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Uncle Robert Would Have Won
January 19 is the birthday of a gentleman whose life used to be the sterling inspiration
of all Southerners. So complete was his mastery of the military situation in Virginia,
that the Federal high command could only look at each other in helpless frustration and
admit that "We'll just have to wait and see what Lee is going to do!"
But Robert E. Lee was never in complete control, even of his own army. Mr. Davis was
always in command. Time and again Lee's priceless advice was ignored. Time and again key
veteran brigades were withheld when critically needed; their skill and vital numbers
wasted at places of no consequence.
Suppose that General Lee had been in full command from the beginning. Would he, after the
rout of the Federal army at First Manassas (Lee was not there) have tried to take
Washington as Stonewall Jackson wanted to do?
Would Lee have called off the final attack at Shiloh, when his cavalry assured him that
the enemy was backed, demoralized against the Tennessee River, as did Beauregard?
Would Lee, with victory in sight and alarm bells ringing in Cincinnati, have had a
migraine and, to the horror of his troops, retreated deep into Tennessee, as did Bragg?
Would Lee have allowed two divided armies, under confused commanders, to be beaten
separately and Vicksburg lost, as did Mr. Davis? Or would Grant himself have been captured
by the combined armies, cut off as he was far from his supply lines?
Would Lee, after the rout of the Federal army at Chickamauga, have failed to follow up the
victory; destroy Rosecrans and recapture Chattanooga, as did Bragg?
Would Lee have failed to put Forrest and his "railroad experts" on Sherman's
precarious lifeline from Chattanooga long before he reached Atlanta, while veteran
generals pleaded with him, as did Mr. Davis?
Finally, would Lee, knowing that Mr. Lincoln would probably lose the election that fall,
have come out of his secure defenses, played into Sherman's hands by wrecking his army and
losing Atlanta with attacks against vast numbers (many with repeating rifles backed by
awesome artillery) as did Hood, under orders from Mr. Davis?
I know we've all been programmed to believe that the South was wrong and never had a
chance. But with "Uncle Robert" in complete control, what do you think?
Written By: T.C. Berry - Newborn, Ga.
NOTE: This was recently sent to me by a True Southern Gentleman from Georgia, Mr. James T.
Terry but was posted in The Albany Herald on Jan. 17, 1993.
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