Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Robert E. Lee reflects on the Cruelty of War.

Less than two weeks after his Confederate victory at Fredericksburg, General Robert E Lee wrote home to his wife. In his book “Robert E Lee on Leadership” H.W. Crocker recalls how Lee reflected on all he had seen during the battle, - the civilians displaced, their homes destroyed and the enemy that had slipped away.

“But what a cruel thing war is. To separate and destroy families and friends and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world. To fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbours and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world. I pray that on this day when “peace and good will” are preached to all mankind, that better thoughts will fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace….Our army was never in such good health and condition since I have been attached to it and I believe they share with me my disappointment that the enemy did not renew the combat of the 15th, I was holding back all that day, and husbanding our strength and ammunition for the great struggle for which I thought he was preparing. Had I divined that was to have been his only effort, he would have had more of it. But I am content. We might have gained more but we would have lost more and perhaps our relative condition would not have been improved.”

2 comments:

Adullamite said...

War is cruel, but he still wished to continue it. We are a strange creation.

Mametz said...

It is a sad statement, i wonder if he fought with the idea of surrendering early but that would have mean't the death of all his dreams and hopes.

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