ending of the war;  "That if he knew those people (Yankees) were going to treat the South so bad after the war - he would have never surrender to Major General Grant and fought to the last man".  Now this was not a guerilla war he was speaking of, but one where he would have continued to battle the Union Armies in the field as long as his small army could stand and knowing their total devotion to General Lee - these men and officers would have fought to the last man and took many more Union Soldiers with them to their final resting place.

Lawlessness, devastation, and poverty stayed with the South for about 60 years after the ending of The War Between The States.  Law was restored after the "military occupation" was finally ended for most of the Southern States after 12 years.  The only part of the United States to be ever under military rule.  The South was devastated for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of Yankee Gen William T. Sherman wagging an inhuman war on old people, women, and small children.  They burned churches, homes, barns, schools, and many other buildings - stealing food and killing off what they could not take with them and also stealing everything of value in the Southern homes. They went about killing and raping both white and black women - just because they could!!!  At this time in the war, all the South could put in front of Sherman and his guerilla's were just a few home guard troop (old men & young boys).  The Confederate Armies never waged war on innocent civilians.

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by a nut-case - John Wilkes Booth - before Lincoln could ever put into place his more humane and descent rules of "re-uniting our two nations back into one".  This was by far the worse thing to happen to the South - other than losing the war on the battle field.  Abraham Lincoln never wanted to "hang Gen Lee or just about anyone else connected to the Confederate Govt" as he would have just preferred that President Jefferson Davis would have just slipped quietly away to Europe and Lincoln would have gladly allow him to go.  After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson took office, Johnson and many of his cabinet wanted to hang everything that had a Confederate Uniform then.  Thank goodness the wisdom and bravery of men like Major General Grant had enough influence to force the Union Govt to "honor all peace treaties made with all the Confederate Armies that surrendered peacefully"!!!

General Lee's - Arlington, VA Plantation was stolen by the Union Army and a Yankee Procurement Officer had his men start burying Union Troops up close to the Mansion to insure that the Lee's could never return to their home!!!!  Eventually, the Lee Family finally won their rights in a United States Court as the lawful owners of Arlington and they were paid a handsome sum for it as it could never be given back now as it was a Union Army Cemetery.

Jefferson Davis was captured and put into "uncivilized cells" for over two years before his release and subsequently dropping of all charges against him and all Confederate Soldiers/Sailors/Politicians.  Secession was never and could never be "wrong or unconstitutional under the constitution our founding fathers had drawn up".  If it would have, then the haters, scalawags, and carpet baggers in the North would have push it through the U.S. House and Senate as they controlled both during the next 12 years.

Your words are very true about the true bond that existed between both Confederate and Union Soldiers for many years after the War Between The States and many reunions were held at all of the major battlefields.

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Johnson vetoed the Reconstruction act, and northern Republicans thought he was actually too soft on the South.  Let's not also forget that prior to the reconstruction act, many southern States passed the Black Codes and were slow to ratify the 13th amendment. 

General Lee also wasn't all that great of a general according to a lot of modern-day historians, fwiw. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20.

Sherman's march through Georgia was a tactic to destroy large amounts of supplies and demoralize the South.  It worked.  The loss of civilian life during his march through the south was relatively small, all things considering.  

The above account seems to be lifted from a Sons of the Confederacy website, tbh. If Johnson really wanted to "hang Gen Lee or just about anyone else connected to the Confederate Govt" it seems pretty odd that he pardoned Lee and 36 other military and civilian leaders of the Confederacy after they were indicted for treason in a Federal Court in Richmond on June 7, 1865.  Weird.

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16 hours ago, TheKOB said:

Johnson vetoed the Reconstruction act, and northern Republicans thought he was actually too soft on the South.  Let's not also forget that prior to the reconstruction act, many southern States passed the Black Codes and were slow to ratify the 13th amendment. 

General Lee also wasn't all that great of a general according to a lot of modern-day historians, fwiw. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20.

Sherman's march through Georgia was a tactic to destroy large amounts of supplies and demoralize the South.  It worked.  The loss of civilian life during his march through the south was relatively small, all things considering.  

