Answers to Trivia from the Archives

May-June 2013

Q.  In the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, which General felt so incapable of leading an army that he offered his resignation to his president?

A.  Gen. Robert E. Lee

Robert E. LeeA month after his defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Lee wrote a letter to Confederate President Jefferson Davis requesting that he be replaced as the army's commanding officer.  Lee accepted personal responsibility for the outcome of the battle, and the resounding defeat it had dealt the Confederate Army.  In a letter written on July 31, 1863, Gen. Lee expressed his personal guilt for the events of Gettysburg, saying that "No blame can be attached to the army for its failure to accomplish what was projected by me... I am alone to blame, in perhaps expecting too much of its prowess & valor."  A week later, on August 8th, Lee would offer his resignation to President Davis.

Read Lee's Letter to Davis

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