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Who opposed secession, but did not believe the union should be held together by force ?
Answer: Robert E. Lee
Important Information: I copied this important information from http://americancivilwar.com/south/lee.html In 1852, Lee became Superintendent of the Military Academy. In 1855, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis transferred Lee from staff to line and was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel 2nd Cavalry. He was then sent to West Texas, where he served from 1857-1861. In February of 1861, General Winfield Scott recalled Lee from Texas when the lower South seceded from the Union. Politically, Robert E. Lee was a Whig. Ironically, he was attached strongly to the Union and to the Constitution. He entertained no special sympathy for slavery.When Virginia withdrew from the Union, Lee resigned his commission rather than assist in suppressing the insurrection. His resignation was two days following the offer of Chief of Command of U.S. forces under Scott. He then proceeded to Richmond to become Commander-in-Chief of the military and naval forces of Virginia. When these forces joined Confederate services, he was appointed Brig. Gen. in the Regular Confederate States.

Lee returned to Richmond in March of 1862 to become military advisor to President Davis. Whenever he had a plan, General Lee took the initiative and acted at once. Cutting off supplies and reinforcements executed by Jackson at Seven Pines was a successful Confederate venture. He also stopped McClellan's threat to Richmond during the Seven Days Battle (June 26-July 2, 1861). At the Battle of Second Manassas, Lee defeated Pope. At the Battle of Antietam, his Northern thrust was checked by McClellan; however, he repulsed Burnside at Fredericksburg in December of 1862. In May of 1863, Gen. Lee defeated Gen. Hooker at Chancellorsville, but was forced onto the strategic defensive after Gettysburg in July. On April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House. After the surrender, Lee returned to Richmond. He assumed the presidency of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). His example of conduct for thousands of ex-Confederates made him a legend even before his death on October 12, 1870. General Robert E. Lee is buried at Lexington, Virginia.

(1807-1870) Confederate general, born in Stratford, VA. He trained at West Point, and in the Mexican War became chief engineer of the central army in Mexico (1846). He commanded the US Military Academy (1852--5), was a cavalry officer on the Texan border (1855--9), and in 1861 was made commander-in-chief of the Virginia forces. He was in charge of the defences at Richmond, and defeated Federal forces in the Seven Days' Battles (1862). His strategy in opposing General Pope, his invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and other achievements are central to the history of the war. In 1865, he surrendered his army to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. After the war, he became President of Washington College at Lexington. The son of a Revolutionary War hero, Robert E. Lee was a model cadet. So much so, in fact, that he was dubbed the "Marble Statue" for his nearly perfect record while at the academy. He was always ranked first or second in his class and never earned a single demerit during his four years at West Point. After serving with distinction in the Mexican-American War, he went on to distinction in his native Virginia.

At the onset of the Civil War, he resigned his commission in the US Army and took command of the Army of Northern Virginia. His string of victories throughout that war earned him praise on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line and he has since earned a well-earned reputation for excellence in the art of war. Lee's surrender to Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Court House ended the Civil War and he was finally pardoned of all wrong doing by President Jimmy Carter.
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