Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Agree With Robert E Lee

I agree with the senior Robert E Lee as well as his descendant, Robert E. Lee V, and also the great grandsons of Thomas L. ("Stonewall") Jackson, William Jackson Christian and Warren Edmund Christian, that Confederate monuments should be removed from public locations to either museums or other locations, much as was done in the former Soviet Union.

In 1866, the senior Robert E. Lee wrote a letter to my collateral relative, Thomas Lafayette Rosser, last commander of the Laurel Brigade, who refused to surrender at Appomattox, and who is now buried in the Riverview cemetery in Charlottesville, VA.  In that letter Lee said the following:

"As regards the erection of such monuments as is contemplated, my conviction is that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt...would have the effect of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which Southern people labour."  

J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. 

3 comments:

Sandwichman said...

Excellent!

Bill H aka run75441 said...

Barkley:

You beat me to this. I was reading this last night. The Atlantic Monthly article did not say nice things of Lee.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

Bill H aka Run75441,

Lee was a really mixed bag. Many of the admirable and nice things we hear about him were true. But now the dark side has been publicized, and it was there, often deeply entwined with the more admirable stuff. A leading example is that in a speech in which he expressed opposition to slavery, he said slaves should be subject to strict discipline, and he was a slaveowner. In this he somewhat resembled Jefferson, who both opposed slavery at certain points at least in theory, but never freed his slaves. Without doubt, a major reason for these unpleasant contradictions is that for these men their slaves were a substantial part of their personal wealth and economic status and well-being.