The above account seems to be lifted from a Sons of the Confederacy website, tbh. If Johnson really wanted to "hang Gen Lee or just about anyone else connected to the Confederate Govt" it seems pretty odd that he pardoned Lee and 36 other military and civilian leaders of the Confederacy after they were indicted for treason in a Federal Court in Richmond on June 7, 1865.  Weird.

Yes, Andrew Johnson might have been a little bit easier on the South if it were not for the "hate crowds - which included many of Lincoln's former cabinet members" as they were out for blood and justice would tend to get pushed to the side a little to accomplish their goals.  It's funny you quote that "General Lee" was not all that great according to modern-day historians???  If that is the case, many of his battlefield tactics are still being taught and studied at West Point today.  Sherman's march through not only Georgia, but South Carolina (which paid more dearly than GA or North Carolina did during this time as Sherman really wanted to punish the people of the state).  The loss of life was great in the fact that the Union Army let about 5,000 blacks that they had freed off farms, plantations - drown in one the last big rivers before getting to Savannah, GA as Sherman did not want to have to feed them any longer or has his men continue to carry on with the black females!!!!  Rape can be just as devastating or even more devastating as murder if you are the woman it is happening too.  I don't have a "sum total of Southern Casualties" caused by Sherman and his thugs as they march and made war on innocent people who could not defend themselves, something that General Robert E. Lee would have never allowed his army to do.  IF YANKEE GENERAL SHERMAN DID WHAT HE DID TO THE SOUTH TODAY IN A MODERN WAR - HE WOULD BE BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES OF HATE AND WAR CRIMES!!!

My writings about this are in no way LIFTED FROM A SONS OF THE CONFEDERACY WEBSITE!!!!  My writings are my own words taking from reading great authors like Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Foote, Burke Davis, and many others.  I use to go and give historical speeches about the "Late War Of Northern Aggression" and I really enjoyed it.  To speak the truth, one must know the truth and not just grasp at a few things you have picked up here and there - mostly from high school history books - that are for the most part wrong and only give the view from the winners side!!!   I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO THIS TIME PERIOD IN OUR HISTORY AS MANY OF MY ANCESTORS LIVED IT DAILY.

There are several reasons that President Andrew Johnson did not and could not hang any of the leaders of the Confederate Armies or Govt.  General Lee and all Southern Soldiers that surrender under the terms that Major General Grant agreed to and signed with General Lee assured the Confederate Officers and Soldiers that all that they had to do was "laid down their arms and ask for a pardon and return to their homes".   General Lee and Major General Grant met several times about this subject before General Lee went into see President Andrew Johnson.  Grant would have never allowed General Lee and his officers to be hung after peacefully surrendering at Appomattox.   President Jefferson Davis was captured and inhumanely treated by his Union Captors for over two years and all the while President Davis kept begging for a "trial to be brought against him for treason" as our constitution did not forbid succeeding from something that you freely joined.   Eventually (two years or longer) the United States Govt had to allow President Jefferson Davis to become a free man as they had no constitutional provisions per the constitution to bring him to trial for treason.  THIS TELLS ME THAT BEING MORE MIGHTY THAN YOUR OPPONENT IS - DOES NOT MAKE WHAT YOU DID RIGHT - UNLESS YOU CONSIDER THE OLD SAYING "THAT MIGHT DOES MAKE RIGHT"!!!  That would make this world a terrible place to live in if that were always the truth.

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7 hours ago, dreammachine said:

Yes, Andrew Johnson might have been a little bit easier on the South if it were not for the "hate crowds - which included many of Lincoln's former cabinet members" as they were out for blood and justice would tend to get pushed to the side a little to accomplish their goals.  It's funny you quote that "General Lee" was not all that great according to modern-day historians???  If that is the case, many of his battlefield tactics are still being taught and studied at West Point today.  Sherman's march through not only Georgia, but South Carolina (which paid more dearly than GA or North Carolina did during this time as Sherman really wanted to punish the people of the state).  The loss of life was great in the fact that the Union Army let about 5,000 blacks that they had freed off farms, plantations - drown in one the last big rivers before getting to Savannah, GA as Sherman did not want to have to feed them any longer or has his men continue to carry on with the black females!!!!  Rape can be just as devastating or even more devastating as murder if you are the woman it is happening too.  I don't have a "sum total of Southern Casualties" caused by Sherman and his thugs as they march and made war on innocent people who could not defend themselves, something that General Robert E. Lee would have never allowed his army to do.  IF YANKEE GENERAL SHERMAN DID WHAT HE DID TO THE SOUTH TODAY IN A MODERN WAR - HE WOULD BE BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES OF HATE AND WAR CRIMES!!!

