Lee and Jackson

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					Lee and Jackson

     Lsn 8
                Lee: Boyhood
• Born in 1807
• Son of Revolutionary
  War hero Light-Horse
  Harry Lee
  – Harry ran up huge debts,
    went into exile in the West
    Indies, and died on a
    voyage back home when
    Robert was 11
  – Robert was very much
    influenced by his mother       Lee’s boyhood home in
    Ann who taught him a           Alexandria, Virginia
    code of honor, self-control,
    and responsibility that his
    father did not embody
               Lee: Boyhood
• Entered West Point in 1824
• Graduated second in the Class of 1829 with no
• Commissioned in the engineers which was then
  the elite branch
• Classmates included Joe Johnston and
  Theophilus Holmes
  – Others at West Point at the same time included
    Jefferson Davis, John Magruder, and Lee’s future
    chief of artillery W. N. Pendleton
       Lee: Early Army Career
• Served in a variety of
  engineering positions
  – Fort Pulaski, Georgia
  – Fort Monroe, Virginia
     • While at Fort Monroe he
       married Mary Anna Randolph
       Custis, great grand-daughter
       of Martha Washington
  – Assistant in the chief
    engineer’s office in
  – St. Louis Harbor
  – Fort Hamilton, New York

                                      Lee in 1838
          Lee: Mexican War
• Lee served as an
  engineer under
  Winfield Scott in
• Scott landed at
  Vera Cruz and
  then began
  moving through
  the interior of
  Mexico to
  Mexico City
             Lee: Mexican War
• Scott wanted to
  avoid costly frontal
  assaults by
  executing turning
• To do so he would
  routinely send
  engineers such as
  Lee on
  missions to find a
  way around the
              Lee: Mexican War
• The Mexican commander Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
  had assembled a 25,000 man army to block Scott’s
  – Santa Anna established a defense at Cerro Gordo
  – Scott pitched his camp on April 14 and immediately ordered a
    careful reconnaissance of the Mexican positions
  – He soon realized that a frontal assault would be suicidal, and
    directed his engineers under Lee to check out the Mexican left
              Lee: Mexican War
• Santa Anna had positioned
  three artillery batteries on
  prominent cliffs to command
  the National Road approach
   – His main defensive
     position was on the hill of
     Cerro Gordo, a couple of
     miles behind these
     artillery batteries
   – Americans approaching
     Santa Anna along the
     National Road would be
     exposed to deadly fires
             Lee: Mexican War
• Lee summarized the problem writing that “The right of
  the Mexican line rested on the river at a perpendicular
  rock, unscalable by man or beast, and their left on
  impassable ravines; the main road was defended by field
  works containing thirty-five cannon; in their rear was the
  mountain of Cerro Gordo, surrounded by intrenchments
  in which were cannon and crowned by a tower
  overlooking all-- it was around this army that it was
  intended to lead our troops”
              Lee: Mexican War
• The defense however had one weakness
• To Santa Anna’s left or north flank there
  was an extensive tract of wilderness, the
  vegetation being so thick that Santa Anna
  had no reasonable observation in that
   – His flank was thus vulnerable, but he
     was willing to accept this risk because
     he considered the tangled woods
   – Santa Anna’s subordinates did not
     share this confidence, but, in spite of
     their pleas to defend the flank, Santa
     Anna sent only an observation post.
            Lee: Mexican War
• Slowly Lee worked his way up the ravines north
  of the river.
  – The terrain was difficult, but Lee thought it would not
    be impossible to construct a crude road over it.
• At one point Lee had to hide behind a large
  brush-covered log to avoid detection by the
• Mexican soldiers even sat on the log Lee hid
  behind, and he had to wait until darkness to
          Lee: Mexican War
• Upon returning to American lines, Lee compared
  notes with Major Smith who, on his own
  reconnaissance, had come to similar
  conclusions as Lee.
• Scott directed them to continue their
  reconnaissance the next day and detailed to Lee
  a work party to cut a trail.
