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When Ike criticized Robert E. Lee, South rose again

“When President Eisenhower and Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery jocularly agreed that Generals Lee and Meade should have been ‘sacked’  for their blunders at Gettysburg, they committed themselves irrevocably to battle….

” ‘President Eisenhower,’ sputtered the Shelby, N.C. Star, ‘must have lost his mind.’

“[But] the Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer argued that Lee’s own view of his performance at Gettysburg was at variance with the ‘Southern Oratory’ used to defend it…. Lee himself had conceded afterwards: ‘It is I who have lost this fight.’

“It was, as North Carolina’s Durham Herald noted, ‘one of those tempests in a teapot in which Americans delight to engage. It gives them a chance to argue without having to decide, to debate without some vital result depending on the outcome.’ ”

– From Time magazine, May 27, 1957

Here’s a more recent view of Lee and Ike.