Even now, how much credit does a world leader get for turning the other cheek ? It would so often be the wise thing to do, but politically can be as suicide. Look at Vietnam, and how we missed so many opportunities to GTFO, when we never should have GTFI to begin with.
Perhaps, with Lee's first invasion of the North, had it not been for 3 lost cigars, maybe he creates enough havoc to where an accomodation prevails. As it was, instead we get the political environemt for the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln gets his second term, and the killing continues.
In strategy and tactics, Lee blew it there. In hindsight, he said so.
"When Faith preaches Hate, Blessed are the Doubters." - Amin Maalouf
It was in '62 and '63, when he had his own command, that he was able to show his natural military brilliance. Speicfically at battles like Parker's and Brice's Crossroads. Rommel studied Forrest's tactics at Parker's Crossroads, exstensively.
"Never fear. Him is here" - Captain Chaos (Dom DeLuise), Cannonball Run
Mace Windu: Then our worst fears have been realized. We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.