Whipping Bobby Lee

Robert E. Lee was among the great officers in the history of the United States Army.

Robert_E_Lee_1838

Undoubtedly, Lee was the greatest officer in the Confederate States Army.

Robert_Edward_Lee

My great-grandfather, Archibald Van Orden, twice fought against the CSA Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee. In the US Infantry, Archie was seriously wounded in battle. In the US Cavalry, Archie was captured.

Some may say that war is not personal. Archie would tell us war gets personal fast when someone is shooting at you. Yet he would also see boys his age, just 16, shot and even killed on battlefields of Virginia, both Union and Confederate soldiers.

So who do you fight? The boy shooting at you? Or the man in command? Both.

Like many Northerners, Archie would personalize war on the enemy’s General. Colloquially, it was all about “whipping Bobby Lee”, before he whipped you.

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