Lee vs Jackson

Topics: Confederate States of America, American Civil War, Robert E. Lee Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: November 20, 2005
In the eastern front of U.S. Civil War there were two men who stood above the rest. Robert E. Lee was the commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson commanded the Army of the Shenandoah. The military genius of these two men was far beyond that of any Union or Confederate officer in the east. History tells us that Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest commanding officers in history. History only tells us that Jackson was brave and stood like a stonewall at the First Battle of Manassas Junction, but was Jackson as good a commander as Lee? While they had their similarities these two men were very different in the ways they commanded their armies, and the ways they saw could end the war in victory for the Confederacy.

Commanding an entire army is not easy, and it takes a specially trained person to lead. While Lee and Jackson were both qualified to lead an army the styles and strategies they each used were different. Lee was a "fight for glory" leader. He wanted his armies to line up, march onto the field, and fight face to face with the enemy. This style of warfare, though sometimes highly effective, often ended in large casualties. Jackson preferred to fight defensively. Jackson would rather have outflanked his opponent causing him to run, as opposed to fighting. When Jackson did engage the enemy, he usually defeated them. Jackson was a mastermind at spotting the weakest part of the enemy line and attacking there. Jackson was very successful at keeping ground in the Shenandoah Valley. Lee did not posses this mastermind skill and would often throw large amounts of troops at a heavily defended position. Lee's armies won several battles but seemed to lose more ground. With Jackson in position in the valley, he saw an opportunity to end the war. He strategized that if he were to move into the Union and behind Washington he could threaten three major Union cities, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C....
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