I never was an Abolitionist, not even what could be called anti-slavery, but I try to judge fairly and honestly and it became patent to my mind early in the rebellion that the North and South could never live at peace with each other except as one nation and that without Slavery.
The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.
The one thing I never want to see again is a military parade. When I resigned from the army and went to a farm I was happy. When the rebellion came, I returned to the service because it was a duty. I had no thought of rank; all I did was try and make.
Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation [of Texas] was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.
The natural disposition of most people is to clothe a commander of a large army whom they do not know, with almost superhuman abilities. A large part of the National army, for instance, and most of the press of the country, clothed General Lee with just such qualities, but I had known him personally, and knew that he was mortal; and it was just as well that I felt this.
Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also.
Retreat? NO. I propose to attach at daylight and whip them.
I never knew what to do with a paper except to put it in a side pocket or pass it to a clerk who understood it better than I did.
I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.
It will be all right if it turns out all right.
Really, Mr. Lincoln, I have had enough of this show business.
The colored man has been accustomed all his life to lean on the white man, and if a good officer is placed over him, he will learn readily and make a good soldier.
Quit thinking about what Bobby Lee’s gonna do to us and start thinking about what we’re going to do to him.
I suppose this work is part of the devil that is in us all.
But for a soldier his duty is plain. He is to obey the orders of all those placed over him and whip the enemy wherever he meets him.
I never heard him abuse an enemy. Some of the cruel things said about President Lincoln, particularly in the North, used to pierce him to the heart; but never in my presence did he evince a revengeful disposition.
In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.
Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.
There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party.
If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail.
Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.
If men make war in slavish observance of rules, they will fail. No rules will apply to conditions of war as different as those which exist in Europe and America…War is progressive, because all the instruments and elements of war are progressive.