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  1. Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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    save in her defense

    Quote from a Harvard open course:
    Now, Robert E. Lee, on the eve of the Civil War, was an officer of the Union army. He opposed secession, in fact regarded it as treason. When war loomed, Lincoln offered Lee to be the commanding general of the Union army. And Lee refused, and he described in a letter to his sons why he refused. “With all my devotion to the Union,” he wrote, “I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home, by which he meant Virginia. If the union is dissolved I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people, save in her defense,I will draw my sword no more.
    What does "save in her defense" mean?

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: save in her defense

    Again, incorrect punctuation obscures the meaning.

    There should be a full stop after 'people', with 'Save' starting a new sentence, and meaning 'except'.

    The pronoun 'her' refers back to his native state – Virginia – and the sentence means 'I will not fight any more, except in her defense'.

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