• By the end of that day, Lee and his crew had
  prepared a passable new trail up the ravine
               Lee: Mexican War
• Not only was Lee responsible
  for finding the route and
  building the road, Scott also
  entrusted him with serving as
  guide for Brigadier General
  David Twiggs’s division in the
  conduct of the attack
• Lee led Twiggs’s men up the
  ravines that passed around
  Santa Anna’s left, emplaced
  an artillery battery, and guided
  a brigade around the northern
  flank of Cerro Gordo with the
  intention of cutting off the
  enemy retreat
             Lee: Mexican War
• Lee’s work allowed Scott to outflank the Mexican
  defenders, bypass the main defensive positions,
  and strike the Mexican rear
• Cerro Gordo was the first of many turning
  movements Scott executed in his march to Mexico
  – To make these movements possible Scott relied on the
    reconnaissance of Lee and other engineers
• Scott wrote that Lee was “indefatigable during
  these operations, in reconnaissance as daring as
  laborious, and of the utmost value.”
  – Lee was brevetted to major “for gallant and meritorious
    conduct in the battle of Cerro Gordo”
         Lee: Mexican War
• Scott would later describe Lee as “the very
  best soldier I ever saw in the field,” and
  suggested that in the event of war, the
  government should insure Lee’s life for $5
  million a year
• In addition to proving Lee’s skill as a
  soldier, Mexico taught him the value of
  reconnaissance and the turning movement
           Lee: Mexican War
• “The relation of careful reconnaissance to sound
  strategy was impressed on Lee by every one of
  the battles he saw in Mexico... Lee had shown
  special aptitude for this work and he left Mexico
  convinced for all time that when battle is
  imminent a thorough study of the ground is the
  first duty of the commanding officer.
  Reconnaissance became second nature to him”
  – Douglas Southall Freeman
                   Lee: After Mexico
• Fort Carroll in Baltimore Harbor
• Superintendent of West Point (1852-
   – Cadets under Lee’s superintendency
     who went on to be Civil War generals
     included his son G. W. Custis Lee, his
     nephew Fitzhugh Lee, Archibald
     Gracie, Stephen D. Lee, John Pegram,
     W. D. Pender, Jeb Stuart, and
     J. B. Villepigue (Confederate) and Phil
     Sheridan, Henry L. Abbot, and
     O. O. Howard (Federal)
• 2nd U.S. Cavalry (under the command
  of Albert Sidney Johnston) on the
  Texas frontier
• Was home at Arlington in 1859 when
  he was summoned to put down John
  Brown’s rebellion at Harper’s Ferry
         Lee: Early Civil War
• On the eve of the Civil War Lee was offered
  command of the Federal Army but declines
• Appointed commander of Virginia’s forces when
  Virginia seceded and then became one of the
  first five full generals of the Confederacy
• Initially commanded Confederate forces in
  western Virginia and then coastal defenses in
  the Carolinas
          Lee: Early Civil War
• Became Davis’s official military advisor in March
  – Had a close, deferential, and influential relationship
    with Davis
• Assumed command of what he names the Army
  of Northern Virginia on June 1, 1862 after
  Joseph Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines
  – Johnston said, “The shot that struck me down was the
    best ever fired for the Confederacy, for I possessed in
    no degree the confidence of the government, and
    now a man who does enjoy it will succeed me and be
    able to accomplish what I never could.”
                 Lee: Jomini
• Strong Napoleonic-Jominian influence
  – Checked out Montholon’s Memoirs of Napoleon,
    Light’s Histoire de Napoleon, and Segur’s Expeditions
    de Russie as a cadet at West Point
  – Witnessed Scott in Mexico
  – As superintendent participated in Professor D. H.
    Mahan’s “Napoleon Club” and checked out 15 books
    from the library on warfare, seven of which concerned
  – Owned a copy of Jomini’s Precis de L’art de la Guerre
  – Offensive-minded and audacious
                   Lee: Virginia
• Strong Virginia influence
  – Son of Ann Hill Carter of the Virginia King-Carter line
    and Lighthorse Harry Lee, Revolutionary War hero
    and intimate of George Washington
     • Lee’s father called Virginia “my native country”
  – Robert E. Lee felt secession was “anarchy” and
    considered slavery “a moral and political evil” yet
    could not fight against Virginia
     • “I still think… that my loyalty to Virginia ought to take
       precedence over that which is due to the federal
       government… If Virginia stands by the old Union, so will I.
       But if she secedes…, then I will follow my native state with
       my sword, and, if need be, with my life.”
