June 2, 2016

2591 UNITED STATES - Confederate Generals

In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U.S. territories, something the Southern states viewed as a violation of their constitutional rights. The Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the electoral votes, and Lincoln was elected the first Republican president, but before his inauguration, seven slave states individually declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America.

War broke out in April 1861 when Confederate troops under Beauregard bombarded Fort Sumter on April 12-13, forcing its capitulation. Few days later, when Virginia declared its secession, Robert E. Lee, promoted colonel on March 28, chose to follow his home state, despite his personal desire for the country to remain intact and despite an offer of a senior Union command. Following, he resigned from the U.S. Army on April 20 and took up command of the Virginia state forces on April 23.

During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, even if its army was always outnumbered, out gunned, and often in a poor situation to attack or defend. He actually was willing to take risks to outmaneuver his opponents.

His strategic foresight was rather questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat. His aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. But the support of his excellent commanders contributed to repeated victories against The Union Army. Eventually the Union's industrial base, replenishment abilities and Grant's persistent and brutal tactics prevailed.

Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies; other Confederate forces swiftly capitulated after his surrender. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides. He died on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia, from the effects of pneumonia.

About the stamps
The stamps are part of the series issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the television special, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.", about which I wrote here.

Robert E. Lee - Wikipedia
American Civil War - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 11.16.2014

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