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.
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