In the early days of the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee, supreme commander of the Confederate army, was severely criticized by General Whiting. One might have expected that Lee would seize any opportunity to get even with Whiting. The opportunity presented itself when Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, called Lee in for a consultation.
Davis wanted to know what Lee thought of General Whiting. Without hesitation, Lee commended him in high terms, calling him one of the ablest men in the army. Afterward, a fellow officer took Lee aside and asked him why he had not told Davis the things Whiting had said about him.
Lee said, "It was my understanding that the President wanted to know my opinion of Whiting, not Whiting's opinion of me."
From: Leadership...with a human touch, June 4, 1996, Pages 8-9
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