My writings about this are in no way LIFTED FROM A SONS OF THE CONFEDERACY WEBSITE!!!!  My writings are my own words taking from reading great authors like Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Foote, Burke Davis, and many others.  I use to go and give historical speeches about the "Late War Of Northern Aggression" and I really enjoyed it.  To speak the truth, one must know the truth and not just grasp at a few things you have picked up here and there - mostly from high school history books - that are for the most part wrong and only give the view from the winners side!!!   I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO THIS TIME PERIOD IN OUR HISTORY AS MANY OF MY ANCESTORS LIVED IT DAILY.

There are several reasons that President Andrew Johnson did not and could not hang any of the leaders of the Confederate Armies or Govt.  General Lee and all Southern Soldiers that surrender under the terms that Major General Grant agreed to and signed with General Lee assured the Confederate Officers and Soldiers that all that they had to do was "laid down their arms and ask for a pardon and return to their homes".   General Lee and Major General Grant met several times about this subject before General Lee went into see President Andrew Johnson.  Grant would have never allowed General Lee and his officers to be hung after peacefully surrendering at Appomattox.   President Jefferson Davis was captured and inhumanely treated by his Union Captors for over two years and all the while President Davis kept begging for a "trial to be brought against him for treason" as our constitution did not forbid succeeding from something that you freely joined.   Eventually (two years or longer) the United States Govt had to allow President Jefferson Davis to become a free man as they had no constitutional provisions per the constitution to bring him to trial for treason.  THIS TELLS ME THAT BEING MORE MIGHTY THAN YOUR OPPONENT IS - DOES NOT MAKE WHAT YOU DID RIGHT - UNLESS YOU CONSIDER THE OLD SAYING "THAT MIGHT DOES MAKE RIGHT"!!!  That would make this world a terrible place to live in if that were always the truth.

I'd like sources for this, especially the "5,000 blacks" that the Union Army let drown.  Calling it the "war of northern aggression" onlyprovides more evidence that your view is biased.  To pretend that there wasn't barbarity on both sides is ludicrous. Look no further than your 2nd favorite general's massacre at Ft. Pillow.

Regarding "grant would never let allow lee & his soldiers to be hung" I think you're forgetting who was president and who was a general.  Treason, especially back in those days, was punishable by death.  The fact that they weren't wasn't about anything other than Northern benevolence and wanting to heal the rift. Surrendering in no way allows someone to avoid punishment for the crimes they committed...just ask the Nazis tried at Nuremburg. Trials were avoided because it would hamper reconciliation.  The House of Reps voted 105-19 in favor of trying Davis.  Also, there is no constitutional provision for secession, as found in SCOTUS case Texas vs. White in 1866. Here's a good account of the indictment and the surrounding events, along with why it didn't go to trial, none of which was Grant:

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/169189

If any of the Confederates did what they did nowadays, they'd be tried for treason.  I can type that again in all caps if you'd like, since it seems you think it makes it more convincing. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, TheKOB said:

I'd like sources for this, especially the "5,000 blacks" that the Union Army let drown.  Calling it the "war of northern aggression" onlyprovides more evidence that your view is biased.  To pretend that there wasn't barbarity on both sides is ludicrous. Look no further than your 2nd favorite general's massacre at Ft. Pillow.