                Lee: Virginia
• Virginia influence on Lee led him to support the
  departmental system because it gave him the
  opportunity to concentrate his efforts on Virginia,
  freed him from unwanted and complicated
  operations in other parts of the Confederacy,
  and put a premium on the strategic defensive
• The departmental system allowed Lee to
  prevent a concentration in the West at the
  expense of Virginia
                Lee: Virginia
• Lee has been accused of surrounding himself
  with Virginians and sending low performers West
  – By the beginning of May 1864, Lee had 15 corps and
    division commanders of which nine were Virginians
  – When Lee reorganized the army after Stonewall
    Jackson’s death, James Longstreet complained “the
    fact that the new Lieutenant Generals were Virginians
    made the trouble more grievous… General D. H.
    Hill’s… record was as good as that of Stonewall
    Jackson, but not being a Virginian, he was not so well
                 Lee: Virginia
• Lee did not consider the western theater as
  important as Virginia
  – “Virginia is to be the theater of action”
  – “the great effort in this campaign will be made in
• Lee decided to invade Gettysburg rather than
  reinforce Vicksburg because invading
  Gettysburg would relieve pressure on Virginia
  – Sending men west would force “a question between
    Virginia and Mississippi”
                  Lee: Virginia
• “A Virginian first, far more so than an American,
  Lee strode into the war never forgetting that he
  was a Virginian, and though he led the
  Confederate cause it was for Virginia he fought
  and for Virginia that spiritually he died.”
• Lee’s “thoughts were always concentrated on
  Virginia; consequently he never fully realized the
  importance of Tennessee, or the strategic power
  which resided in the size of the Confederacy.”
  – J. F. C. Fuller
             Lee: Limitations
• Refused to make the connection between war
  and statecraft
• Did not use his close relationship with Davis to
  influence the political aspects of war
• More comfortable with the discretionary orders
  that worked well at the operational level than the
  more detailed orders necessary at the tactical
  – Example of his inexact orders to Ewell at Gettysburg
          Jackson: Boyhood
• Born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West
  Virginia) in 1824
• Had a hard childhood
  – First his father, then his mother died
  – Went to live with his uncle
• Had a difficult time academically at first,
  but worked his way up to graduate 17th in
  the West Point Class of 1846
        Jackson: Mexican War
• Served as an
  artillerymen in Mexico
• Learned the offensive
  power of the artillery at
   – Technological
     advances in the rifled
     musket would make this
     difficult to repeat in the
     Civil War
• Began to become
  seriously religious
                   Jackson: VMI
• Resigned from the Army and
  took a position teaching
  natural philosophy and
  artillery at the Virginia
  Military Institute
• His stern demeanor and
  eccentric behavior made
  him not very popular with
  the cadets
   – Nicknames included “Square
     Box” (because of his large
     shoe size), “Old Jack,” “Tom
     Fool,” and “Old Hickory”

                                    Jackson’s Statue at VMI
            Jackson: Religion
• While at VMI, Jackson joined the Lexington
  Presbyterian Church in 1851
• Jackson embraced Christianity fully and it
  defined every aspect of his life
  – Served as a church deacon
  – Taught a Sunday School for blacks
  – During the Civil War several revivals would break out
    in his camps and he did much to encourage these
  – Was very conflicted about having to fight at
    Kernstown on the Sabbath but decided the risks of
    postponing the battle justified his actions although he
    wrote, “I hope and pray to our Heavenly Father that I
    may never again be circumstanced as on that day”
         Jackson: Early Civil War
• When Virginia seceded,
  Jackson’s first duty was to take
  the VMI cadets to Richmond
  where they would serve as
  drillmasters for the influx of new
• His first command for Virginia
  was as a colonel at Harpers
  Ferry which was an important
   – However that position lasted only
     four weeks
   – After Virginia became part of the
     Confederacy General Joseph
     Johnston assumed command
   – He continued on as Johnston’s
        Jackson: Early Civil War
• Harpers Ferry was
  indefensible and
  Johnston’s command
  moved to Winchester
• Johnston was to
  defend the
  Shenandoah Valley
  and support
  Beauregard at
  Manassas Junction if
• This is where Jackson
  was on the eve of
  First Manassas
 Jackson: Becomes “Stonewall”
• Jackson had moved his
  brigade to Henry Hill where he
  met his fellow brigade
  commander Bernard Bee
• Bee excitedly told Jackson the
  Federals were driving the
  Confederates back
• Jackson calmly began to
  establish a position on the
  southeast slope of the
  ridgeline about 400 yards from
  the Henry House
                                   After giving Jackson his
                                   famous nickname Bee was
                                   killed at First Manassas
 Jackson: Becomes “Stonewall”
• Bee at some point reportedly
  said, “There stands Jackson
  like a Stonewall. Rally around
  the Virginians!”
