A (non) debate over honoring Confederate generals

posted at 9:31 am on December 22, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

There was an article by Rowan Scarborough this week in the Washington Times which claimed that the US Army War College in Pennsylvania was considering removing portraits and statues of Confederate Army leaders such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The purported reason for the possible “purge” was depicted as being some sort of statement against the CSA.

Nestled in rural Pennsylvania on the 500-acre Carlisle Barracks, the war college is conducting an inventory of all its paintings and photographs with an eye for rehanging them in historical themes to tell a particular Army story.During the inventory, an unidentified official — not the commandant, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III — asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States, college spokeswoman Carol Kerr said.

“I do know at least one person has questioned why we would honor individuals who were enemies of the United States Army,” Ms. Kerr said. “There will be a dialogue when we develop the idea of what do we want the hallway to represent.”

She said 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.

This spurred a rather heated discussion, as you might imagine, but Dr. James Joyner seemed to smell a rat immediately.

Let’s stipulate up front that this is thinly-sourced linkbait. As best I can glean from the story, some unknown person asked a question and the Army War College may or may not be doing anything to answer it; from here, the author conjectures that the debate might spread. It’s pretty much a non-story.

The reason why I even clicked on it from the Defense News daily roundup is that I was amused by the notion that there’s any controversy at all about the paintings of Lee and Jackson when the Army has forts named after both men. Fort Lee, located “alongside the Tri-Cities of Virginia – Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell – as well as the counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George” is home to to the Combined Arms Support Command along with the Army Logistics University, the U.S. Army Ordnance School, the U.S. Army Quartermaster School and the U.S. Army Transportation School.

Joyner’s skepticism appears to have been well founded. After a period of time of the “controversy” making the media rounds, Major General Tony Cucolo, the commandant of the War College, felt compelled to address what he saw as a non-issue.

I’d like to address an issue that has come up based on a Washington Times web posting and article in its paper of 18 December 2013.

Even though last night’s posting had a photo at the top of that article showing a picture of one of our entry gates with huge statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson mounted on horseback on either side of the sign, and today’s posting showed a dignified photo of Robert E. Lee at the top of the article, it might be misleading as to what is in question. For what it is worth, I must tell you there is only one outside statue on Carlisle Barracks and that is of Frederick the Great. There is no statue of Lee, there is no statue of Jackson; that picture is photo-shopped – I assume to attract attention to the article. We do however have many small monuments, mostly stone with bronze plaques, but those are for a variety of reasons. There are small memorials to the service of British units (during the French and Indian War), memorials of Army schools that had been based at Carlisle Barracks over the last two-plus centuries, memorials to Carlisle Indian Industrial School students and significant personalities of that period from 1879 – 1918, a memorial for US Army War College graduates killed in action since 2001 and more. We do not have any public memorials to the Confederacy, but we do have signs on the walking tour of the base that will tell you for a few days during the Civil War, three North Carolina Brigades camped on the parade ground and then burned down the post (save one building) as they departed on July 1st, 1863, to rejoin Lee’s forces at Gettysburg. We also do not have any large stand-alone portraits of Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson.

So, no statues or big portraits, but a recent event here sparked the reporter’s and other public interest in the topic of the article, which I find makes a good point – for topics like this, have a thoughtful conversation before making a decision.

Here is what happened: a few weeks ago, while relocating his office to a new floor in our main school building over the weekend, one of my leaders looked outside his new office location and simply decided to change the look of the hallway. He took down, off the wall, a number of framed Civil War prints that depicted Confederate States of America forces in action against Union forces or depicted famous Confederate leaders. He did this on his own. There was no directive to “remove all traces of the CSA.” Since this is a public hallway with seminar rooms and offices, the sudden new look drew attention the following week. And since there was no public explanation of my leader’s action, some of my folks jumped to conclusions, even to the point of sending anonymous notes to local media. We have since attempted to clarify the action within our own ranks.

The General goes on to explain that the art on display is intended to portray a thoughtful, accurate military history of the United States, both the good and the bad. It is a college, after all, and teaching history is part of their mission. So this looks pretty much like a drummed up media example of link bait, as Joyner suspected, but it does open up an old – but still valid – line of questions. Is it “wrong” to commemorate the leaders of the Confederate forces and the soldiers who fought and died in America’s bloodiest war?

There is an old maxim which reminds us that “history is written by the winners.” Having grown up and studied high school history forty years ago in the Northeast, I can tell you that there are few better examples of that lesson than the traditional school lessons on the civil war. And regardless of how you feel about it, there is a justifiable pride and sense of history among many southerners for their ancestors who stood their ground on their own lands and shed their blood in the war. They answered the call, just as their northern brothers did, and fought and died for what they saw as the defense of their homes and their country. Is it so awful to commemorate that in the artistic portrayal of our nation’s history?

I would argue the opposite. And apparently the War College will continue to remember that these things did happen and those men did fight with bravery and honor, no matter what you may think of their cause.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Well I have a print of a dozen of their portraits on my wall which the Leftist goonies can have when they pry if from my cold, dead fingers.

