Lee's Method of warfare.
I shall confine myself to that one attribute of Lee which, recognized in a soldier by an opponent, I cannot but regard as his surest and loftiest title to enduring fame. I refer to his humanity in arms and his scrupulous regard for the most advanced rules of civilized warfare. On this point two views, I am well aware, have been taken from the beginning and still are advanced. On the one side it is contended that warfare should be strictly confined to combatants and its horrors and devastations brought within the narrowest limits; that private property should be respected, and devastation and violence limited to that necessary to overcome armed opposition at the vital points of conflict. This by some. But, on the other hand, it is insisted that such a method of procedure is mere cruelty in disguise; that war at best is hell, and that true humanity lies in exaggerating that hell to such an extent as to make it unendurable. By so doing it is forced to a speedy end. On this issue I stand with Lee. Moreover, looking back over the awful past, replete with man's inhumanity to man, I insist that the verdict of history is distinct—that war is hell at best; then make it hell, indeed. That cry is not original with us. Far from it. It echoes down the ages.