Root Beer Lover
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|Technically it could be asked about many of the generals, but at the time it was asked Grant was who came to mind.
Fedreb, I don't think Lee would have been forgotten to history, but I do think he'd have been seen largely as a failure in the war. Cheat Mountain Lee looses and the press blames him for Confederate setbacks. Lee then becomes the Commander of the Department of SC, Georgia, and Florida. Ft. Pulaski falls Lee is again blamed for Confederate setbacks. Never mind that the defenses he strengthed and added kept Federal forces out of Savannah and may have freed up troops to join one of the armies in the field to deal with the Federal armies. Had he not returned to Richmond and been with Davis on the battlefield so that he could end up taking over for Johnston when Seven Pines occured, Lee would more likely end up being more of a footnote in the war for his early actions. His actions in Mexico, time as Superintendent of West Point, and his commanding the forces at Harper's Ferry would have probably been viewed as the highlights of his military career.