Akzed on December 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

To study war accurately, you have to study all of it. Arguing about whether or not the War College should have portraits of Lee or Jackson up seems to me to be about as sensible as arguing about who was the “good guy” between Julius Caesar and Vercingetorix.

And if anyone wants to ring in the slavery issue, I will be happy to point out that it was Southern Democrats who seceded when they didn’t get what they wanted in the 1860 elections.

BTW, 17 of my ancestors fought in the Civil War; all for the Union. None came back unscathed, and due to the Wilderness, Gettysburg, and Cold Harbor three didn’t come back, period.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 22, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Bless your heart. You do try. But moral equivalence is hard.

WarEagle01 on December 22, 2013 at 9:50 AM

libfreeordie, starts the trolling off early.
False analogy, (argument from analogy).
Logic fail you lose the argument.

LincolntheHun on December 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

You amaze me. You are capable of being a blithering idiot on any subject brought up for discussion, indeed your mindlessness seems boundless.

Congratulations, well done.

turfmann on December 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Oh, ok. Now I see why everyone finds you so annoying.

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 9:53 AM

What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates? The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The War College is an institution of learning. Knowledge should not be stifled, no matter what the source. These portraits represent history and Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jackson are significant parts of our history. Both were heroes while serving as officers in the United States Army (Mexican War). There are many Army posts named after Confederate generals; Ft Lee, Ft. Jackson, Ft, Stuart, Ft. Bragg, Ft.Polk, etc. None should be renamed. After the war, the U.S. Government commissioned the official history of the conflict. Participants of both sides worked on the 128 volume War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies . It was attempt to heal the divide and get a more accurate history. Political Correctness is the McCarthyism of our day. Tolerance and intolerance go both ways.

DAT60A3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

You know, there are just some days when…

Nope. Not going to go there. Your right to your opinion is still upheld here.

::: sigh :::

Jazz Shaw on December 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Does your sense of outrage also extend to the many ways Indians are honored by the military?

TooTall on December 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates? The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Whoa…some serious scholarship right there.

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Indeed it does. As awful as slavery was, the point of contention was the much more debatable issue of secession. Only an absolute fanatic would argue that fighting an invading army makes one comparable to the nazis – particularly given that said invading army did not even pretend to be interested in freeing the slaves.

Aren’t you supposed to be some sort of historian? Or am I mistaking you for one of our other trolls? You don’t sound like someone who has much knowledge of that era.

RINO in Name Only on December 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Does your sense of outrage also extend to the many ways Indians are honored by the military?

TooTall on December 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Considering how much the Founders modeled our system of government on the Iroquois federation, then yes. And while some Tribes owned black slaves, no Native Americans fought for the right to maintain plantation slavery.

And before people link to the “Black Confederates” myths….

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/10/another-black-confederate-debunking/247524/

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Yawn, as boring and ignorant as always.

HumpBot Salvation on December 22, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Equating the CSA to Nazi’s, huh? Because the CSA and subsequent Civil War resulted in around 60 million dead right? Oh, I see the connection – or maybe I don’t because there isn’t one.

As a direct descendant of those that fought with the CSA (that descended from those that fought against the British during the Revolutionary War BTW) the courage that the CSA soldiers must have had to place their lives on the line the preserve what they believed in (and conversely the courage of the union soldiers to fight and die to preserve the union) is on a level that we in modern day America can’t begin to fathom. But it was a character quality common during our early history that unfortunately we can’t appreciate today in our world.

It’s really easy to assert nonsense behind the safety of a keyboard but if you had to pick up a weapon to defend and/or preserve your deeply held beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice everything to that end? If the answer is no then you have no business opining on the memory or actions of those in past that answered yes regardless of which side they fought for. Lib-free-or-die indeed.

volnation on December 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Libfreeordie, are you seriously comparing the CSA to the Nazis?

john1schn on December 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I miss Ronnie Van Zant.

celtic warrior on December 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates? The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

During the War of the Rebellion (the official name of the war), the north had 4 states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware)and the District of Columbia that still practiced slavery well after the hostilities started. In fact Delaware didn’t even ratify the 13th Amendment. I didn’t read about Sherman putting the White House to the torch because slavery was legal in D.C. Of course, the Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the states in rebellion, not the ones in the North. They needed the 13th amendment for that. So, don’t say the war was for slavery. Slavery was an issue, but not the only one.

DAT60A3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

You do realize that your example of “the Iroquois federation” reads as if you were offended that vehicles should be named and paintings and statues should be made of Indians don’t you? Here’s a hint.. you answered “Yes” that you were offended that Indians were also honored.

Your reply makes it evident that the only motivation you have is when blacks are involved.

TooTall on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Godwin’s law being played very early in the thread isn’t it?

