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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:37 PM

Should Robert E. Lee Have Been Tried For Treason?


39 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Yes
20 (51%)
No
19 (49%)
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34 replies, 3368 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should Robert E. Lee Have Been Tried For Treason? (Original post)
DemocratSinceBirth Dec 2012 OP
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #1
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #5
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #9
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #24
MadrasT Dec 2012 #11
sweetloukillbot Dec 2012 #19
MadrasT Dec 2012 #22
sweetloukillbot Dec 2012 #31
dlwickham Dec 2012 #2
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #3
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #4
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #10
Bicoastal Dec 2012 #29
Drale Dec 2012 #6
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #17
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #25
NutmegYankee Dec 2012 #7
John2 Dec 2012 #21
cali Dec 2012 #8
SQUEE Dec 2012 #12
Fearless Dec 2012 #13
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #14
sarisataka Dec 2012 #15
MrSlayer Dec 2012 #16
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #18
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #20
byeya Dec 2012 #23
dawg Dec 2012 #26
ohheckyeah Dec 2012 #27
still_one Dec 2012 #28
pangaia Dec 2012 #30
FARAFIELD Dec 2012 #32
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #33
Tuesday Afternoon Dec 2012 #34

Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:39 PM

1. I am agaist the DP, but under law, he should have hanged

As should have Davis. Mary Surratt was illegally tried and hanged, yet Lee and Davis got off pretty scot free. At the very least, life in prison and everything confiscated.

They committed treason.

I am a North Carolinian.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:49 PM

5. Wasn't Lee's property confiscated? Arlington National Cemetery sits on property once owned by Lee. n

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:54 PM

9. He only lost some of his property, far from all of it

And, he received a payment for the property later.

And was given, if I remember right, the first amnesty pardon.

He lived a full life after the War, full of privilege and honor.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:56 PM

24. He died in 1870, five years after Appomattox,

so he didn't exactly live a "full life" after the war.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:56 PM

11. It was actually confiscated during the war for nonpayment of taxes.

It was returned to the family in 1882 (after Lee's death). the Supreme Court declared it had been illegally confiscated.

Lee's heirs then sold it back to the US Government, as it had become a cemetery during the war and was uninhabitable.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:23 PM

19. I believe he still lived on part of it.

From what I remember, they confiscated some of the property and converted it into the cemetary so he could look out on what he had wrought for the rest of his days. Kind of horrible actually.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:47 PM

22. No. Lee never returned to Arlington.

He lived in Lexington Virginia after the war.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:25 PM

31. Interesting - yet another historical urban legend.

Having a cemetary in your front yard would cast a gloom over the whole place.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:45 PM

2. and strung up from the nearest tree

with the rest of the traitors

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:45 PM

3. Lee, AND all the other leading figures of the Confederacy.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:48 PM

4. I voted no.

Robert E. Lee was a man of honor and fought for the Confederacy only because his state joined the Confederacy. Lee freed slaves that were willed to him. His wife later freed her slaves. I have no soft spot for the Confederacy, it was an abomination, but some of the officers that fought for that side fought for reasons other than to preserve slavery, Lee was one of those people.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:55 PM

10. He was offered generalship of the Union Army

He turned it down.

He was not a man of honor, he was a coward. He refused to give us his station and land and prestige to stand by his principles. I do not consider him a hero.

State's rights is racist BS.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:19 PM

29. The hindsight of history makes geniuses out of us all...

Did you know that when people talked about The United States before the civil war, they meant it as plural--as in, "The United States are having an election this year?" And that when Americans spoke of their country, they meant the state they grew up and lived in?

The fact is, since there was really no other nation to compare it to up until that time, both in terms of geographical size and democratic law, people really had a hard time imagining the USA as a cohesive country until after the civil war. People on both sides of the Mason-Dixon were usually more loyal to state than country because that was the only world they really knew; there was no mass media or transportation back then to make all Americans seem connected. As the country got bigger and more populous, the Presidents and the federal government became less and less powerful until you had 20 years of no-names like Tyler, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan, who seemed almost beside the point. Lincoln, of course, changed all that.

I give Lee the benefit of a doubt. He stuck by Virginia, right or wrong, because that's what people did at the time. He also lost his US military rank and his home, so its not like he escaped unscathed. We also had quite a lot of Southerners who would never have forgiven us if we had hanged him, and Lincoln wanted peace above all.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:51 PM

6. No I agree with Lincoln's soft reconstruction

unfortunately he never had the chance to implement his plan and actual reconstruction screwed up the South so much that its still screwed up.

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Response to Drale (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:13 PM

17. ^^^^THIS^^^^

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Response to Drale (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:00 PM

25. That's a point that so many people here miss

"Actual reconstruction screwed up the South so much that its still screwed up".

Indeed, the post-war era had little to do with "reconstruction", and much to do with retribution, economic subjugation, and rubbing the South's nose in its defeat.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:52 PM

7. He surrendered under terms that paroled him. It's like taking a Plea deal in modern day.

From U.S. Grant To R.E. Lee

Appomattox Court-House, Virginia April 9, 1865.

General: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.

U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. General R. E. Lee.

From R.E. Lee To U.S. Grant

Head-Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia April 9, 1865.

General: I received your letter of this date containing the terms of the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.

