Civil War Figures: Robert E. Lee
by findingDulcinea Staff
When Robert E. Lee accepted command of the Confederate Army, he “believed he was defending Virginia, not slavery.” He has been considered one of the greatest heroes of the South and an icon of American military leadership.
A letter from Lee to President Pierce confirms that while Lee was in fact, morally opposed to slavery, he was equally against the idea of abolitionists forcing owners to give up their slaves. Lee believed that end of slavery “would sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy.” He thought God would eventually end slavery and that the abolitionists had no right to interfere.