Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Gary Gallagher: Robert E. Lee and the Question of Loyalty

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on January 26, 2017

Here’s a really superb talk by Gary Gallagher on Robert E. Lee, and the deeply-conflicted loyalties he had — to Virginia, to the United States, to the slaveholding South, and to the Confederacy.




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  1. Tim S said, on January 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    “Deeply Conflicted Loyalties” vs Conflicted Loyalty vs Loyalty = Revolution against a foreign power or potentate seeking to forcibly deny inalienable rights guaranteed by the US Constitution, English law, John Locke and the Magna Carta. Lee was loyal to a fault to his family, neighbors, community, county, state and country, in that order. The United States of America then the Confederate States of America then the United States of America again after four years of historic combat according to the rules of war. Based on centuries of western civilization or the lack of civilization in western Europe and America for hundreds of years. Lee decided he would be totally loyal at the expense of life, limb, property, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without regard for a one world order, the British Empire, “it takes a village” or US Constitutional rights for aliens both legal or illegal. Or foreigners in foreign countries who have nothing whatsoever to do with rights under a US Constitution. And never have and never will.

    • Andy Hall said, on January 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks for stopping by.

      • Martin said, on January 27, 2017 at 11:19 am

        Is it just me or did that guy just ding-dong ditch your web site?

        • Andy Hall said, on January 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm

          Sure he did. But a non-substantive comment deserves a non-substantive response.

  2. Tim S said, on January 27, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Actually it was you, looking at Lee’s decision post war, after the fact. After Lee helped settle the issue, instead of when the decision was made beforehand. The issue was still being debated politically and economically until decided finally for future generations.

    If the object of this site is to agree to look at the decision from post war modern sensibilities instead of the actual event Gallagher might be discussing, then I apologize for the misunderstanding. It was was not my intention to spoil the tea party. You are of course free to agree on any agenda you might choose here. Thanks for the brief discussion. Have a nice life. Regards

  3. Mark Curran said, on January 28, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Surberb talk?

    Are you joking?

    It was comical. Not one word about Lee’s torture of slave girls.

    Not one word about Lees later claim he couldn’t recall ever taking the oath ever officer of his rank took to the President.

    Not one word about Lees obession for girls of a certain age, as indicated by the prices he paid for capture and torture (torture is the rightvword) of 14 year old girls.

    Not one word about Lee’ regular use of torture, and his purchase of women his hunters found in the North before the war, that were never slaves till Lee’s men kidnapped them illegally from the North.

    You should not be surprised Lee had women kidnapped before the war, because during the war he had his men round up hundreds of FREED blacks in the North, taken South and there sold.

    Nor should you be at all surprised at that. Not long before Lee had his men capture those free blacks, Jefferson Davis announced exactly that.

    See Davis address to people of Free States, Jan 3, 1863. It was published in Richmond newspapers at the time

    Davis wrote that looked foward to tge day when South would, by force of Arms, invade North and place all blacks on the slavr status and their issue, forever.

    Davis even said he made this clear then, so there will “be no misunderstanding in the future”

    Davis look forward to enslaving all blacks forever

    I look forward when supposed scholars care about facts, instead of outlandish bullship they pass off as remotely true.

    • Andy Hall said, on January 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      You’ve been posting essentially the same comment here, about Lee torturing girls, for more than six years, using six different usernames. More than 20 comments altogether. You’ve made your point. Enough.

      • Tim S said, on January 28, 2017 at 3:02 pm

        My ancestors were loyal to King Charles I. Virginia is the Cavalier state because they were not for Cromwell. An uncle called Tory Bob had his land taken away by the post revolutionary Virginia government after he showed too much respect for King George III, by not joining the Continental Army.
        Not sure how much he liked the ladies though. People married young girls in the Middle Ages since retirement age was 30 if you lived long enough. Lots of rats and garbage in the streets all the.time. In addition to the unspeakable.

        Bacteria wasn’t discovered until Louis Pasteur figured it out shortly after Civil War soldiers built their latrines up stream from where they dipped their drinking water.

        We must keep in mind we live in a different era and stop looking at previous centuries through 21st Century lenses. Central government that is TOO strong is still the enemy of freedom.

        I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go around. Apologists, moralistic cry babies and other types of sad sack party poopers. Regards

      • bob carey said, on January 29, 2017 at 11:29 am

        There is always a little fruitcake left over after the holidays.

        I think that Dr. Gallagher did a great job on the topic. I believe his use of the vernacular and his animation make his talks easy to comprehend. The impersonation of Shelby Foote is actually funny.

        • Andy Hall said, on January 29, 2017 at 11:35 am

          By the end of his life, Shelby Foote was doing impressions of Shelby Foote.

        • Msb said, on February 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          Well said, Bob, on both counts.