Regarding "grant would never let allow lee & his soldiers to be hung" I think you're forgetting who was president and who was a general.  Treason, especially back in those days, was punishable by death.  The fact that they weren't wasn't about anything other than Northern benevolence and wanting to heal the rift. Surrendering in no way allows someone to avoid punishment for the crimes they committed...just ask the Nazis tried at Nuremburg. Trials were avoided because it would hamper reconciliation.  The House of Reps voted 105-19 in favor of trying Davis.  Also, there is no constitutional provision for secession, as found in SCOTUS case Texas vs. White in 1866. Here's a good account of the indictment and the surrounding events, along with why it didn't go to trial, none of which was Grant:

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/169189

If any of the Confederates did what they did nowadays, they'd be tried for treason.  I can type that again in all caps if you'd like, since it seems you think it makes it more convincing. 

 

 

 

 

 Professor Kob, please read Shelby Foote's - Third Volume of his "Civil War - A Narrative - Red River To Appomattox".  These three volumes took Mr. Foote over 20 years to write and even though he was a "Southerner By Birth", he writes these 3 volumes from a point of giving credit and blame to both sides - as and when they need it or deserved it.  In the 3rd volume and I am also sure in several other great books that I have it states the same thing about MG Sherman abandoning thousands of blacks that he freed or ones that just followed behind his army to be fed or allowed his soldiers to have "sexual relationships with for their entertainment", and MG Sherman wanted to free himself and his commissary from feeding another 25,000 hungry mouths - he ordered that all pontoon bridges be pulled out of the water after his soldiers passed over Ebenezer Creek and the Ogeechee River in cold weather.  Many blacks, including women, children, young and old men, all drown because Union MG Sherman did not want to be slowed down any longer and did not want to feed these freed blacks as he felt that they were draining away proper food for his men.  Union MG Sherman did not have a very high opinion of the black men - before - during & after the War Between The States.

 

My calling of the "War Between The States" by another term such as "The Late War Of Northern Aggression" is only for a tad bit of humor here for anyone who wanted to read these posts and also reply.  If that term bothers you in anyway, I suggest that you either just look past it or don't read the post.

Kob, once again you are "over-reaching in your zeal to state that General Lee was going to be tried for treason by President Johnson"???  Yes Andrew Johnson, who was a Union man from the state of Tenn and also Vice-President when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated - became President upon the death of Abraham Lincoln.  If you knew your history and the climate at this time -- you would quickly see that General Lee and MG Grant were doing all that they could do in order to bring the South back into the Union as peacefully as possible and even though President Andrew Johnson did issue a proclamation granting amnesty to all former Confederate Soldiers and Sailors, President Johnson stated that a "certain class of Confederate Officers and Officials would have to personally apply for a pardon through him, per his Presidential Proclamation - dated 29 May, 1865.  This proclamation by Pres. Johnson was in direct violation to the "Peaceful Surrender of The Army of Northern Virginia to the Union Army of The Potomac and both the surrender terms agreed upon by General Lee & MG Grant and then approved by President Abraham Lincoln before he was assassinated.  So, this is you who does not know or understand the history of the terms of surrender made by the Generals in charge of both armies (North & South) and agreed upon by the Union President Abraham Lincoln!!!  You are correct in stating that "treason is punishable by death", but you first have to be brought up on the very serious charge of treason to begin with and none of the Confederate Generals (Including Gen Lee) were ever brought up on these charges!  The Union Govt could not find it anywhere in the constitution to bring "treason charges against Confederate President Jefferson Davis - after keeping him in chains for over a year"!!!  This act of putting Confederate President Jefferson Davis in chains -  not only started an outcry in the South for his release - but also by many very prominent people in the North that were disgusted with the barbaric terms and treatment giving to President Jefferson Davis and this only served to make Confederate President Jefferson Davis more of a martyr than he already was becoming!!!

You also try "to lump every Confederate Soldier as a war criminal" because they fought for their nation???  I, nor any historian that I know of would ever state that all Confederate Soldiers were "angels" and yes some did commit acts of aggression, but the Southern Armies NEVER WAGED WAR ON INNOCENT WOMEN AND CHILDREN like Sherman did in his "March To The Sea"!!!  If you would only read a tad bit more of real history - versus pulling something up on an internet website - you might learn that the latter two years of The War Between The States - the Union Govt committed itself to war against not only all the Confederate Armies still fighting in the field, but also against the whole entire South land and their goal was to basically burn it to the ground so that the Southern People could no longer support their husbands, brothers, and sons off fighting against what they called the "Second American Revolution". 

