The Competing Loyalties of Robert E. Lee

Here’s Gary Gallagher lecturing on Robert E. Lee’s loyalties exactly 150 years later and in the same chamber where Lee accepted command of Virginia’s military forces.  I think he pretty well nails it.  From the video description:  “Robert E. Lee was a conflicted man when he stood before the Virginia House of Delegates in 1861 to accept command of the state’s military forces. Exactly 150 years later, historian Gary Gallagher spoke on the same spot about Lee’s resignation from the U.S. Army and his competing loyalties–between his country and that of Virginia.”

Shelby Foote claimed that Lee referred to Virginia as his country.  I’ve seen exactly zero times where Lee ever did that.  He always referred to Virginia as his native state, and either the United States or the confederacy as his country.

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