An Appalling Villainy of Ignorance and Woke-provoked Hatred
On September 9, the Commonwealth of Virginia, under the leadership of radicalized-woke Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, removed the giant bronze statue of mounted Confederate General Robert E. Lee from its base in Richmond. The statue had been there since 1887. It will be replaced by something more appropriate for the Social Marxist stream of lies that dominate most of America’s academia, media, and political establishment. Many of their attacks are not simply ignorance but deliberate distortion and slander. Awash in joyful virtue-signaling and ignorance, NPR, CNN, NBC, the Washington Post, and Microsoft News, celebrated with an attack on Donald Trump, who praised Lee and was deeply critical of the removal:
“Robert E. Lee is considered by many Generals to be the greatest strategist of them all,” President Lincoln wanted him to command the North… Robert E. Lee instead chose the other side because of his great love of Virginia, and except for Gettysburg, would have won the war.”
Donald Trump was not the only former president to praise Robert E. Lee and for demonstrably good reasons. President Theodore Roosevelt of New York said,
“The world has never seen better solders than those who followed Lee, and their leader will undoubtedly rank, without exception, as the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.”
In 1909, President Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, delivered an address on Robert E. Lee, at the University of North Carolina, He paid eloquent tribute to “the devotion to ideals, and the true nobility which have made General Lee not only a distinguished southern general and gentleman, but a national hero as well.” A great history scholar, Wilson warned us why the issue of slavery was being vastly exaggerated as a cause of the Civil War:
“It was necessary to put the South at a moral disadvantage by transforming the contest from a war waged against states fighting for their independence into a war waged against states fighting for the maintenance and extension of slavery…”
Writing in December of 1861 in a London weekly publication, the famous English author, Charles Dickens, who was a strong opponent of slavery, summed up what was really going on in America:
“The Northern onslaught upon slavery is no more than a piece of specious humbug disguised to conceal its desire for economic control of the United States.”
Two days before Lincoln’s election in November of 1860, an editorial in the Charleston Mercury summed up Southern feelings:
“The real causes of dissatisfaction in the South with the North, are in the unjust taxation and expenditure of the taxes by the Government of the United States, and in the revolution the North has effected in this government, from a confederated republic to a national sectional despotism.”
Lincoln’s Chief Economist, Henry C. Carey, wrote to Speaker of the House, Schuyler Colfax in March 1865:
“To British Free-trade it is, as I have shown, that we stand indebted for the present Civil War.”
It was as the major British newspapers had been saying primarily a war over tariffs and free trade rather than freeing slaves.
I could name scores of recent and past authors whose works are now being suppressed because they rejected politically popular false narratives of the Civil War and wrote the truth about its causes and conduct. I have mentioned many in my own book: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the
Historical Myths, (Leonard M. Scruggs).
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, also of New York, said this in Dallas, Texas, in 1936:
“I am very happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
All over the United States we recognize him as a great leader of men, as a great general. But, also, all over the United States I believe that we recognize him as something much more important than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our greatest American gentlemen.”
Many might be surprised to learn that one of the most heroic American generals of World War II, George S. Patton Jr, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, was the grandson of Confederate General George S. Patton. Confederate General Patton, his son, and grandson, U.S Army General Patton were admirers of Robert E. Lee. A student of Lee’s tactics and strategies, the World War II grandson, who defeated a massive German counterattack at the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944-1945, told a reporter:
“The best way to defend is to attack and the best way to attack is to attack. At Chancellorsville, Lee was asked why he attacked when he was outnumbered three to one. He said he was too weak to defend.”
President Harry Truman held Lee in the highest regard presenting his mother with a small portrait of Lee when he returned from service in WWI. She kept it by her bedside until her death. Truman would eventually visit Lee’s statue at Gettysburg, and he wrote to his daughter about Lee being a “great man.”
Sir Winston Churchill, the great military historian, prime minister of Great Britain during WWII, remarked:
“Lee was the noblest American who had ever lived and one of the greatest commanders known to the annals of war.”