Johnnyreb on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

As a direct descendant of those that fought with the CSA (that descended from those that fought against the British during the Revolutionary War BTW)

Nazi soldiers and leaders were the descendents of people who fought in less dishonorable conflicts, not sure what anyone’s genealogy has to do with how we view their actions.

the courage that the CSA soldiers must have had to place their lives on the line the preserve what they believed in

Oh so it actually doesn’t matter what people were fighting for as long as they showed courage in doing so? So, again, why not have statues to Hitler. He truly believed in his cause and his soldiers fought bravely.

If the answer is no then you have no business opining on the memory or actions of those in past that answered yes regardless of which side they fought for.

So unless you’re in the military you can’t say anything against the Nazi military. Got it.

Libfreeordie, are you seriously comparing the CSA to the Nazis?

john1schn on December 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Of course the Confederates and the Nazis have profound differences. The Nazis were in power for a short time, the planter class ruled the South for over a century, and before that many had investments in slave societies in the British Caribbean. The Nazi’s were invested in outright extermination. The planter class was interested in the most efficient way to exploit human labor to maximized profits and maintain white supremacy. Yes, the Nazis killed more people, but the planters enslaved many many more.

The point is though, that under any normal understanding of good and evil, the Confederates fought on the side of evil. They fought to maintain chattel slavery. Point, black period. This isn’t up for debate, because they constantly said that’s what they were fighting for. Honoring them, is inevitably, honoring their cause. You can not separate them.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

If someone blew up an Army base and killed a few hundred soldiers today we’d all be up in arms denouncing that person in the most vile language we can muster, but when a traitorous officer violates his oath and orchestrates the deaths of millions of American soldiers, he’s a hero. What a joke.

pauljc on December 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

During the War of the Rebellion (the official name of the war), the north had 4 states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware)and the District of Columbia that still practiced slavery well after the hostilities started.

Funny to hear Republican loyalists admit the hypocrisy of their beloved Lincoln. But absolutely, both the Border States issue and the incomplete nature of the Emancipation Proclamation reveals that Lincoln was by no means a racial egalitarian. Indeed, Lincoln spent a lot of time arguing that racial integration was an impossibility and that black people should be emigrated rather than fully emancipated until emancipation became an effective tool of war. None of that, however, evacuates the fact that the Confederates fought to maintain chattel slavery.

So, don’t say the war was for slavery. Slavery was an issue, but not the only one.

DAT60A3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

All of the other issues ran through slavery. Chattel slavery drew a line between the competing economic models between North and South. Why do you think Northern whites joined up with the “Free Soil” movement? Why did Northern immigrants riot at the prospect of being drafted to fight for black emancipation? Everyone, at the time, knew and acknowledged that this was a war about the future of the United States. Would the nation, as it expanded west continue to be beholden to the slave owning south’s cotton production or not.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

During the inventory, an unidentified official — not the commandant, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III — asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States, college spokeswoman Carol Kerr said.

That official should learn about how Grant and Lincoln wanted to unite the nation after the bitter civil war. It looks like our nation has not healed yet from that war. Liberals want to fight it all over again only this time it’s fought on Twitter, Facebook etc.

Herb on December 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM

TooTall on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I meant that I have no problem with the military honoring Native nations.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Lolz…

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

So unless you’re in the military you can’t say anything against the Nazi military. Got it.

That’s not what I said and you know it. Nice attempt at redirect though. So the answer IS no. Like I said Lib-free-or die indeed.

volnation on December 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

It’s really easy to assert nonsense behind the safety of a keyboard but if you had to pick up a weapon to defend and/or preserve your deeply held beliefs would you be willing to sacrifice everything to that end? If the answer is no then you have no business opining on the memory or actions of those in past that answered yes regardless of which side they fought for

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Honoring them, is inevitably, honoring their cause. You can not separate them.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

At what point does recognizing military skill become honoring? If you automatically equate this recognition with “honoring their cause”, then military colleges would have no business teaching the strategies of Rommel, Cornwallis, Napoleon, Caesar, Lee, etc.

JimLennon on December 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

They answered the call, just as their northern brothers did, and fought and died for what they saw as the defense of their homes and their country. Is it so awful to commemorate that in the artistic portrayal of our nation’s history?

the confederates were basically slave owning, secessionist traitors who wanted to destroy the United States of America…don’t think they deserve to be honored

nonpartisan on December 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Honoring them, is inevitably, honoring their cause. You can not separate them.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Of course you can. Unless you’re a relentless ideologue.

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Civil War history contradicts the notion that the winners write that history. For all intents and purposes the Confederates wrote Civil War History. No greater example of this is found in the generally accepted view that Lee was “great military leader” while Grant was just a butcher who won on mass. Lee was certainly an inspirational leader but was a poor strategist and operation planner. He was the master of the Napoleonic battlefield except when he faced Grant he was no longer on the Napoleonic battlefield. Lee never figured that out. Grant was the superior military leader because he understood that the nature of war had changed. He was also a better strategist and operational planner. During the Wilderness Campaign the Army of the Potomac consistently outmaneuvered the Army of Northern Virginia. The failure to win a single battle no longer counted for much. Grant was not the officer in tactical command during this period. He chose to place his headquarters with Army of the Potomac. He was in operational command of the entire Grand Army of the Republic. Meade was the officer in tactical command. If Grant played the role Eisenhower then Meade should have been his Bradley or Patton. Instead he got Mark Clark. And yes Grant was an inspirational leader. When he moved south from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania instead of retreating north his troops cheered because they new Grant would win the War.

