Robert E. Lee Quotes

I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.


We made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers


To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.


Lee tells his troops. After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.


No blame can be attached to the army for its failure to accomplish what was projected by me… I alone am to blame, in perhaps expecting too much of its prowess and valor… could I have foreseen that the attack on the last day would fail, I should certainly have tried some other course… but I do not know what better course I could have pursued.


Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn’t tell me until it was too late. I’m willing to yield my place to these best generals and I’ll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper.


All this has been my fault.


A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.


It is glorious to see such courage in one so young.


We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.


Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character.


A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.


My experience through life has convinced me that, while moderation and temperance in all things are commendable and beneficial, abstinence from spirituous liquors is the best safeguard of morals and health.


You cannot barter manhood for peace.


But what a cruel thing is war to separate and destroy families and friends.


I did only what my duty demanded. I could have taken no other course without dishonor.


It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.


It is history that teaches us to hope.


Remember, we are all one country now. Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring them up to be Americans.


I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony.


What a cruel thing war is… to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors.


What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.


We must forgive our enemies. I can truly say that not a day has passed since the war began that I have not prayed for them.


I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving.


I am now considered such a monster, that I hesitate to darken with my shadow, the doors of those I love, lest I should bring upon them misfortune.


Sir, if you ever presume again to speak disrespectfully of General Grant in my presence, either you or I will sever his connection with this university.


Any victory would be dear at such a price.


I believe I may so, looking into my own heart, and speaking as in the presence of God, that I have never know one moment of bitterness or resentment.


Teach him to deny himself.


It is glorious to see such courage in one so young.