Saturday, January 20, 2007

Belated Birthday Wishes to Robert E. Lee

Yesterday was Robert E. Lee’s birthday. A lot of southerners hold Robert E. Lee special in their hearts – I am talking about the rebel flag waving white-trash redneck kind of southerners but also other southerners as well.

How come? I don’t know. I think it is visibility. If I was to pick a CSA General as my hero I would pick General Joseph Johnston. He seemed to be a very good strategist who could read his opposing General (William T. Sherman’s mind).

I think maybe because Robert E. Lee was more popular, compared to Johnston, was that Robert got more visibility. Robert’s command and battles were more near the northern states and even into the northern states (Gettysburg), and very near Washington D.C. So, he was more of a threat in the northerners’ minds, thus a bigger hero to the southerner. But, I said maybe. I don’t really know.

Some Civil War experts debate whether Robert E. Lee was all that great of a general or not. I attended a debate one time where two Civil War authors debated on his serious military strategy blunders that cost many lives of his troops.

He graduated high in his West Point class and proved to be a good U.S. Government officer before he made the decision to take sides with his native state of Virginia.

Which reminds me, Arlington Cemetery was his front yard. It was a way to piss him off, bury the dead Yankees in his front yard.

I know Robert E. Lee had a gentle way about him, which cause people to respect him. And he also get respect when he talked respectful to lowliest infantry soldier. He dealt with all humans respectful and even the animals. When he noticed a horse panting from working too hard he would pet the strange horse and order that it be brought water.

Which, without looking, I will say his horse’s name is Traveler. I think I am not unique knowing his horse’s name, may other people know Traveler’s name. How many other Generals can you name their horses. For me, none and I bet the same is true for most other people. Traveler is almost as popular as Trigger.

I think maybe all that respect paid off in dividends… that respect just keeps on coming.

Let that be a lesson to you, play your cards right with respect, and your cemetery marker or tombstone might see new flowers placed before it regularly a hundred years from now.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

He also had a horse named Lucy i think. General Sears or Baldwin (I think it was sears) had a horse named Billy which was shot out from under him near Atlanta. he was real upset about that.

Didnt mention any of his soldiers.

7:38 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

It was also the birthday of my favorite (and only) Brother-in-law!He, being a certified northener, will love knowing that he shares a birthday with REL!!

8:26 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Steve,
General Sears (or Baldwin) reminds me of my great uncle, when I interviewed him, didn't say a thing about his parents, siblings, or kids, but went on and on about his mule.... which even brought tears to his eyes. I prodded him about his family, which he answered only what I brought up.
Judy,
Well, I think I share my birthday with a famous ice murderer, but off hand can't remember who it is.

8:42 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Steve,
General Sears (or Baldwin) reminds me of my great uncle, when I interviewed him, didn't say a thing about his parents, siblings, or kids, but went on and on about his mule.... which even brought tears to his eyes. I prodded him about his family, which he answered only what I brought up.
Judy,
Well, I think I share my birthday with a famous ice murderer, but off hand can't remember who it is.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Harumph... if he was so respectful of other humans, he might not have sided with a state that supported slavery.

Which reminds me of a funny story. Near the southeastern entrance to Central Park there is a gold statue of a soldier on a horse with an angel in front of them. My husband used to work near there and always saw tourists - including many Southerners - posing happily for pictures with it. The statue, however, is the Angel of Death leading Gen. Sherman. That always makes my cynical little black heart chuckle.

10:23 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
That's funny.
An interesting fact about Sherman and his arch enemy CSA General Joseph Johnston: The became good friends after the war and when Sherman died Johnston went to his funeral and caught pneumonia and died.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Si's blog said...

Marse Robert is one of my personal heroes. More for his wisdom that April then for his generalship. See the new entry on my blog.

7:19 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Si,
Thank you for visiting. You have a very good blog yourself.

9:53 AM  
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10:45 PM  

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