Date: Sunday, December 24, 2006 5:32 PM
Subject: The Stephanie Miller Show
"You're a fucking naive idiot. You think all of the warring parties in Iraq should get together to end the war like when Grant met with Lee at Appomattox? What a stupid idiotic comparision. The South was finished when Lee surrendered to Grant. They had no fight left in them. It was over. This war isn't over yet and if we leave before it is Iraq is just going to become the safe haven for terrorists that Afghanistan once was. Is that what you want you stupid cunt ? You should stick to doing comedy and stop shooting your naive mouth off about the state of the world. In fact all of you liberals should shut the hell up because none of you know what the hell you're talking about."
Interestingly, in 1859, when summoned to battle John Brown and his men at Harper's Ferry, Robert E. Lee wrote: "I determined to summon the insurgents to surrender..."
In 1861, Lincoln was hard pressed knowing that the ninety day enlistments of the volunteer army were coming to an end. The newspapers were pressing him for a quick end to the hostilities. So despite the fact that the troops were not yet adequately trained, he was forced to fight the Battle of Bull Run with the army he had, not the army he wished he had. The soldiers were plagued by oppressive heat.
In the Seven Days Campaign of 1862, one side lost twenty thousand men while the other lost eleven thousand. One commander said, "This was not war. This was murder".
When General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, there were still about a hundred and seventy thousand confederate troops fighting across the country under other commands. It was Lee's surrender that caused the rest of the confederate army to soon follow and lay down its arms. Though the Confederate army was shredded, they would have fought on with the fervor of all zealots committed to their cause, but for the decision of their commander. General Joshua Chamberlain describes Lee's men at his farewell to his troops: "Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness, could bend from their resolve.."
Through all the negotiations in writing between the two generals leading up to the meeting of surrender, the points reiterated by both over and over again were the desire to "avoid useless effusion of blood", and to "save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed". So while the south was bled, there was still much havoc and destruction to effect barring Lee's decision. I find the most moving phrase of Grant's letters, especially in consideration of the fact that he was winning at the time, to be: "..Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life.." A lifelong fighter who had seen the loss of millions understood the value of one more life. The terms of surrender and disposition of the men were subjects worked out in advance, and with great civility, befitting two warriors who understood the comportment of battle. While they could have fought to annihilation, as men who had actually served before, they knew the arc of war. They understood it took at least a few people left alive in order to form a more perfect union.
It's almost 2007. ..Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life...
"John Brown's Raid, 1859"
"Surrender at Appomattox, 1865"
EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2004)
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