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Freeman Digitally Remastered
Got to reunite with some old Rebels at our VMI class of 94 reunion. Great seeing you guys. See More. Kevin Barnes. Stephen Lamberth Link. Information about Page Insights Data. Moving people's souls to take unified actions of risk is an art, an art tied to the leader's intuitions regarding human nature and how best to develop focused power from it.
In fact, Freeman has described the major lesson of his lifetime of scholarship as the reaffirmation of the influence of personality on history. Freeman typifies George Washington the soldier with words he spoke as a young colonel serving the British in the French and Indian War: "Discipline is the soul of an army.
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But he was no prig. He was big and tough and he swore and he flirted. He backed up his General Anthony Wayne in the latter' s harsh treatment of deserters. He was a great fan of the theatre and was so fascinated by the character of the Roman Republican Cato the Younger in Joseph Addison's play Cato that he made him his role model some of Cato's lines can be recognized in Washington's Farewell Address. Washington had the play performed for his troops at Valley Forge despite a congressional resolution that plays were inimical to republican virtue.
But the country might not have made it without him, as Freeman demonstrates in his lecture on "Leadership in Allied Operations.
Books by Douglas Southall Freeman
He saw in young Lincoln's self-teaching, his drive for understanding, the makings of a teacher of a nation. He tells how the schoolboy Lincoln combed every book for ideas — and for expressions and quotations that "made things plain" to the common man. And throughout his life, he could reach back and pick out just the right expression to "make things plain" in his great speeches. Freeman comes across as a fair-minded man, not given to small- mindedness in matters concerning his father's Confederacy's enemies.
He expresses regret that Lincoln's national profile was so narrow at the time of his election as president: "Scarcely a dozen lines of what Lincoln had uttered had found their way into the columns of the Southern newspapers.
Lincoln had no time for the "party lines. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. Stand with the abolitionist in restoring the Missouri Compromise, and stand against him when he attempts to repeal the fugitive-slave law. In the latter you stand with the Southern disunionist. What of that?
R. E. Lee: A Biography.
You are still right. He expanded his army beyond the limits of the law, and when Southern sympathizers living in the North were obstructing the war effort, he gave that army the right to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus in areas where those sympathizers were active; and he ordered the spending of federal funds without writing for congressional appropriations. Freeman gives Lincoln full credit for his remarkable grasp of politics, and even his grasp Foreword xiii of some aspects of military operations. In Freeman had been the first historian to have access to the confidential wartime letters and telegrams flowing from Robert E.
Lee to Jefferson Davis.
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From them he had concluded that Lincoln was more often right than wrong in overriding the proposed actions of his generals in the early war years; to have done otherwise would have played into Lee's hands. Of course Robert E. Lee is the most thoroughly analyzed of all the leaders Freeman mentions.
And although he clearly reveres the memory of his father's most beloved general, he makes it clear that Lee could stretch a point here and there to make untenable procedures or customs workable, just like the rest of us. In the first place, the Confederacy's preoccupation with states' rights made a commanding general's job nightmarish. Lee could not even promote. That was a state's prerogative.
Douglas Southall Freeman books
Freeman states: "The Confederate army was the worst in the world on systems of promotion. One of the old Confederate generals Freeman remembers seeing frequently as a boy was Jubal Early. From the sheaf of official Civil War papers the old gentleman had in his records, the document he was proudest to show off was the very nicely phrased letter to him from Robert E. Lee relieving him of command.
Like Admiral E. King, our chief of naval operations during World War II, Lee spent the lion's share of his time assigning general officers. He treated generals as individuals, always giving thought to how to get the best performance out of each of them. Lee was rather remarkably enlightened in his abhorrence of treating everyone like a number.
When he was superintendent of West Point in the s, he jumped all over War Department blather about "uniform treatment of all cadets": "I do not believe in treating cadets as though they were common soldiers. I believe in treating them as gentlemen who are preparing for the profession of arms.