Thursday, May 5, 2016

Goodbye and Farewell

Dear Journal
When I issued my first order as Commander-and-Chief of the Confederate army, I knew it wouldn’t last long. In early April I lost control of both Petersburg and Richmond, and I knew hope for victory had all but vanished. Davis kept pushing the forces, claiming that the Confederacy was now free, not shackled guarding cities, and that victory was still on the horizon, but we all knew the truth. Even though I knew that The Confederate States of America wouldn’t triumph, I would not surrender. I would and still have rather died a thousand deaths if I could’ve avoided what had to be done. Sadly, God did not see to extend me the liberty of a choice. After the Battle of Saylor's Creek, I surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. I decided to look my best. Wearing the most appropriate attire I could find among my disselved clothing, I arrived at Wilmer Mclean's Parlor half-an-hour early. Grant arrived covered in dirt, coming from the midst of the battlefield. I held no grudge against Grant. The one thing we both held was sadness. Grant brought up the Mexican-American war, asking if I remembered him. I had not known we had met previously. I appreciated Grant’s attempt at shifting the conversation as if we were old friends, getting reacquainted. I had a feeling if the circumstances were different we could have been friends, and the thought saddened me even more. I reminded myself why I was there, and asked for Grant’s terms of surrender. They were more than generous. He even gave my men rations. As I took my leave of the parlor, Grant’s men started to cheer, but Grant proceeded to stop them. I believe we were both overwhelmed with the same feeling at that moment, surprisingly enough. A thought that haunted us both, “What was it all for?” My men, loyal as ever, lined up for their poor excuse for a General as I walked out the home. They cleared a way as they bid their farewells, treating me without resent, without anger, just sadness. I knew not what to say, what to do, so I told them the truth: that the war was lost, but if they dedicated the same effort to being a citizen as they did to being a soldier, they would help their home, their nation become whole once again. I told them the only thing I could, goodbye.
Farewell,
Robert E. Lee

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dear Journal,
I have started to fear that the Confederate States of America don’t stand a chance against the Union’s growing war  efforts. Have I mentioned how much I despise General Sherman. Both he and Grant have seen to it that I be put under siege, around both Richmond and Petersburg. It has been a hectic year, and like every single day of this war, blood was shed. Both we and the Yanks suffered tremendous casualties during the battle of The Wilderness, and while we won, I am always saddened when lives are lost in the line of duty. President Lincoln was also re-elected for his second term. I heard he won in a landslide against that fool McClellan which isn’t very surprising, considering how very timid the man is. It baffles me. I would like to go back to Mr. Sherman, and his little adventure through Georgia. He had no right to drag women and children into the war. They didn’t ask to be left home alone while their fathers and husbands went off to war. How dare he and his dirty Yanks burn down these people's’ livelihoods, their homes, their cities, their towns. Sherman had a plan I can see that: to kill the hope of the southern people. However, I believe he has done the exact opposite. He has enraged them. My fellow Rebels and their families will never forget the cruelty they endured, and they won’t for generations to come, and while we might not to win the war, the south won’t forgive the country, and they will be stubborn and resistant in changing their ways, even after surrender. Oh, what I am I saying, we have yet to surrender, and I for one will not until I am good and ready. I will not go down unless it is fighting. On that note, I bide you adieu, from the turning movement I am currently stuck in.
With prayer for the future,
Robert E. Lee   

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The sins I've committed, 1863

Dear Journal,
Mr. Davis would not accept my letter of resignation. He simply said to me that there is no one to replace me in my rank and position. This is a statement that I cannot believe to be true. I am left with no way to repent, for the sins I committed at the Battle of Gettysburg. I caused thousands casualties, by the words of my mouth. I relive every horrifying moment when I close my eyes. The images come back vividly, and I am paralyzed. The rapid fire of guns as Yankee bullets ripped their way through my men. I watched as Pickett’s soldiers toppled over, one by one. When the few survivors walked back, withered by the terror they had indured, the only words that could escape my mouth were, “It’s my fault”. I could not bring back the dead. I could not make their pain go away. I could take away the memories cemented in their minds, of the horrors of warfare. Therefore, if I cannot be replaced, I will make it my life’s mission to not give up. I will not surrender to the Union even when there is no hope in sight. I will not let the lives I cost be in vain. I am their General, and I will stand strong against the enemy. Not only for myself, but for my state. I will avenge the fallen.
With prayer for the fallen,

Robert E. Lee

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Planning for the future 1862

June 2, 1862
Dear Journal,
God has started to look kindly down on us it seems, for this year has finally started to take a turn. It was only back in March that I was fretting over my advisory position with President Davis, complaining about my rank, and how little influence it carried. However, it seems God has seen fit to give me a second chance, and it is one I shall not waste. Don’t misunderstand. I think it was awful how General Johnston was shot off his horse in the line of duty, but I will see to it that I bring justice to what has happened to him as commander of The Army of Northern Virginia….
   