You can summarize the Confederate victory in writing history by comparing the accepted view of Pickett’s Charge to Cold Harbor. The former is a noble failure. The latter was Grant’s indifference to the lives of his troops.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates?

Um… Genocide?

The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Some were motivated by that. Many others were motivated by an invading army that believed the federal government had a right to invade their state NOT to free slaves, but simply to forcibly prevent them from separating and forming a new government. Given that our country was founded in just such a violent separation, one would think it should be obvious why many feel the confederacy had at least some legitimacy to their uprising. That isn’t to say they weren’t wrong about slavery.

You have such a cartoonishly Manichaean understanding of things. I thought us reactionary yokels were supposed to be the unsophisticated ones.

RINO in Name Only on December 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

And…… STRAIGHT to the Godwin prize! Nice going, LFoD! *clap clap clap*

No further argument necessary – you lost right out of the gate.

GWB on December 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Because after all, renaming the 3 Confederate-named parks in Memphis, did so much to improve the Homicide Rate among the Black Population there.

Focus on something more important, you over-educated idiot.

Reality…what a concept.

kingsjester on December 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Are you talking regular German Army or the SS here? There is a difference.

jon1979 on December 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM

libfreeorgan on December 22, 2013

the
d u m b
p h u c k
b i g o t

KOOLAID2 on December 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Are you absolutely positive that nowhere in Germany are there statues or portraits in prominent places of someone who fought for Germany in WWII? Because I find that hard to believe…

pookysgirl on December 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

You have such a cartoonishly Manichaean understanding of things. I thought us reactionary yokels were supposed to be the unsophisticated ones.

RINO in Name Only on December 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Yes, it’s truly ironic how the leftist ideologue is totally lacking in qualities such as nuance and sophistication.

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

At what point does recognizing military skill become honoring? If you automatically equate this recognition with “honoring their cause”, then military colleges would have no business teaching the strategies of Rommel, Cornwallis, Napoleon, Caesar, Lee, etc.

JimLennon on December 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I’m responding to the prompt in Jazz’s blog post.

So this looks pretty much like a drummed up media example of link bait, as Joyner suspected, but it does open up an old – but still valid – line of questions. Is it “wrong” to commemorate the leaders of the Confederate forces and the soldiers who fought and died in America’s bloodiest war?

And…… STRAIGHT to the Godwin prize! Nice going, LFoD! *clap clap clap*

No further argument necessary – you lost right out of the gate.

GWB on December 22, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Godwin references have jumped the shark. The point is simple: The Germans have one kind of relationship to white supremacist militarism and our nation has…a different relationship to it. Millions of our citizens see the Confederates as heroes, despite the fact that their cause was pure evil. One doesn’t have to equate the Nazis and Confederates to make a comparative point about the differing ways the Germans and Americans deal with the memory of white supremacist militarism.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Honoring them, is inevitably, honoring their cause. You can not separate them.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

When President Carter posthumously restored Jefferson Davis’s citizenship in 1978, was he honoring the Confederate cause?

When President Ford did the same for Robert E. Lee a few years earlier, was he honoring the Confederate cause, too?

I’m hardly a Confederate sympathizer, but I’m really curious where we draw the line here.

JimLennon on December 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM

they fought for their country-even if south it was the politicians fault.

Soldiers are soldiers. don’t change anything

gerrym51 on December 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The debate about whether or not Confederate Officers should be accepted back into society, and their rebellion forgiven, but not forgotten, was settled by Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and Logan in the 1870′s. Those men were, as much as anyone was, the architects of the victory, and they understood not only the issues but the men involved far more intimately than anyone alive today could ever hope to do.

I humbly suggest that we defer to their judgment, as every leader in this country has done for the last 140 years.

And for those who say nay, have you forgotten who wrote “With Malice towards none, but Charity to all?”

Sherman’s adversary in the 1864 campaign was, for much of the campaign, Confederate General Joe. E. Johnston. After the year they corresponded frequently, and became close friends. from wiki:
“When Sherman died, Johnston served as an honorary pallbearer at his funeral; during the procession in New York City on February 19, 1891, he kept his hat off as a sign of respect in the cold, rainy weather. Someone with concern for the old general’s health asked him to put on his hat, to which Johnston replied “If I were in his place and he were standing here in mine, he would not put on his hat.” He caught a cold that day, which developed into pneumonia, and he died several weeks later in Washington.”

disclaimer: a direct ancestor of mine was one of Sherman’s staff officers during the march through Georgia. His family profited quite nicely from the war, and he became a brevetted general at its close. Some of my wife’s ancestors fought for the confederacy at Pea Ridge and in the Red River campaign, and they never owned much more than the dirt they were eventually buried in.

Does anyone alive today think that they can honestly judge who was fighting for their beliefs, and who was simply fighting for wealth?