• The Confederates were able to
  defeat the piecemeal Federal
  attacks while their own
  reinforcements were steadily
• The Federal army began to
  disintegrate and First
  Manassas became an
  important Confederate victory
                                   Jackson Monument at Manassas
     Jackson: Relationships with
• Jackson was a stern disciplinarian and
  extremely secretive
• This combination often did not sit well with
  his subordinate generals
  – James Robertson calls Jackson’s relationship
    with A. P. Hill “one of the Civil War’s most
    heated and damaging feuds”
       Jackson: Relationships with
• Lee and Jackson proved to be
  one of the most effective
  command combinations in
  American history
   – Jackson said Lee’s “perceptions are
     as quick and unerring as his
     judgment is infallible”
   – When Jackson had his arm
     amputated, Lee said, “He has lost
     his left arm; but I have lost my right
     arm” and when Jackson died, Lee
     said, “I do not know how to replace
• With Jackson, Lee could give the
  broad, discretionary orders he              Lee, Jackson, and
  preferred                                   Davis by Mort Kunstler
     Jackson: Relationships with
• “In the ten months that Lee and Jackson
  were together, delegation of authority had
  been so lenient– orders permitting a wide
  latitude in execution so regular– as to
  create one of history’s greatest military
  – James Robertson
          Jackson: Limitations
• Jackson is often criticized for being unable to
  operate well in conditions in which he had to
  conform his actions to those of others
   – White Oak Swamp in particular and the Seven Days
     in general are the most cited examples
• This and his frequent quarrels with subordinates
  make it an interesting debate whether or not
  Jackson could have commanded a large
  independent army
              Jackson: Tactics
• Was offensively oriented
   – Served as Lee’s hammer
     while Longstreet was the
• Master of interior lines and
  forced marching
   – In the Shenandoah Valley
     Campaign fought six
     battles between March 23
     and June 9 and his “foot
     cavalry” covered 676 miles
     in 48 marching days; an
     average of 14 miles a day
              Jackson: Tactics
• In combination with Lee, showed
  mastery of the envelopment and
  turning movement
• Lee told Jackson it was “to save
  you the abundance of hard fighting
  that I ventured to suggest for your
  consideration not to attack the
  enemy’s strong points, but to turn
  his position… I would rather you
  have easy fighting and heavy
   – Brilliantly executed at Second
     Manassas and Chancellorsville
 Jackson: Impact of Death on Lee
• Lots changed in the Army of Northern
  Virginia after Jackson died
• Leadership styles
  – Delegative
  – Directive
  – Participatory
• Without Jackson Lee had no one he could
  effectively delegate to
  – He tried to do it all himself and it did not work
  Jackson: Impact of Death on Lee
• Without Jackson, Lee
  never again attempted
  the spectacular dividing
  of his army in the face of
  numerical superiority or
  the sweeping flanking
  movements he had
  done before
   – Much of this was due to
     declining numbers after
     Gettysburg, but
     Jackson’s loss had a lot
     to do with it as well
  Jackson: Impact of Death on Lee
• “Jackson
  represented Lee’s
  mobility, the prime
  ingredient the
  Southern army had
  to have for survival.
  Without it, the Civil
  War in the East
  became a slugging
  match that the
  Confederacy could
  not hope to win.”
   – James Robertson
  Jackson: Impact of Death on Lee
• Lee felt, “If I [would have] had
  Stonewall Jackson at
  Gettysburg, I would have won
  that fight.”
• When A. P. Hill launched a
  series of piecemeal attacks at
  Hanover Junction, Lee
  complained, “Why did you not
  do as Jackson would have done,
  thrown your whole force upon
  those people and driven them

• Fort Donelson
  and Shiloh