Wednesday, December 18, 2013

U.S. Army Seeks To Purge Lee, Jackson And Other Confederate Generals From Facilities


Various U.S. Army facilities are discussing whether to purge all mentions, statues, portraits and other memorials that mention former Confederate generals like Robert E. Lee, Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, James Longstreet, Jeb Stuart or other American military figures who fought on the Southern side of the War Between the States.

I would bet my dollar to your dime that this came as a diktat from the White House:

The U.S. Army War College, which molds future field generals, has begun discussing whether it should remove its portraits of Confederate generals — including those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

Nestled in rural Pennsylvania on the 500-acre Carlisle Barracks, the war college is conducting an inventory of all its paintings and photographs with an eye for rehanging them in historical themes to tell a particular Army story.

During the inventory, an unidentified official (emphasis mine) — not the commandant, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III — asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States, college spokeswoman Carol Kerr said.

“I do know at least one person has questioned why we would honor individuals who were enemies of the United States Army,” Ms. Kerr said.

“This person was struck by the fact we have quite a few Confederate images,” she said, adding that the portraits were rehung on a third-floor hallway. “[Lee] was certainly not good for the nation. This is the guy we faced on the battlefield whose entire purpose in life was to destroy the nation as it was then conceived. … This is all part of an informed discussion.”

It is the kind of historical cleansing that could spark an Army-wide debate: Lee’s portrait adorns the walls of other military installations and government buildings.

It seems fairly obvious that some apparatchnik from the Obama Administration raised a fuss, so the College simply moved the portraits out of the line of fire, so to speak.

Well, let's have that 'informed discussion', shall we?

There are quite a few military facilities,statues and portraits honoring military figures who fought for the South, including at West Point.

In the first place, most of them had seen honorable service under the stars and stripes, and most had been decorated for conspicuous gallantry in conflicts like the Mexican War. And however you want to manipulate the history, the facts are that most of these men made an anguished decision to resign their U.S. Army commissions and fight to defend their homes only after the Lincoln administration had called for volunteers to invade the southern states. In fact, most of the southern states including Lee's home state of Virginia held out against secession until that decision was made.

And that decision was solely the choice of the Radical Republicans, who were Lincoln's sole political base as a newly elected minority president. While there were also a number of hard liners south of the Mason-Dixon line, there was little attempt by Lincoln's government to attempt to allow cooler heads to prevail and to seek a political settlement that would have avoided the war and preserved the Union while dealing intelligently with the slavery question.

Lee, in fact, was offered command of the Union forces in 1861 at the outbreak of war and declined it for that very reason. He knew what leading a Union army into the South was going to lead to, and so did many others in his position.

Secondly, this politically correct 'purging' destroys and dishonors the spirit of reconciliation that Lee, General Sherman, General Grant and President Lincoln himself championed at the end of a brutal, bloody war, the most costly in our history. It opens wounds long healed to no purpose.

And finally, it deliberately demeans some of the most gifted and accomplished soldiers in American history. They fought with bravery and distinction against huge odds and students of military history still study their battles and campaigns as brilliant examples of tactics. However one feels about their cause, their accomplishments on the battlefield cannot be denied without indulging in an Orwellian makeover of history.

In an army that has banished any mention or study of jihad and radicalized Islam from its training manuals, purging the historical examples of what men like Stonewall Jackson achieved is not a 'reasonable accommodation' to political correctness but a massive error and a disgrace.

If nothing else, our warriors may very well need Jackson and Lee's example in the future.Mark my woirds on that.


louielouie said...

why doesn't someone ask this unidentified official why the current policy of this former, gov't by the people, sees fit to bury our honored slain/dead in the former front yard of one of these generals.
dumm mass.

Anonymous said...

Question: are their portraits just to be removed from positions of prominence and respect or are their military accomplishments not to be taught? That is actually unclear. West Point does teach the tactics of the Maccabees, Hannibal at Canaae and even Rommel.

Personally I find it no more illogical to remove Lee and Jackson, who you could consider traitors to this country in much the same vein as Benedict Arnold. Arnold, who by the way won the Battle of Saratoga during the revolution but is never mentioned on the monument, yet his tactics are also taught at West Point.

Now on the other hand, is the removal of Lee and Jackson due to some politically correct bull$$$t coming out of the Obama administration? Of that I would be certain. I don't really think that this White House has any ability to think clearly, succinctly and logically about anything at all.

yeah, let's honor racists said...

So I guess it would also be okay with you to have statues of Benedict Arnold all around the country?

Or are confederate generals special to you because they fought for slavery and you long for the good old days?

Rob said...

Hi Elise,
Rest assured that this purging if it happens will include their military accomplishments, simply because of where we both agree the push to do this ultimately coming from.

Based on a strict reading of our Constitution, men like Lee and Jackson were not traitors IMO. Treason is defined there as U.S. citizens giving "aid and comfort to the enemy during war time."

Lee along with many others resigned his commission and essentially de facto renounced his citizenship before war officially broke out because he would not participate in the invasion of his home state. Jackson and others who had military experience but were no longer in the U.S. Army did the same. The war started after Lincoln raised an army under General Irwin McDowell and invaded Virginia. There was a definite movement back and forth before hostilities broke out as some went North to the Union and others headed South to the Confederacy.

Obviously one cannot betray a country one is not a citizen of.

Nor were any of them serving U.S military when the war started. Now, if a Union colonel gave intel to the Confederates after hostilities commenced, that would have been a different matter.

Benedict Arnold's case was entirely different. He was a war hero who became embittered because he felt he was passed over for promotion, and in dire straits because his young wife was a total spendthrift and out him badly in debt.

As a serving American soldier and commandant of West Point, then a strategic outpost, his crime was to try to sell West Point to the British for money and a commission in the British Army.(In those days, this was also worth some money because officers bought their commissions).

The difference between Lee and Jackson and someone like Arnold is pretty apparent.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously one cannot betray a country one is not a citizen of."

If Lee and Jackson are not citizens of our country, then why do they get statues?

UCSPanther said...

Revisionism: The act of attempting to rewrite history so that it satisfies a political, philosophical or religious viewpoint.

Sounds like what those who want to eliminate ANY mention of the Confederacy want to do.

I guess if any American progressives knew that Canada (as a colony of Britain) supported the Confederacy, their heads would metaphorically explode...

Rob said...

Please read up on the Reconstruction and how people who had fought for the Confederacy or had been involved in its government regained their full citizenship rights as part of the reconciliation after the Civil War.

(Not to mention we have a number of statues and other honors here in America to people who weren't citizens).