September 2, 1862
Dear Journal,
I took my chance at redemption when the Union dared to stand on our front lawn. I decided then and there that I would strike back. I sent my troops after General McClellan's army head on, and it paid off. We managed to push them back 20 miles. The battle lasted seven long days, and it cost me thousands of my men. I wouldn’t stop there when I could push the Union back even farther. My persistence paid off as we pushed McClellan’s forces back into Washington, during a second victory at Manassas. In a short time I have been able to push the Unionists off their high horse and restore my men’s faith in my leadership. I know there have been many casualties. Thousands lay dying, and there are thousands more to come. There is not enough Chloroform in the world for that. This brings me no joy, but I will push our advantage while I’m able. I will not sit idly by and wait, for the next Northern attack on Southern soil. This time we will strike first, and we will win.
     With Prayer,
Robert Edward Lee

Monday, April 11, 2016

1861 Blog, a letter home

My beloved Mary,
My love, I miss you every second I am away from our home, and I wish to be with you in your time of need. I know you worry for my safety, but on this day I worry not for my own safety, but for the safety of my fellow comrades at war. The first battle of the war was upon the south, and I am proud to report we defended ourselves admirably. I have known from the very beginning that this war would be strenuous and challenging, and I have made it my duty to prepare the south for such because we won’t prolong the war or emerge victorious if we are ignorant. I can not say the same for my brothers on the other side of this war. They expected us to surrender in a day’s time it seems, and for that they paid dearly. General Beauregard commanded the confederacy well, and his strategy: to deploy troops, making a battle line, and to counterattack shocked the ill-prepared Yanks Mary, do you remember when I told you about a young second-lieutenant, I met during the Mexican-American war, Mr. Jackson? Well, it seems he performed with great bravery, facing the Unionists. He stood solid in the face of adversity and danger, earning him the nickname “Stonewall” Jackson. I believe it suits him. Don’t you think so? I am curious as to what the rebel will do next, and I hope to hear of him again. Mary… while I am happy to hear of southern victory, I feel such melancholy at the same time. So much blood was shed, so many lives lost, and I wasn’t there to help defend my home. I would only admitted such to you, but I am ashamed. I fear for my country and my state more and more every passing minute. I know the only way for the country to resolve its problems are through violence, but I don’t expect this war to be quick fought, and the Battle of Bull Run has proven such. I will fight for the Virginian blood that courses through my veins, and I will defend my kin till I can fight any longer, but one thing is for sure, and I say this with a heart full of sorrow, the country might never recover from such bloodshed. 
With love and prayer,
Robert E. Lee

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Prayer for the future (Enlistment Blog)

Dear Journal,
All my deepest nightmares have been realized, and at this time I fear for the future. The future of my country, my state, and my fellow brothers. I knew I had made my choice the very moment I rejected “Old man Blair’s” proposal to lead the Union armies.
My ideologies haven’t faltered. I still believe what I have always known to be true: Slavery is an unjust institution, and I will never agree with the treatment they are subject to be my fellow southerners, but I also adhere to the fact that the Black race is better suited as slaves in these Americas than they are free in Africa. Blacks are inferior to the white race, and they simply aren’t ready for dealing with such things as voting and government. I recognize the conflict over slavery and don’t support the Abolitionist view nor the Southern view. This being one of the things President Lincoln and I have in common.
God only knows that I am appalled by the idea of succession. It is nothing but revolution, and it serves no purpose other than pinning brother against brother. I had long prayed for Virginia to strive away from succession because I knew from the very beginning: My sword belongs first to my mother state. Upon learning of Virginia’s secession, I paced the floors of my home until my feet grew wiry, collapsing on the ground in prayer for the fate of my country.
I have always seen myself as a man of honor, but in that moment I choose between my ideas of slavery, my loyalty to the Union, and my loyalty to my home, choosing my home, knowing not how to turn my back on my kin, my family, and the people I’ve known for the great length of my life.
Sometimes I reflect on the past, wishing to return to it. Return to the days when my dear Mary was not confined to the metal bars of a wheelchair, praying for my safety. Return to a time when Mr. Boo, Rooney, Rob, Daughter, Annie, and my Precious life were still the children that begged me for just one more story before bed, and I was ignorant to the problems I had yet to face.
Upon resigning my commission in the United States army, I was faced with the task of leading my fellow Virginians and southerners into battle with their countrymen. Their optimism is very much misplaced. The truth of the matter is if we are to stand a chance against the growing resources of the Union army, we must accept the coming struggle and ban together with a common goal: Survival. God protect my beloved family in these times of hardship.
Sincerely yours,
Robert E. Lee