Tom Servo on December 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Please explain why they are considered 2 of the finest military strategists ever produced by West Point and why their tactics are still studied the world over.

Oh, and I am waiting for you to explain why renaming the Confederate Parks in Memphis has done absolutely nothing to help the horrendous murder rate among the Black Population there.

Borrows Del’s sundial…

kingsjester on December 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Libfree. Your Knowledge of who the German Army honors seems to be a bit weak. Here are some WWII era generals whose portraits grace many Bundes Herren and Luftwaffe facilities:

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Field Marshal Erich von Manstein (who was a real careerist war criminal)
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt.
Generaloberst Heinz Gudarian
Luftwaffe Generalleutnant Adolf Galland
Luftwaffe Major [later Oberst in the Bundes Luftwaffe] Erich Hartmann.

Any questions?

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Are you absolutely positive that nowhere in Germany are there statues or portraits in prominent places of someone who fought for Germany in WWII?

There are all kinds of memorials to soldiers who fought in the German army, primarily in small towns. But major Nazi leaders on the order of Robert E. Lee? No. There aren’t. The Germans made a very intentional decision not to blur the lines that way.

From the beginning our nation has tried to erase what the Confederate struggle was truly about. Everyone should read David Blight’s brilliant book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American History Blight is a Civil War historian who decided to engage the history of post-CW memorials and remembrances, particularly through the early 20th century.

http://www.amazon.com/Race-Reunion-Civil-American-Memory/dp/0674008197

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates. Somehow, no one in Germany thinks any heritage has been lost. Says something about how many view the Confederates and their cause.

libfreeordie

Obviously a liberal idiot who believes ALL of the Southern soldiers fought and died for slavery, there were no other ‘issues’.

GarandFan on December 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Is it “wrong” to commemorate the leaders of the Confederate forces and the soldiers who fought and died in America’s bloodiest war?

No.

workingclass artist on December 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

pauljc on December 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Millions?

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

What exactly is the Nazi military? That’s another topic, though.

Men like Robert E. Lee were just soldiers. And more loyal to their own state… If by some weird quirk, Virginia was part of the Union this wouldn’t even be a discussion and Bo and Luke Duke would have been driving around in the General Beauregard.

reaganaut on December 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

When President Carter posthumously restored Jefferson Davis’s citizenship in 1978, was he honoring the Confederate cause?

Yes. And catering to southern voters who, during the civil rights struggle, had revived confederate imagery in their resistance to integration.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

statement against the CSA.

When writing an article, the first time you use an acronym one should spell out the phrase which is being abbreviated. In most cases the writer should not assume, especially with such a wide audience as at Hot Air, the reader is familiar to what the acronym refers. Example: Hot Air (HA).

If the phrase is not going to be repeated in the article, giving the acronym is superfluous. Only if the phrase would be repeated, as CSA is here, should an acronym be used.

davidk on December 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

The debate about whether or not Confederate Officers should be accepted back into society, and their rebellion forgiven, but not forgotten, was settled by Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and Logan in the 1870′s.

Also the decade that the Federal government abandoned newly emancipated black people to the Democrats and sat back silently while they passed “black codes” and, a decade later, began to establish Jim Crow. So yes. We should absolutely “defer to their judgement” as you so eloquently described.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Stereotype much, perfesser?

kingsjester on December 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

“I do know at least one person has questioned why we would honor individuals who were enemies of the United States Army,” Ms. Kerr said.

Mzzz Kerr is an idiot. Individuals who spit on soldiers coming back from the war zone are enemies of the United States Army.

Officers and enlisted troops are defenders of the constitution. The military is subordinate, and has no political policy or interests of its own (theoretically).

Confederate officers were honorable soldiers, the lunatic left’s desire to re-write history in its own image notwithstanding.

Bonus question: Did the CSA have a general equal to Sherman? You know, one who scorched the earth?

platypus on December 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

[libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM]

Here’s an analogy to something even more reprehensible: We still let you comment here.

Dusty on December 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

And there you demonstrate your ignorance and historical illiteracy. The “NAZI” military was the SS, and they are not revered by anyone of a sound mind (though their tactics are studied). The rest of the Wehrmacht is generally held to a lesser level of responsibility, unless directly involved in atrocities. They are generally treated with some respect in a historical sense.

GWB on December 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Would love to stay and comment on this thread, but I’ve got to go run some errands. A trip that will take me onto the LEE-JACKSON highway in Virginia.
Just sayin’

Galtian on December 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I see libfree chooses to ignore the facts once again.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Hmm…

For a 21st century academician to lambast northern veterans for not promulgating disdain and loathing for their former adversaries after the killing was over takes pomposity to new heights. Blight’s foray’s into military actions are deeply flawed as well. but that serves his political aims. To anyone thoroughly familiar with The Siege of Charleston ( 54th Massachusetts ) his omissions are immediately obvious ( the best study would be “Gate of Hell” by Stephen Wise ) . As one other reviewer wrote, the best reason for reading this tome is to know what some who pass as historians today are thinking…..and politicizing.

