GDG- Lee's Illness?

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Sat Jan 28 18:40:32 CST 2012

And Lees men thought Lee could do anything.

Nitro and glycerin merge.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Connell" <georgeconnell at>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at>
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Lee's Illness?

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

Your first reason is close to what Lee himself said: 'I thought my men could 
do anything.'


26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"

On Jan 28, 2012, at 3:03 PM, Tom Barrett wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> I, too, go along with Pickett.  The AoP had something to do with it.
> I'm still mystified as to why Lee persisted, unless he really didn't know
> what he was up against.
> If Lee was so sick that he wasn't able to make decisions, he would have 
> been
> obligated to "bench himself".  Sometimes that's a tough decision in 
> itself,
> just like the quarterback who convinces himself that he can go, only to 
> find
> out that he really can't.
> Most historical records indicate that Lee was functional and firmly in
> charge during the Battle.  If he was having a stroke or a heart attack I
> don't think he could have been.
> Lee wanted to meet and defeat the AoP piecemeal.  He just might have
> succeeded, if the AoP had cooperated.  But they didn't.  By the second 
> day,
> most of the AoP was concentrated.  No more piecemeal. Lee must have either
> known that or had a pretty strong hint.  Why did he persist? Just because
> they were there?
> I suspect one of two reasons:
> a.  Arrogance.  He really believed in the superiority of the morale and
> fighting skill of his troops, and really thought that the inferior AoP 
> would
> just melt away before them.
> b.  Drugs. If he was taking anything for dysentery, it was likely an 
> opiate,
> maybe morphine.  Morphine has different effects on different people, but a
> common effect, besides relieving diarrhea, is a euphoric sense of
> omnipotence.  That's why junkies use it- not to stop diarrhea. And opiates
> were readily available and heavily used.  The benefits were thought to
> outweigh any side effects. (not unlike amphetamines in more recent wars)
> I might not deify Lee, but I certainly don't think he was either dumb or
> suicidal.
> What WAS wrong?
> Regards,
> TB
> -----Original Message-----
> From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
> On Behalf Of Mike Peters
> Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2012 1:38 PM
> To: Gettysburg Discussion Group
> Subject: GDG- Lee's Illness?
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> As an add-on, I do not think that Lee's sickness affected his decision
> making capabilities in any way. I do not think the South got beat at
> Gettysburg because of any malady. I am from the Pickett school of thought.
> Respectfully,
> Mike Peters
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
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