“My own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on receipt of Lee’s letter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and so valiantly and had suffered so much for a cause.” ~ General Grant on Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.As the complainer points out, here's the whole context of Grant's words:
What General Lee’s feelings were I do not know. As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it. Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed from my observation; but my own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us.So, yes, I did omit much of this particular quote - but not for any nefarious reason as the complainer seems to be insinuating. Granted, I should have included an ellipsis to indicate this was not a complete quote. That was admittedly sloppy on my part. But does the complainer really think readers would believe Grant supported the cause for which Lee was fighting - even with the omission - and that that was my intent? The emphasis was on Lee the man, not specifically on why he was fighting, nor to suggest that the officers quoted supported Lee's reason for fighting. That, I think, is clear from the rest of my post.
The quotes in my post were all from Union officers expressing an admirable opinion of General Lee. It was that aspect of Grant's quote which was germane to my point. The part I posted expressed Grant's opinion of Lee the man. Those opinions simply suggest that the same traits which garnered the admiration of Southerners were also appreciated by Lee's former enemies - long before the creation of any "Lost Cause Myth." These quotes (many more could be cited) suggest that Lee's part (i.e. his reputation as the Christian warrior, Southern gentleman, etc., etc.), in the "Lost Cause" aspect of WBTS historiography was not something created by Southerners after the war. That was the point of the post. The complainer is either throwing out a red herring or he missed my point. Regardless, the omission does not negate the point of the post.
Moreover, the complainer accuses me of suggesting things in my original post which I did not write:
Some people claim that the term “Lost Cause Myth” and “Lost Cause Historiography” are inventions devised by certain “anti-southern” folks who are also usually described as “left-wing academics.” One example of such a complaint can be found here.Does that sound anything close to what I actually wrote? To wit:
This is just a sampling of sentiments from Lee's former enemies. Scores more could be included. Yet, despite this type of evidence, you still have WBTS bloggers and historians suggest the "Lost Cause myth" (which, of course, involved Lee's memory and reputation) was, more or less, a fabrication by Southerners to save honor. In at least some aspects, the "myth" was anything but.But just to be clear: I completely acknowledge that all the Union officers whom I quoted in no way supported the cause of the Confederacy, no matter how much they admired General Lee (perhaps even more than their own general - which would, given Grant's reputation, be completely understandable). I also submit my most humble apologies to all readers who were misled by my omission and who were led to believe that General Grant was actually a Confederate sympathizer.
And, if one would like a more intellectually stimulating treatment of the "Lost Cause", I would suggest reading this article by Professor Clyde Wilson.