Sunday, December 22, 2013


The U.S. Army War College, in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania has begun discussing whether it should remove its portraits of Confederate Generals, including those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall Jackson. The College is conducting an inventory of all its paintings and photographs with an eye for re-hanging them in historical themes to tell a particular Army story. During the inventory, an unidentified official asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States. One faculty member took down the portraits of Lee and Jackson and put them on the floor as part of the inventory process. That gave rise to rumors that the paintings had been removed. It is the kind of historical cleansing that could spark an Army-wide debate. In 1975, Congress enacted a joint resolution reinstating Lee's U.S. citizenship in what could be considered a final act to heal Civil War wounds. The resolution praised Lee's character and his work to reunify the nation. It noted that six months after surrendering to Grant, Lee swore allegiance to the Constitution and to the Union. "This entire nation has long recognized the outstanding virtues of courage, patriotism and selfless devotion to duty of General R.E. Lee, the joint resolution stated. President Ford traveled to Arlington House, Lee's former home in Virginia, to sign the resolution into law on Aug. 5, 1975.