Johnny Cash's "God Bless Robert E. Lee" praises the Confederacy's most famous general for managing to prevent unnecessary loss of human life in the war-torn South by surrendering to the Union at Appomattox Court House. The song is a single from Johnny 99, the 69th album by Cash, released on Columbia Records in 1983.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee served as a military officer in the U.S. Army. He was a West Point commandant and the legendary general of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia In June 1861. He bravely led the troop for rest of the war. Lee and his army achieved great success during the Peninsula Campaign and at Second Bull Run and Fredericksburg. Also, we will never forget his greatest victory coming in the bloody Battle of Chancellorsville.
In the spring of 1863, Lee invaded the North. Unfortunately, they were defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg. With Confederate defeat a near certainty, Lee continued on, battling Union General Ulysses S. Grant in a series of clashes in Virginia in 1864-65 before finally surrendering what was left of his army in April 1865.
Though he did not totally win the war, Lee has been praised by many for his tactical brilliance, and remains a revered figure in the American South.
In order to save lives because he felt that the battle comin' up
Would cost about 20 000 lives on both sides
And he said 240 000 dead already is enough
So this song is not about the North or the South but about the bloody brother war
Brother against brother father against son the war that nobody won
And for all those lives that were saved I gotta say God bless Robert E Lee
Well the mansion where the General used to live is burning down
Cash’s Johnny 99 Album
On the other hand, Johnny 99 is generally regarded as a strong release at a point in Cash's career which is considered to be the least successful. Additionally, it was the second-to-last solo album released by Cash on Columbia.
Significantly, several of the songs on Johnny 99 contain political or social themes and commentary: the title track tells the story of a disgruntled former automobile plant employee who turns to crime after encountering serious financial difficulties. "Joshua Gone Barbados" deals with a sugarcane-cutters' strike on Saint Vincent turned violent. "Highway Patrolman", in turn, discusses a troubled relationship between the title character and his alcoholic, violent brother. And of course, "God Bless Robert E. Lee".
Indeed, songs become more substantial when it touches events or occurrences that marked the history. Here at Country Daily, we feature songs about marines, soldiers, farmers, commoners and all sorts of occupations. Because we know how much passion each worker has to have to be in a certain job. Keep that passion for what you are doing, and let it burn!