Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Lee and Guerilla Warfare at end of the war - Robert E. Lee - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 08:36 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
pamc153PA
Member
 

Joined: Sat Jun 14th, 2008
Location: Boyertown, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 407
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I've just been thumbing through Jay Winik's April 1865 again, and was caught on the section where Winik mentions the fact that Jefferson Davis was inclined to want to fight on at the end of the war using guerilla tactics. He says that Lee, in an effort to help the South "get back into the Union and to peace," wrote a last letter to Davis, knowing that the contents would get out to Joe Johnston and the others still in the field, rejecting guerilla warfare and seeking peace.

What would have happened had Lee not written to Davis? Or what if Davis had not listened to Lee (or did he really hold Lee in such esteem as to listen to him blindly?)? Did this letter from Lee really "end" the war? I noted that Lee didn't mention "let's quit now because we have no chance, " simply that he suggested union and peace.

Thoughts?

Pam

 

 



 Posted: Mon Sep 29th, 2008 08:59 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
Bighouse
Member


Joined: Wed Jul 23rd, 2008
Location: White Hall, Illinois USA
Posts: 34
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I just re read that book myself and had the same question. Winik makes some good arguments about how the war could be prolonged almost indefinitely based on those tactics.

Knowing that the contents of the letter would reach Johnston and others, I'm wondering if this wasn't a veiled appeal to them as well?



 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2008 01:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
The Iron Duke
Member


Joined: Tue Jul 29th, 2008
Location: Georgia USA
Posts: 333
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

If Lee hadn't written that letter, I really don't see him or Joe Johnston or any of the other major Confederate generals advocating guerrilla warfare. I think it was Fitzhugh Lee at Appomattox who advocated guerrilla attacks but then realized it was a pointless endeavor.

Personally, if the Confederates had switched to guerrilla warfare I see it ending up like the Boer War. Yeah they may have prolonged the war and pulled off some dazzling raids but eventually they would have lost their sources of supply.



____________________
"Cleburne is here!" meant that all was well. -Daniel Harvey Hill


 Posted: Tue Sep 30th, 2008 02:20 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

The Iron Duke-

  It was General Edward Porter Alexander who suggested to General Lee that guerrilla warfare was the only option he had left. General Lee chose instead to give up the fight and devote his remaining years to promoting the healing of the nation.

General Robert E. Lee’s Noble Character Shown Brightly in War and Peace - The Times Examiner



 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2008 05:21 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Guerilla War w/out external support... I think Genl Lee knew how well that had worked for the Native American.



 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2008 06:08 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

He says that Lee, in an effort to help the South "get back into the Union and to peace," wrote a last letter to Davis, knowing that the contents would get out to Joe Johnston and the others still in the field, rejecting guerilla warfare and seeking peace.

I'd question how he knew that the contents would get out to others in the field. The easiest thing in the world for Davis to do -- if he really wanted to fight until the last man -- would be to sit on the letter.

Guerilla War w/out external support... I think Genl Lee knew how well that had worked for the Native American.


Guerilla War against Federal troops would have been many, many times worse than the bushwhacking going on already. Sheridan would have been riding through Virginia and the Carolinas, and Wilson and others would have been riding through the rest of the Confederate States. If you think Sherman and Sheridan were excessively rough, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

ole



 Current time is 11:41 am
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.3207 seconds (11% database + 89% PHP). 26 queries executed.