Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Marse Robert.

This is coolbert:

That testimony of General Robert E. Lee in the aftermath of the American Civil War. This testimony I was not aware of until now. I would have to think not so totally 100 % inclusive but to the extent we get a good idea of the Q and A.

From "Encounter" by Peter Carlson as found in the latest edition of American History:

"Robert E. Lee Faces Congress" [apparently a combined committee of Senators and representatives].

"Where is your present residence"- - Lee.

"Lexington, Virginia"- - Lee.

"How long have you resided in Lexington"- - Lee.

"Since the first of October last - - nearly five months."- - Lee.

"Are you acquainted with the state of feeling among what we call secessionists in Virginia at present toward the government of the United States?" - - Senator Howard.

"I do not know that I am, I have been living very retired and have had but little communications with politicians. I know nothing more than from my observation, and from such facts as have come to my knowledge."- - Lee.

"From your observation, what is your opinion as to the feeling of loyalty towards the government of the United States among the secession portion of the people of that state?" - - Howard

"So far as has come to my knowledge, I do not know of a single person who either feels or contemplates any resistance to the government of the United States or indeed any opposition to it."- - Lee.

"How do they feel, in regard to that portion of the the people of the United States who have been forward and zealous in the prosecution of the war against the rebellion?" - - Howard.

"Well, I do not know, I have heard nobody express any opinion in regard to it . . . I have heard no expression of sentiment toward any particular portion of the country."- - Lee.

"Do you mean to be understood as saying that there is not a condition of discontent against the government of the United States among the secessionists generally?" - - a Senator unnamed.

"I know of none."- - Lee.

"General, you are very competent to judge the capacity of black men for acquiring knowledge, I want your opinion on that capacity as compared with the capacity of white men." - - Howard.

"I do not know that I am particularly qualified to speak on that subject, But I do not think he is as capable of acquiring knowledge as the white man is, [Black people are] an amiable, social race, They like their ease and comfort." - - Lee.

"My own opinion is that, at this time, they cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the right of suffrage would open the door to a great deal of demagogism"- - Lee.

"Do you think, that Virginia would be better off if the colored population were to go to Alabama, Louisiana or some other Southern state?" - - Representative Blow.

"I think it would be better for Virginia if she could get rid of them. That is no new opinion with me. I have always thought so, and always been in favor of emancipation - - gradual emancipation."- - Lee.

"Would any Virginia jury, convict Davis [Jefferson Davis] of treason?" - - Howard.

"I think it is very probably that they would not consider that he had committed treason"- - Lee.

"In what light would they views it? What would be their excuse or justification?" - - Howard.

"So far as I know, they look upon the action of the State, in withdrawing itself from the government of the United States, as carrying the individuals of the State along with it; that the State was responsible for the act, not the individual."- - Lee.

"State if you please, and if your disincline to answer the question, you need not do so - - what your own personal views on that question were" - - Howard.

"That was my view, that the act of Virginia in withdrawing herself from the Unites States, carried me along as a citizen of Virginia, and that her law and her acts were binding on me."- - Lee.

"And that you felt to be your justification in taking the course you did?" - - Howard

"Yes sir"- - Lee.

Seems that there was a cordial, frank and open exchange, somewhat subdued, on civil terms if Lee obviously reserved and not perhaps entirely and fully forthcoming but not necessarily evasive either..

Lee also addressed with his Confederate rank of General, his final rank in the U.S. Army prior to secession being Colonel.


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