A traitor wages war directly other through or means on his own country. It is a material defect in good faith required of citizens. So Robert E. Lee was in a real sense a traitor. Yet one must ask; who cares after 154 years?
The Confederacy was a collection of supremacist rebels that wanted to force their will upon the citizens of the United States. Mr. Lee was happy enough to command the military forces that sought to divide the nation if not impose slavery upon the states.
I won a game in on-line blitz chess today from a fellow with a rebel flag for an icon. After the loss the icon changed to a Turkish flag. Some people still use the symbol to throw gasoline on political fires.
Robert E. Lee’s father was a convicted land swindler. It may be that Mr. Lee had something of his father’s rakish nature about him. He seemed to pursue upward social mobility for himself at all costs, and if marrying George Washington’s adopted son’s daughter and moving into the Washington properties wasn’t enough to satisfy him, and being named to lead West Point to supervise young men with all of the pomp and formality required left him feeling somewhat impoverished in stature, the opportunity to lead a new nation like his grand-father in law George Washington must have seemed like the real thing to him at least.
The sense of glory and destiny must have been overwhelming for Robert E. Lee. His leadership wasn’t very good. He even disobeyed his Confederate President Jeff Davis in taking his army to campaign across the Potomac expecting support from welcoming northerners that never materialized.