HB3 on December 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes. Yet we honor the Confederates.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

This, btw, also demonstrates that you aren’t as cosmopolitan or worldly as you like to think. There are numerous memorials all over Germany to WW2 German soldiers. There were even places named in honor of some. You seem unable to distinguish – being an ideologue – between those who fight for their country/state and those who pervert that service to the ends of evil.

GWB on December 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

The left is all about dialogue to aid the healing process. But with Civil War wounds still festering, leftists want to stifle healing actions.

It is not surprising that those resisistng this are big government federalists.

davidk on December 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates?”

I see our resident Marxist moron, who claims to be an expert on history and who arrogantly lectures other to learn their history, cannot see the galaxy sized the differences between the American civil war and those who started the most devastating and destructive world war in human history.

But then, that’s what trolls do.

The unfortunate part is that this pretentious faux intellectual idiot with a worthless PhD is living on the taxpayers dime producing nothing of any real value, much less anything of economic value. I’d say it should see a psychiatrist about its unhealthy emotionally sick obsession with trolling, but that would have to be paid for by taxpayers, too.

farsighted on December 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

If the Nazi military was part of the military heritage of the United States?

Yes.

A war college’s business is war, not positive social change and certainly not airbrushing reality.

Wasn’t it the received sophomoric Yoda/George Carlin wisdom of your tribe that there are two sides to every conflict and that there are no purely “good” wars? Oh, that was when Bush was president.

HitNRun on December 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Yes, by all means let’s banish historical figures and revise history. It’s the Stalinist thing to do.

petefrt on December 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

It is not surprising that those resisistng this are big government federalists Chicago thug commies.

davidk on December 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Alternate version.

platypus on December 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Did the CSA have a general equal to Sherman?

Not on that scale, but you could probably equate John Winder and what happened at Andersonville.

Basically, except for their fateful advance into Pennsylvania, the CSA fought most of the war on their home turf, so we’ll never know However, it’s rather unlikely that Lee or any other high ranking CSA generals would have sanctioned or tolerated actions like Sherman’s.

reaganaut on December 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

As societal norms change it is incumbent on us to recognize from where we came in order to appreciate where we are. Whitewashing history serves only to eradicate the lessons to be learned from that history. For this reason and so many others, our history must be preserved.

MJBrutus on December 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

but when a traitorous officer violates his oath and orchestrates the deaths of millions of American soldiers, he’s a hero. What a joke.

pauljc on December 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

You aren’t speaking of Lee, are you? Because he resigned his commission for that very reason.

GWB on December 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

To be an American is to look at all of American history and see yourself.

If you can’t embrace both Sherman and Jackson, Crazy Horse and Custer then I feel sorry for you.

kcewa on December 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I am in a feisty mood today. I am still waiting for Libfree to acknowledge his error concerning how modern Germany honors some of their WWII era military leaders.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

I am in a feisty mood today. I am still waiting for Libfree to acknowledge his error concerning how modern Germany honors some of their WWII era military leaders.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Going far beyond simply honoring, the military theories and the accomplishments of Guderian are still studied by military leaders throughout the world no matter what their politics, economics, religion, or views on race.

farsighted on December 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Oh, are we re-fighting the Civil War again?

The left is all about dialogue to aid the healing process. But with Civil War wounds still festering, leftists want to stifle healing actions.

It is not surprising that those resisistng this are big government federalists.

davidk on December 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

At least they have the good decency to lecture us in their onesie footie pajamas while sipping a piping hot Starbucks latte.

Punchenko on December 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM

And while some Tribes owned black slaves, no Native Americans fought for the right to maintain plantation slavery.

And before people link to the “Black Confederates” myths….

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/10/another-black-confederate-debunking/247524/

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I can’t stand it any more. Lfod is shooting his keyboard off without any knowledge whatsoever. The Last general to surrender in the war of Yankee Aggression was General Stan Waite, A Cherokee Confederate, who DID fight to maintain his slaves. Even till today, there are ex Cherokee slaves that are trying to get the benefits of cherokeehood and slavehood. They will do anything for handout. – Sorta just like LFOD. I normally ignore the librul lies, which is generally everything they say. However, there comes a time when the lies get so overwhealming that they disrupt the discussion.

One more thing LFOD, your comparison of Southerners who only a small percentage of them kept slaves, an even larger percentage freed them, to NAZIs who mass murdered six million people, show that your intellect and opinions are no longer worth considering. Buh bye, A-O.

Old Country Boy on December 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I am in a feisty mood today. I am still waiting for Libfree to acknowledge his error concerning how modern Germany honors some of their WWII era military leaders.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

There is much controversy over the honoring of war dead in Japan, too.

Punchenko on December 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Why can this idea not be applied to the Nazi military?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

It’s not the Nazi military that’s being discussed?

kcewa on December 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM

If someone blew up an Army base and killed a few hundred soldiers today we’d all be up in arms denouncing that person in the most vile language we can muster, but when a traitorous officer violates his oath and orchestrates the deaths of millions of American soldiers, he’s a hero. What a joke.

pauljc on December 22, 2013 at 10:23 AM

In the first place, those officers resigned their commissions in the U.S. Army before the war even began.