Professor Kob, you are correct in stating that "there is no provision provided in the U.S. Constitution" and there is not.  Yet at the same time there is nothing there to say that you cannot legally do it.  If it was wrong, then why didn't the Union Govt with all of it's hate and passion to hang Confederate President Jefferson Davis succeed?  For many years Confederate President Jefferson Davis begged the Union Govt to please bring him to trial as he would love to defend his side of the argument!!!  The Union Govt never did because it was a trial that they knew they would lose!!!   It was because all of the original 13 colonies signed a separate peace treaty with England and when these same colonies came together as a nation it was under the "free thought of all states - that if they all could easily join - they could all easily leave whenever they wanted too"!!!  The New England States held and ratified a "Succession Proclamation stating that they were no longer a part of the United States of America during the War of 1812.   Just after the meeting was over - a horse rider came galloping up and stated "that General Andrew Jackson had whipped the British at the Battle of New Orleans" and thus in their minds the war was over and no need for succession as business would get back to normal on the "high seas" where most of their commerce came from!!!   This was your first act of succession in the USA!!!

Your bogus claim against Lt General Nathan Bedford Forrest is also a laughing matter.  Are there two sides to what happen at the capture at Fort Pillow, yes there certainly is and without wasting my time trying to explain it to you, you really, really, need to go back and study the real true events that happened there those couple of days.  I would be the first one to say that were there some "un-soldierly action taken by both sides until Lt. General Forrest could get in the fort and put and end to it all".  I will say that the Union Govt never did offer to prosecute Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest after the war - when they had all the power in the world to do that thing???  Must not of had much of a case??? 

This whole thread was started off to show that Robert E. Lee was so well admired and respected by both the Union President Abraham Lincoln and also by the Confederate President Jefferson Davis that both men and their top Cabinet Officers wanted General Lee to head both of their armies.  But if you want to debate over what ever you think I said is wrong, then please bring it on.

I would also like to see your references of these "modern day historians that don't think that General Lee is that great a general today"????  And one more thing, your President Andrew Johnson - who you claim had so much power - was almost impeached and only survived by one vote and the guy who took over President for the next 8 years in America was none other than Lt. General Grant - who by the way ran one of the most corrupt administrations in those 8 years than many before and after him.  I do believe that U.S. Grant was a good man at heart, but he made some very bad appointments and a lot of times soldiers just don't make good Presidents.  Not always the case, but in the case of Lt. General Grant it is sadly true!!!

Also, as far as what you think of my views about my South, I could give a "rat's ass", because I had way over 20 ancestors that fought for the Confederate Armies in many battles from Virginia, Tenn, GA, NC, and a few skirmishes in SC.  My people got here in Jamestown, VA in 1650 and we have fought in just about every war this great nation has been involved in and this includes myself.  So, if I feel a little Southern Pride in my people, then just deal with and move on as I am very proud of many Union Soldiers that I have read about and having learn so much about many of these young men - who were not much different than many of my ancestors who went off to fight against them.  The War Between The States - a very sad time for our nation and one that perhaps could have been avoided with a little bit more "cooler heads on both sides of the aisles", but it happened and now we have learned to live with it and hopefully many of us will want to know the absolute truth about it and not some concocted  version in some "political correct version".  Being born in the South or the North, be proud for who your are and also have respect for the other side if you honestly don't  know the truth without going on a blind - rambling - tangent - that is half cocked and full of potholes.

 

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My short answer about Lee taking command of the Army of Potomac is that the war probably would not have lasted as long. Assuming that Lee remained healthy not wounded etc. It still would have lasted a while because commanding the AoP was just one of the armies the North had. The western front was very significant in the war's events. 

Won't get into the rest of the mess going on...I will say though that nothing lights people up like talking about the Civil War and its causes. 

