In the beginning of the Civil War, the North believed that they would stomp out the South very quickly. Northerners quickly realized that this "little revolt"" would take much longer than expected because of the superiority of the Southern generals. Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest military minds of all time, The South had excellent military education and a reason to fight, and also had much military experience from the Mexican War.
Robert E. Lee was an outstanding Civil War general. Before the war outbreak President Lincoln asked him to help and fight for the north but he had respectfully declined and took command of The Army Of Northern Virginia. Lee had a very timid style of command. Lee would not be and aggressive fighter and wait for the Union to come to him because he knew that it was harder to attack then it is to defend. Lee learned all of his war tactics the West Point where he graduated second in his class. General Lee's superiority was shown when he won many battles such as Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. .
Once Lee took command the battle field lines were 6 miles outside Richmond, within 90 days of him taking command he moved those battle field lines to 20 miles out side of Washington D.C. 1Instead of a quick end to the war that McClellan's Peninsula Campaign had promised, the war would go on for almost another 3 years and claim a half million more lives. Lee ruthless commanding forced Lincoln to fire and reappoint a new general for Army Of The Potomac three times2.
The Confederacy had 147 generals who graduated from West Point3. West Point is a school whose sole purpose is to make its graduates military savants. With the South having just About 150 of their generals graduating from West Point gives them a huge strategic strength over the North. Southern generals grew up with a more rugged life style the helped suit them for war. Most southerners grew up with thinking that the idea of slavery is the correct way to live.