In the second place, they effectively renounced their U.S. citizenship in favor of state and then Confederate citizenship.

Lastly, “millions” did not die in the Civil War.

Then of course there are peripheral arguments involving our U.S. military and the “patriotic” politicians that have ordered them into controversial wars, wars entered upon the lamest excuses (USS Maine, the Lusitania), wars meant to further the vested interests of a few, to assist foreign (often corrupt) governments, and to insure the ascendency of worldwide Communism.

Should Colonel John Chivington’s portrait be hanging in the War College instead? Certainly he was no traitor and served the U.S. honorably in his blue uniform according to Washington. I guess Colonel Forsyth should get a MOH for his bravery at Wounded Knee, and every officer in charge of interring Japanese Americans should at least receive a Bronze Star.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Is it so awful to portray….really! Of course, in today’s PC world it is. I’m sure there will be another star waiting for this maj gen when he removes all traces of Lee & Jackson. After all, the names of schools are being changed in Jacksonville, Fl and Jackson, Ms, to something less offensive. If we have no mention of our history, how will the race baiters have any material.

Kissmygrits on December 22, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Weird. Germany manages not to have memorials to Nazi war heroes.

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Who was a “Nazi war hero”?

And why are you trying to compare a World War, where millions of innocents were gassed by Germany, to a much smaller conflict?

F-

Del Dolemonte on December 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Old Country Boy on December 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Obviously they never heard of General Stand Watie or the thousands of other Indians that served in Confederate uniforms, or that there were around 100,000 free blacks living in the ante-bellum South according the U.S. 1860 census, nor that historians have found evidence that slaves owned fire arms, nor that historians were stunned to find evidence that some free blacks also owned slaves, nor that there was at least one black African Methodist Ecumenical church in Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) during the war (Liberal “conventional wisdom” has us believe that ALL blacks were slaves, ALL were denied education, ALL were denied freedom and other religions).

According to the Lib Fascists and their version of “history” educated, free black men like Denmark Vessey didn’t actually exist in the Old South. Alex Haley told us so.

Then there’s the written reports of Union soldiers and their encounters on the battlefield with black Confederate soldiers, and the fact that the Confederate Veterans themselves were quite OK with a black man wearing a Confederate uniform being depicted on their memorial statue in Arlington (designed and built by Moses Ezekiel, a Jew no less…come to think of it, Judah Benjamin was also Jewish and a prominent Confederate statesman…huh, that’s weird.)

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

American history is apparently another subject that you know nothing about. What do you claim to teach again?

Oldnuke on December 22, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Ignoring Truthfree and Partisan’s love of Castro and Che, I find his Nazi commentary funny, given Israel’s respecting of Albert Goering

Now I understand both have an allergy to the facts…

Let’s not forget Hans Guderian for another German officer honoured worldwide.

The_Livewire on December 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Actually debating the issue with people like Lfod is meaningless, because the issue isn’t real. Any time this comes up, the real meaning isn’t about some long-dead generals, worthy or not. People like Lfod need to be honest and simply say what they mean: they hate white southerners. It’s nothing more than simple racial bigotry, with “General Lee” being a code word for white southerners.

mabryb1 on December 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

The_Livewire on December 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

…and Field Marshal Rommel.

Yet another inconvenient truth for all of the “students of history” out there: Erhard Milch

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Let’s not forget Herman Goering’s nephew Captain Werner Goering USAAF. Aviation seems to be in the Goering family blood.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Yes, by all means let’s banish historical figures and revise history. It’s the Stalinist thing to do.

petefrt on December 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Here are the names of three talented and very effective American soldiers who no one here has heard of probably. Lt.Col. John Harris Cruger, Col. James Delancey, Col. David Fanning. They fought in the first civil war on the losing side. Everything they had was confiscated by “government” and they were driven from their homes forever and their memory was intended to be forgotten.

It has already happened in Americas history.

BL@KBIRD on December 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Many of our Army installations are named after Confederate generals.

claudius on December 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Dr. Zhiblago:

I already presented a partial list of the portraits I have seen in Bundeswehr facilities that I have visited. In addition the Nazi era “Volkskunst” murals at the US European Command Headquarters located at the Panzer Kaserne in Stuttgart has been fully restored minus the swastikas.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

These bozos forget that those fighting for the South were just as American as those on the North, maybe even more in tune with the Constitution and the principals of our founders.

rich8450 on December 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM

And regardless of how you feel about it, there is a justifiable pride and sense of history among many southerners for their ancestors who stood their ground on their own lands and shed their blood in the war. They answered the call, just as their northern brothers did, and fought and died for what they saw as the defense of their homes and their country. Is it so awful to commemorate that in the artistic portrayal of our nation’s history?

Thank you, Mr. Shaw. I know what you did, and I appreciate your doing it more than I would be able to tell you.

