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Robert E. Lee — A Great American, A Great Man

Published on January 19, 2015

Robert E. Lee – Fill Your Hearts With Love
January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870

Robert E. Lee 2When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his personal desire for the country to remain intact and despite an offer of a senior Union command.  Lee said, “What a cruel thing war is … to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors. The war … was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided if forbearance and wisdom had been practiced on both sides.

In an address before the Southern Historical Society in Atlanta, Georgia in 1874, Benjamin Harvey Hill described Lee in this way:

“He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guile. He was a Caesar, without his ambition; Frederick, without his tyranny; Napoleon, without his selfishness, and Washington, without his reward.”

 

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