And Foote, though his three volume work is widely praised is not a historian and didnt claim to write those books that way. They are great narrative that tell a lot of truth, however he was liberal in a lot of ways. 

Also the Confederate army did burn northern towns. If I am not mistaken there was some of this during the Gettysburg campaign. And part of Sheridan's burning of the Valley was in retaliation for this. 

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14 hours ago, TKE226 said:

My short answer about Lee taking command of the Army of Potomac is that the war probably would not have lasted as long. Assuming that Lee remained healthy not wounded etc. It still would have lasted a while because commanding the AoP was just one of the armies the North had. The western front was very significant in the war's events. 

Won't get into the rest of the mess going on...I will say though that nothing lights people up like talking about the Civil War and its causes. 

And Foote, though his three volume work is widely praised is not a historian and didnt claim to write those books that way. They are great narrative that tell a lot of truth, however he was liberal in a lot of ways. 

Also the Confederate army did burn northern towns. If I am not mistaken there was some of this during the Gettysburg campaign. And part of Sheridan's burning of the Valley was in retaliation for this. 

You are right in the fact that the war was won/lost in the Western Front.  A lot of people on both sides of the aisle don't take time to consider this.  I think if General Lee had been in Command of all Northern Troops and given the vast manpower/naval/industrial might - that General Lee would have pick up on early as being the Supt of West Point for many years and living in the North - he would have used this vast resource a whole lot better than the ones that did have the opportunity to be in charge of AOP.  I also think that this would have led to General Lee being given command of "All Union Forces" as General McClellan had for awhile and General Lee would have just overwhelmed anything that the South could have thrown against him at that time and thus ending the war several years earlier or how the South pleading for peace and THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF VIRGINIA WOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE UNION!

As far as burning some places/towns, yes I am sure that there were random acts of burning by Confederate Troops.  I don't know of any burning of any towns as the Army of Northern Virginia moved from Maryland into Penn, as General Lee had issued orders against burning/looting/stealing at that time.  I know that after VMI was burned by the Union Army in the Shenandoah Valley, the Confederate Army of the Valley under Major General Jubal Early did burn a Union Cabinet Member's Home just outside of Washington City as retaliation for what the Union Army had done in the Shenandoah Valley.  The main point I was trying to convey was "That No Confederate Army Ever Marched Into A Union City Determine To Burn And Wage War On Innocent Women And Children".  The Union Army under Major General Sherman made this a new art form.

As far as Shelby Foote not being a "historian", I would have to say I don't agree with your statement.  I don't see how a man (Shelby Foote) can spend 20 years of his life writing this Civil War Narrative and not know his history better than most writers of this subject before and after.  The two great things that Mr. Shelby Foote did do are these:

1.  Mr. Foote wrote these three narratives so that "everyone" would see that the War Between The States was not just fought in Virginia and certain parts of the North, but it was fought in the Western Front and this is where the Confederate Govt failed in their attempts to manage the war effort properly thus ensuring the loss of the hopes of independence for the young new nation.

2.  Mr. Foote wrote these three narratives and called "it like it was - albeit for the North or South" and did not take sides - even though he was a True Southerner and War Veteran of WWII.

I would like to know what Mr. Shelby Foote's liberal ways were.  I am sure that he would not satisfy everyone's opinion of how he wrote these Three Civil War Narratives.  I don't how anyone could have done that as there are far too many people on both sides of the aisle that talk history without really knowing/studying it for what the real truth is.  If he said or wrote some other books that were considered "liberal" by either the South or the North, I have not yet read them or know of them?  I once again state that you can't please everyone when you write about this time period.

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I was wrong with my campaigns...I had in mind Early burned Chambersburg PA during the Gettysburg campaign, but it was during his "Raid on Washington" in 1864 they intentionally burned the town. Though they did occupy it during 1863. 

Regarding Foote himself. FIrst he never claimed to be a historian, in fact objected to it. Most people's criticism of calling him a historian is based on he didnt provide sources for his writing. Obviously he had to use sources though. And by liberal, I did not mean liberal vs conservative. I meant he would was liberal and would stretch facts to make a story flow. Nothing wrong with it...if you have read John B Gordon's memoir  its similar, but not to that level. Gordon was one to stretch the truth to tell a good story. Regardless, if there were certain liberties taken, it does not take away from what the narratives are. I am not saying to discount the works as nonsense. He is a masterful story teller and it is very easy to get wrapped up in his books because he tells a great story. And his narratives introduced the Civil War to a huge portion of people. 

