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US Army: We Won’t Be Changing Military Bases Named for Confederate Soldiers

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This is from Freedom OutPost.

How long before Obama using his thugs try to force The Pentagon to change the base names?

Obama’s thuggery makes Hitler, Stalin and Mao look like pikers.

The latest Confederate flag controversy may be too difficult for flag supporters to resist, like a wave crashing on the beach, the tsunami of attacks against the old battle flag may be too much for many Southerners to bear.

This isn’t the first time that the flag has faced attack, but this time just feels different. This time feels like it really may be the last time. Sure, they may not be able to ban the flag, but they can turn it into a pariah, forcing anyone who flies the flag into second-class citizenship. I think that the battle for the Southern Cross may be a losing one, but a greater battle still rages, the battle for an untainted history.

Along with the attacks on the Confederate battle flag, the media and liberals have joined forces to attack any and all things bearing any connection to the Confederacy. War memorialshistorical sitescemeteries, highways, buildings, and on and on it goes. If something is named after a Confederate soldier or is in honor of a Confederate soldier, then it is in danger of attack.

The latest case in point comes from the US Military who have been inundated with demands that they change the names of military bases which were named after Confederate Generals! Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas, for example, are all named after Confederate leaders who were both respected and beloved throughout the South and in the military.

Thankfully it seems that the Pentagon and the US Army are ready to defend those bases and the honor of the men they were named after. The Army does not look at the men that these bases were named after as simply “Confederate” Generals, but as American military icons.

Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost said “Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history. Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”

There has to be a line drawn, hasn’t there? I understand the reticence with flying the Confederate flag in public places, but these people are part of our shared history. They are part of the very fabric of our nation and they deserve a place in our story, because they did play an important, even vital, role in that narrative. Men like Nathan Bedford Forrest should be remembered – in spite of the fact that he founded the Ku Klux Klan. John Bell Hood, James Longstreet, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Braxton Bragg, and especially the great Robert E. Lee (who thought slavery an evil sin and a burden on our nation).

… In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. 

—   In a letter to Mary Anna Lee from December 1856

So, is it okay to honor Lee? Or is every Confederate soldier, even the anti-slavery ones, tainted with the sins of racism and slavery?

This is our history, and yes, some of it is very ugly – but there is no nation that does not own some ugliness in its past. Erasing it from memory serves no one; in fact it’s only by remembering well our past that we can hope to avoid repeating those very same mistakes. In this case, the mistake we should fear repeating isn’t necessarily racism or slavery (though we should avoid those), but the mistakes of considering some in our society lower than others. Many liberals look at those who might defend Southern culture as backwards and uneducated. They make a dangerous miscalculation.

The men and women who lived through the Civil War deserve more than to be erased from our history. They deserve to be remembered for their accomplishments and their contributions to the path we’ve all trod. Tear down the flag in public places if you must, but leave our history alone.
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/07/us-army-we-wont-be-changing-military-bases-named-for-confederate-soldiers/#Wh5z2rQmHfPhgXk8.99

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ARLINGTON CEMETERY: THIS HALLOWED GROUND

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This is from Warrior Scout.

I want to visit Arlington.

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On May 13, 1864, America’s most revered burial place was established on the pristine grounds of the Arlington Estate.

They are presidents, explorers, sports figures, judges, and admirals. And lots of every day people, too—farmers, teachers, and factory workers among others.

There are more than 300,000 of them—named and nameless, forgotten and revered, mourned and martyred, male and female, and of every race. With some exceptions, most share military service to their country and a final resting place on a hillside overlooking Washington, D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery, the most well known of the nation’s 130 military burial grounds, annually inters 6,000 dead—many of them succumbing to old age and disease, others just out of high school dying violently and suddenly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, some 4 million visitors go to the cemetery to pay their respects.

Fittingly, Arlington was born of the cataclysm of war and the country’s desire to honor its fallen soldiers. At the beginning of the Civil War, no one anticipated the carnage or had made arrangements to deal with the dead, who lay exposed on battlefields or were buried where they fell, frequently thrown into mass pits, unidentified and unclaimed. The situation appalled the families back home as well as federal authorities. In 1864 Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered Army Quartermaster Montgomery C. Meigs to site a cemetery near Washington.

Meigs recommended only one location, the plantation called Arlington, which before the war had been the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The federals already occupied the plantation for its high ground and had seized it for delinquent back taxes of $92.07.

Meigs also wanted to make the mansion permanently uninhabitable. On June 15, 1864, the day the government declared Arlington House (pictured below) and 200 surrounding acres a national cemetery, he buried 65 soldiers in the yard. That year dead and dying men flooded Washington from the pitched battles in Virginia—The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. Many of the casualties—both Union and Confederate—are buried in Arlington.


A sketch of Arlington House drawn in 1861, published in 1875
After the war, the government created other military cemeteries to accept human remains from “cleaned up” battlefields. The bones of more than 1,800 soldiers were gathered from the nearby Bull Run (Manassas) battlefield and buried in Mrs. Lee’s rose garden. More remains were later interred.

