Robert E. Lee Quotes

All this has been my fault.


I will attack no matter what and win the war!


Mr. Blair, I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South, I would
sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native State?


So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.


So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished.


There is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man’s face and another behind his back.


I endeavored to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all his mercies to me, for his preservation of me through all the dangers I have passed, and all the blessings which he has bestowed upon me, for I know I fall far short of my obligations.


The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom and forbearance in its formation if it was intended to be broken up by every member.


We must look to the rising generation for the restoration of the country.


We must enlist our own snake and strike like a cobra against their vitals with an attack on Washington.


We cannot afford to be idle, and though weaker than our opponents in men and military equipments, must endeavor to harass, if we cannot destroy them.


The war… was an unnecessary condition of affairs, and might have been avoided if forbearance and wisdom had been practiced on both sides.


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.


What a beautiful world God, in His loving kindness to His creatures, has given us! What a shame that men endowed with reason and knowledge of right should mar His gifts….


With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relative, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army…


I have thought from the time of the cessation of the hostilities, that silence and patience on the part of the South was the true course; and I think so still. Controversy of all kinds will, in my opinion, only serve to continue excitement and passion, and will prevent the public mind from the acknowledgement and acceptance of the truth.


I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than the dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.


We must…submit ourselves in adversity to the will of a merciful God as cheerfully as in prosperity.


Alabama soldiers, all I ask of you is to keep up with the Texans!


I am as willing to serve now as in the beginning in any capacity and at any post where I can do good. The lower the position, the more suitable to my ability and the more agreeable to my feelings.


I have never witnessed on any previous occasion such entire disregard of the usage of civilized warfare and the dictates of humanity.


Death, in its silent sure march is fast gathering those whom I have longest loved, so that when he shall knock at my door, I will more willingly follow.


Live in the world you inhabit. Look upon things as they are. Take them as you find them. Make the best of them. Turn them to your advantage.


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


Such an executive officer the sun never shone on. I have but to show him my design, and I know that it can be done, it will be done…Straight as the needle to the pole he advanced to the execution of my purpose.


Keep steady in the view of the great principles for which you contend. The safety of your homes and the lives of all you hold dear depend upon your courage and exertions. Let each man resolve to be victorious, and that the right of self-government, liberty and peace shall find him a defender.


The questions which for years were in dispute between the State and General Government, and which unhappily were not decided by the dictates of reason, but referred to the decision of war, having been decided against us, it is the part of wisdom to acquiesce in the result, and of candor to recognize the fact.


I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than the dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honor for its preservation.


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


I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness that our only hope is in God.