Registered: Mar 2004
Local time: 10:42 AM
Location: The Historic City of Portsmouth, England
I have just recently gotten off of the Wikipedia site where I have read a statement saying that in General U.S. Grant and General W.T. Sherman the Union found leders that were a match for Lee.
I strongly dispute this statement. The facts are clear. Robert .E. Lee held Virginia and defeated for more numorous and well equiped forces for almost four years. What is more General Lee out thought his enemy and managed to out manouver General Grant on several occaisons. He defeated Grant on an number of occaisons and, if not for the vast numbers of men at Grants disposal, he would have routed the Army of the Patomac, after Grants dismal performance at Petersburg where he managed to break the confederate trenches only to trap his men,and forced them right back to Washington.
What is more had Lee not been totally outnumbered and equiped worse guns and suplies and less food than his enemy he would have driven Grant off after Grants failed attempt to drive Lee from his defensive positions at Cold Harbor when Grant almost lost three devisions.
Sherman was never pitted against Lee at the confederate Generals strongest but if he were then he would have suffered the same fate as many other Union Generals. Sherman was an attacking minded General and managed to hold Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee down in one place. With no disrespect meant to General Bragg, he was no Robert .E. Lee. Had Lee ever faced Sherman at his strongest he would have probably attacked Shermans flanks and destroyed his army. Sherman would have regrouped and tried to defeat Lee again but he would not be able too.
Lee was a great tactical minded general and knew how to defend as well as attack. If not for his reluctance to dicipline lower ranking officers he would have won the war at Gettysburg and be remembered and the greatest General in American history.
Grant and Sherman were both great Generals but no single General in American history was as technically sound as Robert .E. Lee. Only Stonewall Jackson comes close to equaling success and legacy of General Lee.
The Fact of the matter is that had the American Civil War been fought on Equal terms between the North and the South then the south would have won the Eastern front easily and then turned its attention to the west. The south were always the underdogs and never really stood a chance after the Battle of Antietam ((this does not contradict my earlier statement about Gettysburg because Lee character means that they couldn't have won after Antietam)).