General Lee's LOA?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Capt MJ, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Check this link - is this General Lee's West Point appointment letter? Looks like it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2010/07/15/PH2010071502337.html


    I'm one of those people who spend a chunk of Sunday afternoon reading papers. In the "what's going on in DC area" section of The WashPost, this photo caught my eye. I started reading the text, thinking it was a letter from General Lee, but the West Point letterhead and "appointment as Cadet" made me think it was, indeed, his LOA. :cool::cool::cool:
     
  2. freedomtruck

    freedomtruck Member

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    Great find! So should out LOA's turn out to be small enveloped as well? :)
     
  3. dadkone

    dadkone Member

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    Lee's "LOA"

    Robert E. Lee was the Supt. of West Point for several years; if all you can see in that photograph is your evidence that it might be an LOA, I would submit that it is a Letter of Appointment being made by Supt. Robert E. Lee.
     
  4. grappler145

    grappler145 Member

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    Robert E. Lee was 2nd in his class when he graduated...great general and person
     
  5. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    I'll agree with the great General because he was. But, I am not really sure how great a person he was. He led the Army that was fighting to break the union of this country. I'll admit, I have never read his biography, but he was willing to separate this country.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    DevilDog makes a great point. Great general, yes, but for whom? Clearly, he was a great general for the enemy, just as Rommel and von Manstein were.

    Many historians believe he was a traitor and should have been hanged. He clearly violated the Constitutional definition of treason by waging war against the United States. Hundreds of thousands of dead American soldiers are his legacy. Nothing to celebrate.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    This sounds most plausible to me. I would like to see the whole letter.

    As far as Lee goes - everyone who visits West Point should visit Reconciliation Plaza, given to West Point by the class of 1961.
     
  8. BrotherJohn

    BrotherJohn New Member

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    It is a bit unfair to judge Lee in terms of our perspective of the priority of the Union over that of the States - a priority which was established by the War Between the States and assumed by us in our present age. In his day, much closer to the time of the founding of the nation and the Constitution, one's connection to his State may have been the stronger loyalty. This may have been particularly true for a son of a leading family of the Colony and subsequently the State of Virginia. From my study of Lee's life, it has been my understanding that when his own state left the Union, he felt compelled to follow his home. For him, the question of the evils of slavery was not the determining factor. Nevertheless, this was a difficult struggle for old grads and cadets who were natives of the States which had chosen to no longer be a part of the Union, and this was not necessarily an easy decision.

    At the end of the war, it was General Lee who led his men in an honorable surrender. Otherwise, the conflict would have drug on and on as a continuing guerilla warfare. As it was, Lee lived out the remaining years of his life with the looming threat of possible arrest for treason, as has been mentioned above. Nevertheless, he did have another career chapter that one might think of as the continuation of his time as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, for he served as the President of Washington College, an institution named for General George Washington, in Lexington, Virginia. (Recall the cadets who dined with the Lees in Quarters 100 were thrilled to be eating off of General Washington's china - which had passed to Mrs. Lee.) Lee's positive and important impact upon the college led to the naming of the college after his death to that which we know it now, Washington and Lee.
     
  9. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    He really did not like to fight the union. He was actually a believer of the federal. However, he also said something like: The land of Virginia brought me up. I have to defend it. I don't know if the honor code was the same as today or was even there back then. He was a "Patriotic" person born at the wrong place in the wrong time. To me he is a great person.

    To me, the states should have more rights and more responsibility even today so they can balance their budgets and not just asking for money from the Fed and wasting it like spoiled kids.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  10. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    I agree with you Iwheel, except General Lee was born in the wrong place at the right time from the perspective you are taking.
     
  11. Iwheel

    Iwheel Parent of

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    Lee was born at the wrong time.
    He and some others became famous but the state of Virginia, a land so many of our founding fathers came from, largely lost its luster after the war. Few giants rose to the top after Lee from the great land of Virginia. The cost is high to the people of Virginia, even 150 years later.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Treason nonetheless.

    Lee took an oath of loyalty to the United States of America, not to Virginia.

