Sunday, December 22, 2013

Re: U.S. Army War College under fire after portraits of Confederate Generals removed from halls

Even though my entire schooling took place in Florida during the 1950s and 1960s, we never really spent a great deal of time studying the "Civil War" other than the usual Yankee version that the South wanted to keep the institution of slavery, so they attacked Fort Sumter and started the "Civil War", and ultimately got their butts kicked by the Federal troops.

During the "Civil War Centennial" (1960-1965), I started doing more independent study after I discovered that I had ancestors who fought in the war, but I never really did any in-depth study until after I retired from the Army in 1992. When I was in the Army, most of the in-depth study I did was on World War II because we were still looking at our primary adversary as being the Soviet Union, so we spent a lot of time dissecting the battles and tactics used by the Germans against the Soviet Union because of the similarities in the area where it was anticipated the next battles would occur (Western Europe) in the event of a Soviet attack, and the fact that NATO forces would be greatly outnumbered by Warsaw Pact forces, as the Germans were by the Soviets.

In 1992, I began to really start delving into the "Civil War" again, and that was when I learned the real truth about the causes of the War, the Big Government agenda of Lincoln and the Republicans, the destruction of Jeffersonian-style government (States Rights) by the Hamiltonian-style North, the contents of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and particularly the rights that were protected under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. I might add that many of the books I purchased to study the various major battles of the War, I purchased at the bookstores on military bases/posts such as Fort Benning, Fort Hood, and MacDill, and the books I purchased were studies of the battles written as textbooks by the U.S. Army War College, the very institution that is now trying to do away with any sort of honors for Robert E. Lee and T. J. Jackson.

It was after this revelation that I became a Constitutional Conservative, and realized that it was actually the South that fought for the same values the Founders had fought for, and that it was actually Lincoln and the Republicans who destroyed the original intent of the Union.

Anyhow, I am so frustrated when I read passages by U.S. Army officers who took the same Oath of Office I took,  " support and defend the Constitution of the United States...", and then proceed to talk about American patriots like Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson as though they were anti-American traitors who fought against the U.S. for nothing more than the preservation of African slavery.

In this particular case, this article quotes a U.S. Army War College spokesperson as saying, "[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 absolute historical ignorance and blatant historical revisionism.

Robert E. Lee's father, "Light Horse" Harry Lee, was George Washington's cavalry commander. Robert E. Lee himself attended the U.S. Military Academy, was #2 in his graduation class, and is the only West Point Cadet to this day who graduated with NO demerits. Robert E. Lee served in the Mexican War on Gen. Winfield Scott's staff, and was cited for bravery in battle as an engineer officer.

Robert E. Lee remained in the U.S. Army, serving in the Western Territories (Calif), and as the Commandant of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1861, the aging Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Winfield Scott under whom Lee had served in Mexico, recommended Lee--a U.S. Army Colonel at the time, to take over the position of Commander-In-Chief of the U.S. Army, and Abraham Lincoln himself offered that post to Lee. After much consideration on Lee's part, he finally turned down Lincoln's offer when it became obvious that Lee's State of Virginia was going to secede from the U.S. and return to being a sovereign and independent nation.

Regarding his decision to resign from the U.S. Army rather than accept the promotion to Major General and assume command of the Federal Army, Lee said, "With all my devotion to the union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children and my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the army, and save in defense of my native state ... I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword."

After Lee resigned from the U.S. Army, it was his intention to return to his home in Virginia (Arlington) and live out his years as a gentleman farmer on his wife's estate, but the governor of Virginia offered him command of the Virginia State Militia in the event of war, and Lee believed it was his duty as a Virginia to accept.

The true story of "Stonewall" Jackson was somewhat similar in that he also graduated from West Point, served in the Mexican War, served in the U.S. Army in California, and then left the U.S. Army to serve as an Instructor of Artillery at Virginia Military Academy (VMI). He was still an instructor at VMI when he was called by the Governor of Virginia to serve in the Army of the State of Virginia as a Brigade Commander in the Shenandoah Valley.

Another important factor is the fact that on May 23, 1958, the U.S. Congress passed legislation, which was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower which stated that Confederate veterans were afforded status equal to that of United States veterans in accordance with Public Law 85-425, thereby amending the Veterans' Benefit Act of 1957. This is one of the reasons why to this day, the V.A. provides government grave markers for any Confederate veterans who do not already have a grave marker.

It is also noteworthy that we have U.S. Army posts such as Fort Lee, Va., Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Jackson, SC, Fort Gordon, Ga. Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Polk, La., Fort Hood, Tx., and others I have failed to name, that are named after Confederate generals, so obviously this anti-Southern movement is just more evidence of political correctness.

If Congress declared, and President Eisenhower endorsed, a law entitling Confederate veterans to the same benefits and honors as U.S. Army veterans, how can the Federal government and its agencies now turn around and declare Confederate soldiers as being traitors to the United States, and unworthy of any accolades or honors for their service?