Yeah, the post title is somewhat deliberately provocative, but it’s also meant to be a serious question that I hope will spark some discussion. I was going to ask it in the comments to Donald’s post below, but thought it might be useful fodder for debate in its own right.
I should emphasize that by asking the question I am not assuming an answer either way. I am a Civil War buff. I have studied this era in American history for years, and have traveled to multiple Civil War battle sites, and have read countless biographies and general histories of the era. Having said that, I will admit that my weakness when it comes to this period – and really history in general – is military tactics. I’ve read about the Battle of Gettysburg more times than I can count, and visited the battlefield just about a year ago to the day. Yet I probably would have difficulty right now recounting exactly how the battle shook out. This is one of those areas where something just doesn’t click for me – kind of like biology and, well, most science topics to be blunt.
So I throw this out because I am genuinely curious, and I’d like to hear from those in the audience with some more familiarity. I’ve heard it suggested by more than one historian that Lee was overrated, and that perhaps his aggressive forays into the North were foolhardy adventures that doomed the Confederacy. I’m not sure I agree with this, but as I said, I’d like to hear from folks who are better acquainted with military history, tactics, etc.