Originally Posted by Gray_Rider
.... if I had forseen the the use those people designed to make of their victory there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no, sir, not by me. Had I forseen the results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand."
General Robert E. Lee "
If this account is true, not just more "noble Robert E Lee" myth making, it is likely a post war covering up by Lee. He was part of a group of southern aristocrats that led the south, his people, into a total disaster. I'm not sure if it is evidence of guilt for sending 100s of thousands of southern men to their death or crippling for no good reason, and destroying the economy of that region.
It seems ridiculous that he expected to be treated as just another old guy when so many of his countrymen wanted him executed for treason. That may not have been the law; but that was what many thought.
He had the chance to die for his cause, as some other confederate generals did, but he declined.