Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
Robert E. Lee - before the war began he predicted almost exactly how it would go, thought the war was necessary as "expatiation for our national sins" (slavery), and still went and fought the war.
Lee was complex. He was certainly a gifted soldier. He was also a product of his time. He'd have been viewed differently if he'd accepted Lincoln's offer to lead the US Army. At the end of the war, he was nearly solely responsible for stopping other Southerners from extending the war through guerrilla means. I think that there's a fair argument that this doesn't absolve him from his responsibility in it, however. I respect Lee generally, but he also has a lot to answer for.