Robert E Lee Essay

993 words - 4 pages

Military Leadership is always an important factor in wars. Good commanders will accomplish the goals of their side while inferior generals will only hinder performance and fail their leader. However, not all great generals are victorious. Victories depend heavily on the availability of resources. Leadership does not relate to the supplies one has to draw from, but instead the personal traits of the man himself. General Robert E. Lee is a prime example of an excellent general whose brilliance was impeded by the Confederate’s lack of resources. General Ulysses S. Grant’s genius is rebuffed when compared to that of Lee’s.
Great military leaders should have a connection with the public and their soldiers. General Lee emerged overnight as the Confederate hero after the Seven Days’ Battles. His soldiers developed an almost divine belief in him because this battle was the first major victory since the First Battle of Bull Run and halted a succession of military attacks. The confederate soldiers also revered him due to his personal attributes, his dedication to protect his homeland, and because he held out so long against the Union with 11 times the industrial strength and three times the population of the South. Being a public hero also helped Jefferson Davis greatly as Davis was too overbearing, not in touch with the public, and not an exemplary leader like Abraham Lincoln. Doing so, Lee is connecting the people to their president, boosting morale, and hence productivity. The public, however, does not view General Ulysses S. Grant in such a positive light. The Union residents see Grant as a man who is overcome by his addiction of drinking and smoking, earning the disdain of General McClellan who was “annoyed and offended” by Grant’s obsession. General Grant is also a man who was too proud; he does not even want the high position of colonel. When compared to Grant’s public image and personality, Lee’s is much more positively connected with his public, accompanying military leaders, and soldiers.
Leaders should be fast, ingenious, and able to boost the morale of their troops. General Lee organized separated troops from all over the confederacy into the renowned Army of Northern Virginia in only three weeks. The Union kept most of the United States army at the time and did not need to do major organizing in comparison to what the Confederacy did. Lee’s insight urged him to keep the enemy as far away as possible from the armament producing center of Richmond, and away from the northern part of Virginia where farmers were harvesting crops. He knew that defeats of such spots will weaken the Confederacy’s will to continue the war. Lee boosted the morale of his troops by safeguarding the decisive spots and convincing the soldiers that the confederacy was in full control of the situation. Boosted morale and vigorous training led to the quick elevation of Confederate army quality. On the other hand, General Grant did not boost morale though talks and...

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