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The current time is: 5/20/2018 6:51:14 PM
 Civil War - "What if" Board
AuthorMessage
vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 1/31/2018 9:25:04 AM
President Lincoln asked Robert E. Lee to command the union forces, and he declined. What if Lee had accepted? I suggest that the American Civil war would have been short had Lee accepted, because everything was on the side of the United States to beat the Confederate states. The United States (the north) had 90% of the industry, many more people and a moral mandate that the Confederates (the south) lacked.

The United States also had international support, something the Confederates could never have due to their support of slavery. Europe suffered terribly during the Civil War, they needed cotton, and the United States Navy was blockading southern ports and stopping all ships headed to Europe.

The war lasted as long as it did because the north had lousy generals at first and the south had great military strategists, like Lee and others. Also, the union generals were often treasonous in their attitude towards President Lincoln and disobeyed his orders. What if they had not done that?

Lincoln was a hands on commander in chief, early on he took control of the railroads and the telegraph system, and used them to confound the Confederate forces. In that, he was a genius. Had his generals respected that and obeyed him, even Lee's military prowess would have proven ineffective.
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It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3477
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 1/31/2018 9:28:39 AM
Some historians believe that Lee's expertise as a commander, is the reason the war lasted so long!?

MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 1/31/2018 12:38:23 PM
Yes, and I agree with that.
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It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

Gregory C. White
Canton, GA, USA
Posts: 194
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 1/31/2018 2:59:33 PM
Lincoln had a "moral" mandate when the war started?
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"I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of...[and] some feeling for...the history of the world of the past." Theodore Roosevelt

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3477
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/1/2018 9:23:27 AM
In a nut shell; Yes, Lincoln's use of technology to his advantage, is prevalent. He had in effect his own war room, where he got reports on battles quite quickly from the telegraph! He surely used improvements in transportation, & weapons to the Unions advantage! Lee on the other hand used his superior strategy, & tactics to confound the early Union buffoons that called themselves Union Generals!?

What say Ya'll!?
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

dick evick
Waco , TX, USA
Posts: 199
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/1/2018 1:09:43 PM
Had Lee served with the union he may have, IMHO had to deal with the political climate of the union army.

Thoughts?

Dick.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3477
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/2/2018 10:39:25 AM
Dick,

Even at that, he had to deal with a Confederate Government, that in some aspects, had become quite Federal!

Regards,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 2170
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/3/2018 8:42:48 PM

Quote:
Europe suffered terribly during the Civil War, they needed cotton, and the United States Navy was blockading southern ports and stopping all ships headed to Europe. --vetamerican


Er ... No. French and British textile workers suffered but Europe was doing quite well. The French used the time to expand their influence in Mexico and North Africa. The British to extend their influence in W. Africa and New Zealand. Italy pushed forward with reunification and Prussia began it`s project to unify Germany. By the end of the war Britain had started producing cotton in India and Egypt.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 3477
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/6/2018 9:46:43 AM

Quote:
Some historians believe that Lee's expertise as a commander, is the reason the war lasted so long!?

MD
--Michigan Dave



Lee was certainly held in high esteem, do you think he was held to highly??

What say you?
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/12/2018 11:12:25 PM

Quote:
Some historians believe that Lee's expertise as a commander, is the reason the war lasted so long!?

MD
--Michigan Dave


I completely agree with that.
---------------
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/12/2018 11:15:14 PM

Quote:
Lincoln had a "moral" mandate when the war started?
--Gregory C. White



At first, his moral mandate was only to preserve the union, but as the war went on, he became determined to end slavery and made that a moral imperative.
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It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/12/2018 11:20:29 PM

Quote:
Had Lee served with the union he may have, IMHO had to deal with the political climate of the union army.

Thoughts?

Dick.
--dick evick


IMHO, the sad fact is that the two armies didn't really differ that much concerning slavery and racism, at least at first. Racism was so prevalent in the north that riots broke out in New York City after President Lincoln released his Emancipation Proclamation.
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It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/12/2018 11:31:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Europe suffered terribly during the Civil War, they needed cotton, and the United States Navy was blockading southern ports and stopping all ships headed to Europe. --vetamerican


Er ... No. French and British textile workers suffered but Europe was doing quite well. The French used the time to expand their influence in Mexico and North Africa. The British to extend their influence in W. Africa and New Zealand. Italy pushed forward with reunification and Prussia began it`s project to unify Germany. By the end of the war Britain had started producing cotton in India and Egypt.