      • Kristoffer said, on February 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        By your argument, I can and will say that Gallagher has been engaging in refusal to talk about Lee’s dark side for far longer than Mark has been posting anything. Yet you only have a problem with Mark. Sure, Mark repeats himself, but it doesn’t detract from his work.

        • Andy Hall said, on February 2, 2017 at 5:59 pm

          Gallagher is speaking on a specific and defined aspect of Lee’s record. Mark is unhappy, as he has been numerous times in the past, that what’s being discussed about Lee isn’t the thing that he wants them to discuss.

          • Kristoffer said, on February 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm

            Yes. That dissatisfaction stems from a severe lack of attention to Lee’s dark side. I wasn’t even aware Lee had a dark side until I encountered his work. Neither would I have known that Jefferson Davis being caught while disguised as a woman wasn’t a myth and was confirmed by people who were there, namely his wife and nephew, if it wasn’t for Mark.

            • Andy Hall said, on February 2, 2017 at 6:53 pm

              Mark should publish. That’s what historians do.

            • Tim S said, on February 2, 2017 at 7:23 pm

              Davis wearing a disguise while out in the Georgia countryside running away from federal Cavalry reports as he made his way toward the Gulf coast is completely well documented by many historical accounts. It always helps not to be recognized when you are moving slower than Cavalry and telegraph lines.

              This is similar to the recent election when pundits reverse everything reported to match their false agenda based on innuendo and false news. Are we suggesting Davis was a transvestite and Lee was a serial rapist? Trump is still POTUS regardless.

  4. Robert Nelson said, on January 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    FYI — I posted a link to this lecture on “The American Civil War.” Thanks.

  5. Barry said, on January 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Great talk. Back and forth arguments of Lee will always exist and therefore more books can be written. Random: Shelby was related to Horton. Great Grandfathers were brothers. They got to know each other when Shelby voiced Jefferson Davis for The Civil War series.

  6. professoreugene said, on January 30, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    This may spur a few nasty comments. The South could never have won the American Civil War. That is according to prophecy recorded in the Bible.

    Some 602,000 folks lost their lives trying to fight a war when Bible prophecy had already determined its outcome.

    The thing is that the Northern side had to win, because, otherwise, it would leave America divided into two separate nations, while the Book of Revelation in the Bible indicates that both World War I and World War II would be won by forces representing democracy. This is hyper important to the fulfilling of a prophecy made by Jesus himself.

    At Matthew 24:14, Jesus commanded that, “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth, and then the end will come.” [The KJV records this as, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”]

    That would not have been possible under the auspices of a totalitarian government, like Hitler’s Germany, or Mussolini’s Italy, nor Hirohito’s Japanese empire. So to make their efforts at world domination a failure, so that the “good news” could be spread, it would require the combined efforts of American armed forces.

    Again, according to the Revelation, America along with Great Britain, form a union that will remain in place until God once more intervenes in human affairs.

    So the more stable parts of human society intervened in those wars, allowing the “good news” to prosper.

    Today, the preaching of the “good news” is going on apace.


    • Tim S said, on January 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      While I agree the Word is perfect and appreciate your sentiments, for the sake of discussion I will challenge a point or two you attempt to make. Revelation requires a special anointing to fully understand the way it comes together since it is not written in chronological order. Some scholars hesitate to “try to” tackle all of it at one time. Matthew 24 is about today spoken by Jesus. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word will never pass away. The Word cannot be changed. However government can be.
      The age old economic system of the 19th Century was fast becoming obsolete for many reasons.

      The executive branch of the US government was relatively weak before the Civil War. Stronger after WWII than ever. The “bomb” is what made America the launching pad for the final worldwide dispensation. It cannot be stopped. Much of America is under strong delusional. You probably have noticed.

      Shelby Foote agreed with you on the PBS documentary The Civil War concerning winning the war. I believe that idea inherently false. Many things could have happened that never did which would have effectively changed the outcome. One example is the election of 1864. Another example is the timing of the arrival of forces to the battle line on July 2,1863. Maybe another is what happened the first week of May 1863.

      All of which is beside the point here, if one considers there is no way on God’s green earth slavery could have survived into the 20th Century either way the war ended. While it is true America gets much of her military prowess from the South the thing that stopped Hitler was not allowing him to capture the Royal Navy. We would have been bottled up with no way to launch an invasion of Normandy. Most of this is for some other thread but making Lee the mayor of Philadelphia in July 1863 would have changed things. For one the Capitol would have moved from Washington to most likely NYC. It would have moved back to DC after the armistice and the need for Jim Crow laws and the struggle for voting rights would have been unnecessary and non existent.

      If the text of the video of the presentation about Lee and his conflicting loyalties is available I would like to read it. Regards

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