January is often referred to as
"Generals Month" since no less than four famous Confederate Generals
claimed January as their birth month: James Longstreet
(Jan. 8, 1821),
Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19, 1807), Thomas Jonathan
Without question, Robert E. Lee and
"Stonewall" Jackson were two of the greatest military leaders of all
time. Even more, many military historians regard the Lee
and Jackson tandem as perhaps the greatest battlefield
duo in the history of warfare. If
In fact, it was Lord Roberts, commander-in-chief of the British armies in the early twentieth century, who said, "In my opinion, Stonewall Jackson was one of the greatest natural military geniuses the world ever saw. I will go even further than that—as a campaigner in the field, he never had a superior. In some respects, I doubt whether he ever had an equal."
While the strategies and circumstances of the War of Northern Aggression can (and will) be debated by professionals and laymen alike, one fact is undeniable: Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson were two of the finest Christian gentlemen this country has ever produced. Both their character and their conduct were beyond reproach.
Unlike his northern counterpart,
Ulysses S. Grant, General Lee never sanctioned or
condoned slavery. Upon inheriting slaves from his
deceased father-in-law, Lee immediately freed them. And
according to historians,
As those who are familiar with
history know, General Grant and his wife held personal
slaves before and during the War Between the States,
and, contrary to popular opinion, even
Furthermore, it is well established
In addition, both Jackson and Lee
emphatically supported the abolition of slavery. In
fact, Lee called slavery
"a moral and political evil." He also said
"the best men in the South" opposed it and welcomed its demise.
To think that Lee and Jackson (and the vast majority of Confederate soldiers) would fight and die to preserve an institution they considered evil and abhorrent—and that they were already working to dismantle—is the height of absurdity. It is equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the memory of these remarkable Christian gentlemen.
In fact, after refusing Abraham
Lincoln`s offer to command the Union Army in 1861,
Robert E. Lee wrote to his sister on April 20 of that
year to explain his decision. In the letter he
all my devotion to the
Lee`s decision to resign his
commission with the Union Army must have been the most
difficult decision of his life. Remember that Lee`s
direct ancestors had fought in
Remember, too, that not only did
Robert E. Lee graduate from
However, Lee knew that
Instead of allowing a politically correct culture to sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, all Americans should hold them in a place of highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity.
Accordingly, it was more than
appropriate that the late President Gerald Ford, on
According to President Ford, "This legislation corrects a 110-year oversight of American history." He further said, "General Lee`s character has been an example to succeeding generations . . ."
The significance of the lives of Generals Lee and Jackson cannot be overvalued. While the character and influence of most of us will barely be remembered two hundred days after our departure, the sterling character of these men has endured for two hundred years.
What a shame that so many of