Booker T. Washington, America’s great African-American educator, wrote in 1908:
“The first white people in America, certainly the first in the South to exhibit their interest in the reaching of the Negro and saving his soul through the medium of the Sunday school were Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.”
Upon entering the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had portraits of four great Americans in the Oval Office, one of which was Lee. Eisenhower had served as Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces in Europe. This made him the commanding general of the largest army in the history. He was not only a military leader but a student of history and possessed a deep understanding of human beings and their nature. When a citizen, who considered Lee a traitor, asked the President how he could hold Lee in such high regard, Eisenhower responded with eloquent thoughtfulness:
“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting, and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.”
“From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained. Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.”
Massachusetts-born President John F. Kennedy openly expressed admiration for Lee when he stated:
“I recognize that the South is still the land of Washington, who made our Nation–- of Jefferson, who shaped its direction–- and of Robert E. Lee who, after gallant failure, urged those who had followed him in bravery to reunite America in purpose and courage.”
In October1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke in New Orleans invoking Lee in support of civil rights:
“If we are to heal our history and make this Nation whole, prosperity must know no Mason-Dixon line and opportunity must know no color line. Robert E. Lee, a great son of the South, a great leader of the South…counseled us well when he told us to cast off our animosities and raise our sons to be Americans.”
Speaking in Arlington, Virginia, in 1975, President Gerald Ford officially pardoned Lee and restored his citizenship, reminding his audience of Lee’s noble efforts to restore peace and national harmony.
“In 1865, Robert E. Lee wrote to a former Confederate soldier concerning his signing the Oath of Allegiance, and I quote: 'This war, being at an end, the Southern States having laid down their arms, and the questions at issue between them and the Northern States having been decided, I believe it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country and the reestablishment of peace and harmony.”
Ford continued with these remarks:
“As a soldier, General Lee left his mark on military strategy. As a man, he stood as the symbol of valor and of duty. As an educator, he appealed to reason and learning to achieve understanding and to build a stronger nation. The course he chose after the war became a symbol to all those who had marched with him in the bitter years towards Appomattox. General Lee’s character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride.”
President Ronald Reagan had great praise for Robert E. Lee and also stated:
“Robert E. Lee, this Southerner who criticized secession and called slavery a great moral wrong, would become himself an American legend; yet a man who thought-though he rode off into myth and glory, would suffer cruelly in his own time. After the dissolution of his cause, he would work to bind up the Nation’s wounds. And to those pessimistic about the Nation’s future, he once said,
“The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long and that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. ‘It is history,’ he said, ‘that teaches us to hope.”
Following Lee’s death at his home in Lexington, Virginia, on October 12, 1870, former Confederate President Jefferson Davis gave a moving eulogy honoring Lee at a Memorial meeting in Richmond on November 3. This was probably the largest gathering of Confederate generals and officers since the end of the war. In the course of his speech, he gave this praise of Lee:
“This good citizen, this gallant soldier, this great general, this true patriot, had yet a higher praise than this or these; he was a true Christian.”
Responding to public praise for his stunning military victories, Lee said:
“I tremble for my country when I hear of confidence expressed in me. I know too well my weakness, that our only hope is in God.”
When told that his chaplains were praying for him daily, Lee responded:
“I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation.”
John Brown Gordon, Confederate Lieutenant General and later Governor of Georgia, and U.S. Senator, said this about Lee:
“Intellectually, he was cast in a giant mold. Naturally he was possessed of strong passions. He loved the excitement of war. He loved grandeur. But all these appetites and powers were brought under the control of his judgment and made subservient to his Christian faith. This made him habitually unselfish and ever willing to sacrifice on the altar of duty and in the service of his fellows…He is an epistle, written of God and designed by God to teach the people of this country that earthly success is not the criterion of merit, not the measure of true greatness.”
Those who celebrate removing Robert E. Lee and other Southern and American heroes from American history and public view are wrong on their facts and depraved in their moral compass.
Those who do not have courage to protest this monstrous evil bring dishonor and shame on themselves and our country.
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”—Hosea 8:7.