Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Robert E Lee Would Say To The Protesters

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865.
General Order
No. 9
After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.
I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them.
But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.
By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.
With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
— R. E. Lee, General, General Order No. 9
After a cruel and decisive defeat at Appomattox, Lee agreed to meet Grant to discuss terms of surrender.  Grant offered Lee to allow confederate men to return home peacefully with their horses and their guns.  Lee accepted, and issued General Order No. 9

Lee went on to devote the rest of his life to heal the wounds he, himself helped inflict upon this nation.  Abraham Lincoln was in the process of pardoning Lee in recognition of his cooperation in rebuilding the nearly-destroyed country.  After Lincoln's murder, Lee died without a pardon.

From what I've seen on the news, these aren't real white supremacists in Charlotsville.   These are middle-class college kids with tiki-torches they bought at Party City and batter's helmets protecting their $100 haircuts.  One of them got too emotional and committed murder, destroying his own life in the process.  These boys lack leadership (parental or political) and they lack depth.  They would do well to learn more about the man whose statue they're protesting in front of.

This statue was erected in the 20th century not the 19th.  In my opinion, having studied Lee most of my life, he would agree to its peaceful removal. These protests, including the attack by James Alex Fields have done far more dishonor to Lee's memory than removing the statue ever could.

I always hoped that history would remember Lee as a good man who did the best he could in a terrible situation.  I'm afraid after yesterday's events history will remember Lee only as a symbol of hate.

Lee's Advice To the Protesters: GO HOME

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