R. E. Lee, General. Lieutenant-General U.S. Grant.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:37 PM

21. I voted No,

 

and I agreed with your Post. Lee resigned his position with the U.S. Army, so he didn't violate his Oath. In Lee's mind, his oath was to Virginia. Virginia voted to secede from the Union and Lee obeyed the laws of his State although he was against secession. The North won, so to the victors goes the spoils and Lee as the only authority to surrender the South's main Army helped bring the War towards its ending.

He paid for this, and never became a U.S. citizen, until Congress reinstated him well after his Death. He did not live long after the actual Civil War ended, and Lee renounced having ever been in the military. He made it a point of marching out of step in military ceremonies at the military Academy of VMI. I think General Lee died a sad and broken man. He also never criticized General Grant or President Grant while other Southerners never let the Lost Cause go. Lee did his part to reunite the country, even though, he was a man in exile. I think General Lee suffered enough. And I will add another note here, that one of the reasons President Andrew Johnson was bought under impeachment proceedings, was because he tried to reinstate high ranking Southern leaders of the Rebellion.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:53 PM

8. no. there was a nation to heal.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:01 PM

12. He was indicted for it..

But not convicted. Blanket amnesty given by President Johnson in a vain attempt to ease regional tensions.
Living here it is hard enough to deal with the "Martyred" Stonewall, imagine adding Uncle Bobby, Hood and Early to that list. An important thing to consider is his decision to lay down arms and not have his army deploy into the mountains and begin a campaign of asymmetrical warfare, preferring to admit failure and accept the consequences. When he surrendered at Appomattox, he fully believed he would be hanged and preferred that outcome rather than a long bloody and counterproductive guerrilla warfare.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:03 PM

13. No. That would have harmed the nation's rebuilding.

It's the British model v. the French model for WWI reparations too.... France wanted Germany to pay heavy for WWI and Britain was much lighter in penalty. The compromise fell in the middle, but resentment of the still very harsh reparations policies caused WWII.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:04 PM

14. I added my voice to the "No" votes. I am reminded of the line from

 

Shakespeare's Measure for Measure: "Oh, 'tis excellent to have a giant's power. But 'tis tyrannous to use it as a giant." So, really, what purpose would have been served by such a trial, other than pure bloody tyrannous vengeance? The Confederate states lay in ruins and the South was all fought out. (There were a few scattered battles after Lee's surrender, but they were codas to a symphony already concluded.)

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:11 PM

15. Good Question

He was indited but received amnesty from Andrew Johnson
President Andrew Johnson, in a proclamation dated December 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 711), gave an unconditional pardon to those who "directly or indirectly" rebelled against the United States.
... unconditionally, and without reservation, to all and every person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion, a full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Lee#After_the_war

By the letter of the law, yes he did commit treason. For the best interests of the country and reconciliation, I believe it is best that he was not tried.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:12 PM

16. Lincoln knew better.

 

I trust his judgement. He looked for any way to spare anyone he could. He had a good heart and a brilliant mind. One of the great tragedies of all time is that he wasn't allowed to finish the job. I understand the sentiment of the yes voters and in other circumstances I'd be with them but I'm on the side of Honest Abe here.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:26 PM

20. Every member of the ruling class within the confederacy should have been tried and convicted.

That includes political leaders, military leaders, plantation owners, and the clergy.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:51 PM

23. Unlike Stonewall Jackson, Lee was a traitor because Lee swore an oath of alliegence to

 

the United States at West Point and Jackson didn't attend that academy.

I am against the death penalty.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:01 PM

26. I voted no.

Unless you were going to convict all of them, it makes no sense to single out Lee, who by all accounts was less zealous than many and not all that comfortable with the idea of slavery.

Much better to try the state legislators who voted for succession. I don't think military leaders should take the blame for the bad decisions of politicians.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:04 PM

27. I didn't vote -

personally, I got over the Civil War a long time ago.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:04 PM

28. Wouldn't that mean you hold the whole south for treason? Not very practical if you are trying to

Unite a country


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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:21 PM

30. I voted no. The situation was so, so complicated.



Very simply.. I voted no because there was already so much pain and suffering on both 'sides.'
Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln were both men of high intellect, wisdom and integrity.
Fortunately for everyone.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:28 PM

32. No and anyone that suggests it

I suppose would feel its legitiamte to fight and kill your own family. In fact only one Confederate officer was executed for War Crimes/Treason/Whatevs..... Lee lost everything, and from DS Freemans great work on him, Expected to lose everything. Thats a man of some friggin integrity.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:33 PM

33. I think 150 years later, it's very hard to judge the sentiment of the 1860's.

When the war ended one of my grandfathers was 2 years old. He died in the mid-1930's.
His son, my father, lived out a full life and is dead.
My 'Best Before Date', is now good and well expired.

Those who lived through that war and reconstruction knew political as well as personal desire and pain in a way that we cannot.

I don't think any of us could do more than be in awe of their approach:

"With malice toward none, with charity toward all"

A nation divided came together again as a nation, to stand again as one nation.

That's not at all common in modern history. We live in a world where grievances a thousand or more years old are yet capable of turning neighbor upon neighbor.

We would do well in our pouts to cease the pissing and moaning and ponder what great shared spirit was found that pulled together those whose differences demanded and then were shamed by hundreds of thousands of deaths.



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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #33)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:05 PM

34. great quote there: "With malice toward none, with charity toward all"

mercy.

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