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You are right in what Shelby wanted to be in his early days of writing and I think he did what all young writers try to do and be a little bit of everything - instead of just allowing his own creativity to grow from his words.  He finally got it right and starting writing some stuff that really went against his nature at the time or stuff he found hard to describe as he did not have the literal experience of some of the stuff he was putting in his books.  I think when Shelby was offered the "Civil War Narratives to write", the editors and publishers all thought that he can condense it all into one book or volume.  After starting on his manuscript and just trying to figure out how to write this "masterpiece" and do it the best way that it could be done - required Shelby to go back and sit down with his editors and publishers and convinced them that this would take 3 large volumes and most likely 9 years!  Little did he know then that this would take 20 years to do it justice and I think after having read it about 10 or 12 times (and each time finding out something that I missed) now, it has to be the very best description of what actually went down for both the North and the South.  He not only gets into the battles, but also the political climate at the time and what both Presidents Davis and President Lincoln had to deal with each and everyday.  His detailed studies of the many battle fields, but also the naval battles that were fought are just truly awesome and "yes he did borrow a lot from previous writers and gives all of them credit for their inputs", but can you imagine the digging and investigating that went into each and every battle or political scene that unfolded daily within his pages.   I could see if you were a "die-hard Southerner" you might take issues with some of his descriptive accounts of poorly led battle campaigns and also if you were of Northern Ancestry - it might be easy to look at it as if Mr. Shelby wrote it from a Southern Viewpoint.  I think that Shelby Foote wrote this three volume set about as truthful and honest as a person can be and the thought of trying to write something this great and awesome and know that it is going to be past down for many generations after you are gone had to be a lot of pressure on a soul to write.  I use to speak at historical events that covered the period of the "War Between The States" as I like to call it and I can honestly tell you it is hard to get up before a hundred or more people and try your best to give a truthful and honest opinion/version of the great man that I was speaking about that night and do it justice.  Some places wanted me to do a 30 minute talk/speech about some of the most respected Confederate Generals and I had to quickly inform these groups that there was "no way I could in all honesty do a 30 minute speech on any of these brave men and due them and their memory due justice"!  I refused to do anything shorter than an hour speech and more if I could get it (which was also rare).  I have read General John B. Gordon's book on his participation during the War Between The States.  I had it on a "Kindle Pad" with about 12 other books and I have either left it somewhere or misplaced it.  I remember reading his book and be amazed at just how many times he was wounded at the Battle of Sharpsburg.  By the end of the war General Gordon became one of the "strongest Generals that General Robert E. Lee could trust and lean on"!!!  That's how much his stock rose by the end of the war.  I do believe he was a very brave man, a very well-educated man, and a man for the times during and after the war to help the South heal it's wounds and bring the nation back together as good as it could be with the "Martial Law of Reconstruction" enforced on all states that were part of the Confederacy and had waged war on the Union.  If you want to read about some Confederate Generals that tended to "blame others and make their parts look like they were all perfect" - then read General Joe Johnston's Book, General John Bell Hood's Book and of course Lt. General James Longstreet Book - as all of these three maximize the mistakes of their subordinates and superiors, but place very little blame on themselves.  President Jefferson Davis also did the same thing in his book the large and thick reading of "The Rise & Fall Of The Confederate Govt".  President Davis gets into a long, running, battle of words with General Joe Johnston that I don't think ever ended until their deaths.  Lt. General Longstreet did the same thing with Major General Jubal Early.   Sad that looking back you would have thought that they all could have swallowed up the enormous egos and let the pain and wounds unite and heal all under one banner and cause, but yet continued for many, many, years laying the blame for this defeat and that defeat at the feet of others - when they were just as quilty.  Maybe this went on also on the Northern side with their generals, but I only know of a few isolated cases.

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