Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A Current Officer’s Thoughts on Robert E. Lee

Lee’s Army killed or wounded 1,100 Union Soldiers during the 7 Days Battle, Lee’s first as the Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. From there, the Union suffered over 1,600 casualties at Second Manassas, 11,100 (2,100 killed) at Antietam, 12,600 casualties at Fredericksburg, 17,000 casualties at Chancellorsville, 23,049 (3,155 killed) at Gettysburg, and the list goes on through the 1864 campaigns against General Ulysses S. Grant, the siege of Petersburg (4,200 losses estimated), and Lee’s final surrender at Appomattox. (See: McPherson, James and James Hogue, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction.)

So should Lee’s statue be removed? The simple removal of a statue does not equate to destroying our common American history. It simply sends the message that Americans will not tolerate the honoring of such an intolerant man who was responsible for the deaths of so many Americans. A statue is not “history” in and of itself, but simply a reflection of how we Americans remember our past. Those who see this as a removal of history may be surprised to discover books, perhaps a better means of learning history than a statue.

1 comment :

  1. >who was responsible for the deaths of so many Americans

    American soldiers, not civilians. All this list probes is that the generals facing Lee were pretty bad at their jobs.


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