Merry Christmas. :)

Axe on December 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

What is the difference between the Nazis and the Confederates? The later went to war to protect their right to own human property. What is honorable about that?

libfreeordie on December 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

And this guy claims to be a college professor? While it may be true that some in the south went to war over slavery the vast majority went to war over State rights vs Federal rights. The States created the federal government in the first place, not the other way around.

bgibbs1000 on December 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM

You know, there are just some days when…

Nope. Not going to go there. Your right to your opinion is still upheld here.

::: sigh :::

Jazz Shaw on December 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

its allowed to spew poison with no repercussions.
nice way to enable it.

dmacleo on December 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Dr. Zhiblago:

I already presented a partial list of the portraits I have seen in Bundeswehr facilities that I have visited. In addition the Nazi era “Volkskunst” murals at the US European Command Headquarters located at the Panzer Kaserne in Stuttgart has been fully restored minus the swastikas.

jerryofva on December 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Interesting, though I do think it silly to omit the Swastikas as those are historical fact. I do get their wariness concerning a revitalization of that particular brand of despotism/Socialism. But I do find it odd (not really, it was planned) that the national socialist type of socialism was mercilessly stamped out of existence, while the Bolshevik and Maoist international forms were allowed to thrive-indeed, protected by U.S. and British blood and treasure.

PC revised history from both sides have made it so that anyone serving in the German military during WW II was a “Nazi”, and to top it all off that all SS members were involved with ethnic cleansing operations/mass murder. History just isn’t that black and white, and is retold by the victors, and most don’t want to be bothered with the subtleties of history and such. So, due to our collective ostrich in the sand ignorance we end up with Socialists running everything and watching our liberties being evaporated. Funny how that works.

What you point out above has already occurred here in the states. Last I heard, the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama at the Grant Park Museum in Atlanta has the Confederate Flag carried by one of the Southern units depicted in that painting covered up.

Also, note that the Russians proudly display Soviet era flags, hammer and sickle regalia at their military parades. If nothing nefarious going on, at the very least they aren’t trying to hide uncomfortable facets of their past. but recognize historical fact during the days of WW II.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Sorry to have missed this post earlier than now — schedule is topsy-turvey this week.

This issue is quite significant to me, given my appreciation of US History and as especially to certain periods and events, among them the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, AND the social and political events that were present before and after both events.

These Confederate Generals bestowed SIGNIFICANT qualifications, activities and contributions to this nation and within this nation (and about this nation) as to military importance, our history, their places in that history.

That the Confederate surrendered the Civil War to the Union does not dismiss or erase Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson historical (and military) signifance to our nation’s character
, history included.

“Purging” their places among the honored dead in a military context seems to be a pointed attack on “The South” by the current Obama-dominated-Leftwing-Marxist if not Communist hatefulness of all things that might carry an alternative message to the Left’s disturbed ideas of “winning”.

AND YOU KNOW ONE PRESIDENT WHO WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY DISAGREE WITH THIS IDEA (“purging” Lee’s and Jackson’s presence from the honored dead)?

That’d be Abraham Lincoln.

Not even Lincoln, President at the time of the South’s surrender, did then (nor would now) support nor advocate others support the condemnation of the Americans who served The Confederacy. Lincoln’s primary requirement at the South’s surrender was that they acknowledge they were, again, part of the USA, citizens equal to those in the Union.

Lincoln would likely be horrified if not furious at this effort to purge the presences of Lee and Jackson. I certainly am.

Lourdes on December 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Not on that scale, but you could probably equate John Winder and what happened at Andersonville.

Basically, except for their fateful advance into Pennsylvania, the CSA fought most of the war on their home turf, so we’ll never know However, it’s rather unlikely that Lee or any other high ranking CSA generals would have sanctioned or tolerated actions like Sherman’s.

reaganaut on December 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Lincoln’s stated goal of preserving the Union at all costs, i.e. the ends justified the means for him, explains why he tolerated Sherman’s (there’s a real racist bigot for you, libfreeliveenslavedordie) immoral savagery…

Anti-Control on December 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Lincoln would likely be horrified if not furious at this effort to purge the presences of Lee and Jackson. I certainly am.

Lourdes on December 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Not to mention the fact that both Generals Lee and Jackson were remarkably astute, well respected military leaders.

They put General Shermans and Ulysses S. Grant to shame on a level of character alone. Maybe that’s why Obama’s current workers feel such need to omit their presence from our nation’s history.

Lourdes on December 22, 2013 at 12:37 PM

it’s rather unlikely that Lee or any other high ranking CSA generals would have sanctioned or tolerated actions like Sherman’s.

reaganaut on December 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Lincoln’s stated goal of preserving the Union at all costs, i.e. the ends justified the means for him, explains why he tolerated Sherman’s (there’s a real racist bigot for you, libfreeliveenslavedordie) immoral savagery…

Anti-Control on December 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

DITTO and DITTO.

Sherman’s character was awful. Awful.

Lourdes on December 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Unmentioned in this discussion was Lee’s position as Superintendent at West Point in the decade before the war.

tpitman on December 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3