Robert E. Lee Quotes
With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling and loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State -- with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be used -- I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword.
On resigning his commission (1861). He was soon appointed to the Virginia Militia and later headed the Confederate Army.
If Virginia stands by the old Union, so will I. But if she secedes,... then I will follow my native state with my sword and, if need be, with my life.
Before Virginia joined the Confederacy (1861).
Don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans.
I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. … Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.