Robert E Lee Research Paper

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In April 1861, General Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army by Abraham Lincoln. Lee declined this offer writing “I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children,” (p.81). The General a few days later, accepted his appointment as commander in chief to Virginia;s military. Lee knew that the North was plentiful in resources so they would win a war of abrasion. With this in mind, he hoped that the south could win a few battles and pressure Lincoln to stop the fighting. In September 1862, Lee led 40,000 soldiers across the Potomac river into Maryland. At the time, the army was small and had been “marching, fighting, and starving” (p.82) since June. General McClellan on the other hand, was a hero of the …show more content…
As each side went back and forth fighting, men were killed in the exact rows that they had once stood their ranks. At one point the 6th Wisconsin fought their way past the cornfield and pushed the Confederates back. At this time the Confederate line was thin and about to collapse when John Bell Hood and his 2,300 men stormed out of the woods. By 9:00 A.M. more than 8,000 American men were killed or injured. As the battle continued on the oldest General in the northern army, Major General Edwin Sumner sent a division into the West Woods where they fell into an ambush. Confederates popped out from out of nowhere and fired bullets and the division began to collapse. What is thought to be the fiercest battle of the day was that of Bloody lane. The Confederates set up in a trench along the farm road and as the Union soldiers marched by Colonel John B. Gordon of the 6th Alabama led his army to fire saying; “With all my lung power I shouted, ‘Fire!’ My rifles flamed and roared in the Federals’ faces like a blinding blaze of lightning accompanied by the quick and deadly thunderbolt. The effect was appalling. The entire front line, with few exceptions, went down in the consuming blast.” (p.91). By 12:00 after two hours of fighting the Confederate line finally broke and they appeared to be in full retreat. As the advantage shifted toward Lee, Ambrose Burnside led his men across a heavily guarded bridge pushing back the Confederates. By 3 P.M., Burnside had eight thousand troops advancing in a three quarters of a mile line. At the moment that Burnside was on the verge of capturing Harpers Road, Major General A. P. Hill along with his division of three thousand men came to the rescue. In the end McClellan was able to declare a victory for Lee was forced to retreat. The Union had around 700 less deaths than the

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