Trevor

--scoucer


Er ... yes. Europe did suffer terribly as I said. While most of what you say is true, it has nothing to do with the economic hardship endured by Europe due to the loss of American cotton. Production of cotton in India and Egypt by the end of the Civil War helped very little, it was a case of too little, too late. It takes years to cultivate the land to produce cotton, and India and Egypt were producing very little of it at the end of the war.

And of course, we must also consider that the workers in India and Egypt had no choice but to obey their British masters, it was a sad kind of slavery really and so ironic.
---------------
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

vetamerican
washington, PA, USA
Posts: 286
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/12/2018 11:43:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Some historians believe that Lee's expertise as a commander, is the reason the war lasted so long!?

MD
--Michigan Dave



Lee was certainly held in high esteem, do you think he was held to highly??

What say you?
MD
--Michigan Dave


Dave, Lee was one of the best military commanders in history in my opinion. I don't believe that is in doubt, it is his moral character that we now question today. Personally I think it is heart breaking that such a man could oppose freeing black human beings from slavery, because in every other way, he was a decent person. How he could have chosen to side with the confederate states and his Virginia and commit open treason against the United States is hard to understand.

A graduate of West Point, top of his class, it confounds logic and reason that he could turn against his country like that.
---------------
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 2170
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/13/2018 10:22:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Europe suffered terribly during the Civil War, they needed cotton, and the United States Navy was blockading southern ports and stopping all ships headed to Europe. --vetamerican


Er ... No. French and British textile workers suffered but Europe was doing quite well. The French used the time to expand their influence in Mexico and North Africa. The British to extend their influence in W. Africa and New Zealand. Italy pushed forward with reunification and Prussia began it`s project to unify Germany. By the end of the war Britain had started producing cotton in India and Egypt.

Trevor

--scoucer


Er ... yes. Europe did suffer terribly as I said. While most of what you say is true, it has nothing to do with the economic hardship endured by Europe due to the loss of American cotton. Production of cotton in India and Egypt by the end of the Civil War helped very little, it was a case of too little, too late. It takes years to cultivate the land to produce cotton, and India and Egypt were producing very little of it at the end of the war.

And of course, we must also consider that the workers in India and Egypt had no choice but to obey their British masters, it was a sad kind of slavery really and so ironic.
--vetamerican


Er no. You are confusing Britain and France with EUROPE. And as I said, it was only a specific sector of French and British society.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 688
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/13/2018 10:32:43 AM
If your questioning Lee's moral character then you don't know enough about the man or the times he lived in. I'll start your education, before the war the country was known as "THESE" United States and after it was "THE" United States. It wasn't all and only about slavery!

Edit You do understand Lincoln said "free but never equal," how does that morality stand in your definition?
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 688
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/13/2018 11:03:03 AM
Trevor,

Yes and Lincoln sold food to England and France at a deep, deep discount to soften the economic blow to the sector and workers.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2863
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/13/2018 5:44:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Some historians believe that Lee's expertise as a commander, is the reason the war lasted so long!?

MD
--Michigan Dave



Lee was certainly held in high esteem, do you think he was held to highly??

What say you?
MD
--Michigan Dave




A graduate of West Point, top of his class, it confounds logic and reason that he could turn against his country like that.
--vetamerican


His native state - not the union of the states - owned him heart and soul .

At least, that’s how I’ve always been led to believe .

Other prominent Virginians - Winfield Scott and “ Old Slow Trot “ Thomas - felt differently.

As for Lee’s moral character, I, for one, would be loathe to question - let alone - judge it.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Killroy63
Pinson, AL, USA
Posts: 36
Re: Robert E. Lee
Posted on: 2/17/2018 7:31:13 PM
Lee saw himself as a Virginian first and foremost and then an "American". Once you understand that fact, his motivations become crystal clear.

His views embodied what we call "Federalism" today.