    I don't think it had any exceptions such as "except if my home state illegally secedes."

    The Constitution had a clear prohibition on any state's right to secede (Article 1, Section 10) and Article III, section 3 is pretty clear in its definition of treason.

    Without Grant pleading for amnesty on his behalf (Lee, along with Longstreet and Joseph Johnston actually were indicted for treason by a Grand Jury in Norfolk, VA!), Lee would have been (rightfully) hanged.

    • He took control of an state's army that was prohibited to stand by the Constitution.
    • He levied war against the US.
    • He gave aid and comfort to the enemy.

    And that's called treason.

    Lee's treasonous actions directly caused hundreds of thousands of United States soldiers to die.
     
  13. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Well said. No matter how you spin it, it is treason.
     
  14. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Yes, because he lost.

    Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams (et. al) were traitors to the Crown, but they won, so they are remembered as patriots.

    There is some famous quote which escapes me, where the fine line between "traitors" and "patriots" is noted. I think it's from Thomas Paine, maybe? Anyway, the main point is that the winners get to determine who falls into each category. Lee lost, so yes, a traitor he was. He did have the company of the citizens of the 11 states who left the Union. Certainly one of the most unfortunate episodes of our history.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  15. condor17

    condor17 Class of 2015

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    who invaded Virginia? was it unconstituitonal to seceed? it is actually unconstitutional to use military action to force a state to stay in or enter the Union.
     
  16. condor17

    condor17 Class of 2015

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    if I may quote from the Constituition..."No State shall, without consent from Congress...enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not permit Delay" Article I, Sect 10.
    The South was in imminent Danger of losing its power and influence in Congress. so, they seceeded. then Pres. Lincoln unconstitutionally sent troops to bring the States back into the Union. The South was wrongfully invaded, and thus justified in entering into the Confederacy. Gen. Lee was then justified in defending his home State against an invading foreign power.
     
  17. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    How can the United States be a Foreign Power if Virginia is one of the United States?
     
  18. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    You seem to be ignoring the first sentence of Article I, Sections 10:

    "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;

    Regardless of whether or not they had the right (which Texas v. White settled as "no, they didn't)...

    From Texas v White:

    First, and perhaps foremost, the rebels named themselves"Confedera te States of America" in direct, blatant violation of the prohibition against entering into an alliance or "confederation." Second, the self-styled confederation printed worthless paper money when a state may only identify gold and silver coin as legal tender. Third, the various states of the confederacy laid tariffs that were not remitted to the Treasury of the United States. Various states also kept troops and ships of war and entered into compacts with other states and engaged in war. Each and every one of those acts violated the Constitution. The confederacy also sent delegations to European nations in an effort to gain diplomatic recognition, contradicting the presidential powers to make treaties and appoint ambassadors.​


    ...Lee was a natural born citizen of the United States, he was educated at the United States Military Academy, he was a serving officer in the United States Army when he decided to abandon his sworn post and wage war against the country he swore to protect and defend.

    Traitor. Treason. And as said before, if not for the pleadings of Grant, Johnson would have hanged him.

    The "South?" What was that? There was no separate country known as "The South." Virginia was not a sovereign nation - it was part of the United States of America. How can the United States Army "invade" in the United States?
     
  19. freedomtruck

    freedomtruck Member

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    As Abraham Lincoln wrote before, the entire "event" was not a secession at all. Because States are a part of the Union, they are unable to secede; they have nowhere else to go. The confederate states couldn't just physically break off from the US and move the actual land elsewhere. Lincoln regarded civil war was only a rebellion, because they can't break away (the signing of the Constitution). Depending on your own prejudices, Robert Lee could be deemed only a leader of a rebellion or a treasonous traitor.

    Keep in mind that after the Gettysburg Address, the War became defined as a war over slavery, not a War of preserving/dividing the Union, hence "defending/protecting" the country is irrelevant.
     
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    The world has gone topsy-turvy. I agree with Luigi 100%.

    I like the clown-shoe attempt to categorize "losing power in Congress" as "imminent danger." That's called democracy.
     

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