Thursday, January 15, 2015

Obstinacy and Arrogance

From a post at XRoads:
Quote of the Week: January 4-10, 2015

For this week’s quote we go back in time to 1869, when the president of Washington College, Robert E. Lee, sat down to reply to a letter from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association. The association had asked him to join in an effort to memorialize the field with monuments to those who had fought there. Lee declined, adding:

I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavoured to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered.
Those people who plan to travel to Lexington, Virginia, this coming week to honor Robert E. Lee should keep what Lee said in mind. Not that they would be the first to ignore the wishes of someone they claim to honor. The same holds true for the first effort to erect a monument to Lee on the battlefield. Eventually, of course, Virginia honored its general, and every year thousands of people gather there to embark upon a walk across the very same fields where Confederates charged on July 3, 1863.
Some things the veddy, veddy knowledgeable and edumucated Professor Simpson fails to take into consideration:

1. Lee was speaking in the aftermath of the bloodiest war in American history, the memory of the carnage still fresh, the loss of the dead still an excruciating wound in the living, the people of the entire region enduring the yoke of the conquerer's oppression and still suffering devastation and privation. Anyone who thinks that did not  influence his thoughts on the matter is either an idiot or a deceiver.

2. Lee did not know what we see when we look back to the past; he could not look into the future and see what we know today.

There's no way to know this, but if he could have, maybe his thoughts would have been different. No guarantee that they would; but there's no guarantee that they wouldn't.

People can believe what they wish. We -- or, at least, I -- won't tell floggers and floggerettes what to believe, or how to interpret historical writings. Too bad their obstinacy and arrogance prevents their extending the same courtesy to us.


  1. Being that the purpose of the Flaggers is to restore the honor that is currently deprived the Confederate soldiers, I do not think Lee would be against in of their efforts, according tp some of his writings --

    Near Cartersville, Cumberland Co., Va.
    31 July, 1865


    I am desirous that the bravery and devotion of the army of N. Va. be correctly transmitted to posterity. This is the only tribute that can now be paid to the worth of the noble officers and soldiers, and I am anxious the necessary information for the history of its campaigns, including the operations in the valley and Western Va., from its organization to its final surrender.
    R.E. Lee

    From another letter --

    "I shall write this history, not to vindicate myself, or to promote my own reputation. I want that the world shall know what my poor boys, with their small numbers and scant resources, succeeded in accomplishing."

  2. That sounds like an extension of how he thought of them during the war.

    This is from the Time-Life LIbrary of America, the volume titled The Old South. Speaking of Confederate soldiers, it says, Unlike the usually smartly dressed officers, the enlisted men often looked less like disciplined troops than a ragtag posse. But they fought magnificently on the battlefield. "My men don't show to advantage in camp," General Robert E. Lee reportedly said, "and to tell the truth, I'm a little ashamed to show them to visitors. But, sir, you should see them when they are fighting. ... then I would not mind if the whle world were looking on!"

    The only credit for this passage is, "Library of Congress Cook Collection of Valentine Museum, Richmond Virginia."

  3. Eddie, what these quotes you posted illustrate is the double standard of Simpson and his fellow travelers who criticize Confederate heritage folks. They have complained that we only acknowledge what we agree with and approve of, and leave out what we don't like. But that is exactly what Simpson has done here. And his whole purpose in painting this partial picture of Lee is to sneer at the Virginia Flaggers.

    As I noted in an earlier comment thread, whatever these antiConfederate bloggers and their followers harangue others for is OKAY with them when THEIR side does it.

  4. LOL obviously Simpleton read that bogus article from Daily Beast, one of the most useless publications on the web. Not one original idea in his comments at all, everything taken from at silly, factually erroneous article.
    The closer we get to Lee-Jackson Day, the battier the Floggers get. I can only sit back and watch the implosion with glee.


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