A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee

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D. Appleton, 1871 - 577 頁

The name of Lee is beloved and respected throughout the world. Men of all parties and opinions unite in this sentiment, not only those who thought and fought with him, but those most violently opposed to his political views and career. It is natural that his own people should love and honor him as their great leader and defender in a struggle of intense bitterness—that his old enemies should share this profound regard and admiration is due solely to the character of the individual. His military genius will always be conceded, and his figure remain a conspicuous landmark in history; but this does not account for the fact that his very enemies love the man. His private character is the origin of this sentiment. The people of the North, no less than the people of the South, feel that Lee was truly great; and the harshest critic has been able to find nothing to detract from this view of him. The soldier was great, but the man himself was greater. No one was ever simpler, truer, or more honest. Those who knew him best loved him the most. Reserved and silent, with a bearing of almost austere dignity, he impressed many persons as cold and unsympathetic, and his true character was long in revealing itself to the world. To-day all men know what his friends knew during his life—that under the grave exterior of the soldier, oppressed with care and anxiety, beat a warm and kindly heart, full of an even extraordinary gentleness and sweetness; that the man himself was not cold, or stiff, or harsh, but patient, forbearing, charitable under many trials of his equanimity, and magnanimous without effort, from the native impulse of his heart. Friend and foe thus to-day regard him with much the same sentiment, as a genuinely honest man, incapable of duplicity in thought or deed, wholly good and sincere, inspired always under all temptations by that prisca fides which purifies and ennobles, and resolutely bent, in the dark hour, as in the bright, on the full performance of his duty. “Duty is the sublimest word in our language,” he wrote to his son; and, if we add that other august maxim, “Human virtue should be equal to human calamity,” we shall have in a few words a summary of the principles which inspired Lee.

 

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第 458 頁 - After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them. But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that...
第 35 頁 - Trusting in Almighty God, an approving conscience, and the aid of my fellow-citizens, I devote myself to the service of my native State, in whose behalf alone will I ever again draw my sword.
第 537 頁 - How easily I could get rid of this and be at rest. I have only to ride along the line and all will be over. But it is our duty to live. What will become of the women and children of the South, if we are not here to protect them?
第 29 頁 - I shall carry to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind consideration, and your name and fame will always be dear to me. "Save in the defense of my native state, I never desire again to draw my sword.
第 504 頁 - I tell you that if I were on my death-bed to-morrow, and the President of the United States should tell me that a great battle was to be fought for the liberty or slavery of the country and asked my judgment as to the ability of a commander, I would say with my dying breath let it be ROBERT E. LEE.
第 287 頁 - The commanding general has observed with marked satisfaction the conduct of the troops on the march, and confidently anticipates results commensurate with the high spirit they have manifested. No troops could have displayed greater fortitude or better performed the arduous marches of the past ten days. Their conduct in other respects has, with few exceptions, been in keeping with their character as soldiers and entitles them to approbation and praise. "There have, however, been instances of forgetfulness...
第 99 頁 - The policy of the government must be supported by concentrations of military power. The national forces should not be dispersed in expeditions, posts of occupation, and numerous armies, but should be mainly collected into masses and brought to bear upon the armies of the Confederate States. Those armies thoroughly defeated, the political structure which they support would soon cease to exist.
第 97 頁 - War; as such it should be regarded; and it should be conducted upon the highest principles known to Christian Civilization. It should not be a War looking to the subjugation of the people of any state, in any event. It should not be, at all, a War upon population; but against armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of property, political executions of persons, territorial organization of states or forcible abolition of slavery should be contemplated for a moment.
第 452 頁 - To this I immediately replied: "April 8, 1865 "GENERAL: Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia, is just received. In reply I would say that, peace being my great desire, there is but one condition I would insist upon, namely: That the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged.
第 103 頁 - I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies — from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him when found, whose policy has been attack and not defence.

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