Robert E. Lee never returned to Arlington. But in 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court decided the estate had been confiscated illegally, and the government paid his family $150,000. By then, however, tens of thousands of graves ringed the mansion, and the land had become hallowed ground for the reunited nation.

Over the ensuing years, veterans of the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War, and other conflicts were reinterred at Arlington. It wasn’t until 1906 when the tensions of the Civil War had lessened that a memorial to the Confederate dead was approved; the corner stone was laid in November 1912 and the monument dedicated on June 4, 1914.

Today, the cemetery hosts dozens of memorials—to sailors killed in the explosion of the battleship USS Maine, to commandos lost in the 1980 Iranian hostage rescue mission, and to the astronauts who perished aboard Challenger.

The most revered memorial is the Tomb of the Unknowns (below), guarded 24 hours a day. The first American unknown was brought to Arlington from France in 1921. Servicemen from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam were interred later, although the Vietnam soldier was eventually identified and removed to a family cemetery.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Source: Getty Images.
As did predecessors, President John F. Kennedy visited Arlington and the tomb during his tenure. A few months before his assassination, he toured Arlington House and remarked on its magnificent view of Washington, saying he could stay there forever. He now rests on a slope just below the mansion—his brother, Bobby, too—and decades after their deaths their graves (below) remain an attraction for tourists.

A who’s who of American luminaries lies in Arlington, including Robert Peary and Matthew Alexander Henson, the first to reach the North Pole; boxer Joe Louis and civil rights leader Medgar Evers; John Wesley Powell, who explored the Grand Canyon; Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Ira Hayes, a Marine who helped hoist the flag at Iwo Jima; and Audie Murphy, World War II hero and movie star.

Until 1948 and Harry Truman’s executive order to desegregate the services, the dead were separated by race; today everyone is treated equally and with honor, each grave marked with a simple, formalized regulation stone. Because of space limitations, ground burial at Arlington is quite restricted, but criteria for the new Columbarium are more liberal and extend to all honorably discharged veterans and members of their immediate families.

The cemetery features a museum, a bus tour, and visitor’s center, but Arlington is unlike any other Washington attraction. About 30 people are interred on the grounds each weekday. Tourists may look down a slope or along a tree-shrouded road and watch a caisson and flag-draped casket passing by or hear the playing of taps and the sharp report of a rifle volley—all sobering reminders of service, conflict, and mortality.

10 BEST GENERALS IN AMERICAN HISTORY

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This is from Warrior Scout.

I would have rated Ike higher than ninth.

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Many such lists have been compiled, each subjective to one degree or another. A look at 10 of the best generals in American history.

*Author’s note: In creating this list, the over-arching question posed was: Whom would I want commanding my Army were I the president of the United States? Also, if these men faced each other on a neutral battlefield, who would come out on top?
10. Winfield Scott

Scott Rose to fame as the man who defeated Mexico in a brilliant amphibious campaign far ahead of its time, followed by an audacious march on Mexico City. He also devised the “Anaconda Strategy” that helped to strangle the Confederacy and help the Union win the Civil War. A bold, clear-sighted and creative strategist, “Old Fuss and Feathers” too often gets overlooked when such lists as this are compiled. In his day, no less an expert than the Wellington called him the greatest living general.Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
9. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Disparaged by the flamboyant MacArthur as “the best clerk I ever had”, Ike was the archetype of the modern “political general” in the age of coalition warfare. Never forgetting that his primary mission was to keep the various allies happily working in concert, he nevertheless orchestrated a massive campaign against the Axis in Europe and North Africa that brought total victory. No general in history has commanded a larger force on land, sea, and air. While he often had to allow his British allies to take the bit in the teeth– and to put-up with the vainglorious and barely competent Montgomery–he managed to win the war with minimal casualties and no major defeat (though several severe embarrassments). In all, he was the consummate professional soldier. Above photo: Getty Images.
8. Nathan Bedford Forrest

Perhaps the most feared general in American history, “that Devil Forrest” was the prophet of mobile warfare. His campaigns were (allegedly) studied by German proponents of the blitzkrieg and compare favorably to those employed by Rommel and Guderian. Though often considered a “cavalry leader” (he was probably the finest in American history), his task forces were actually well-balanced mobile arms teams of cavalry, mounted infantry, and horse artillery. He also has the distinction of being the “fightingest” general in American history, personally killing with his own hands some 30 union soldiers (and losing 29 horses in the process!). Forrest was dubbed “The Wizard of the Saddle,” but he was in truth a wizard of modern warfare.Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The 10 best generals of the Civil War
7. Douglas MacArthur

Even more theatrical than Patton (Eisenhower, who served as his aid in the 1930s, once quipped, “I studied dramatics under MacArthur”), MacArthur was the epitome of the general-hero at a time when America needed one. He successfully led the southern theater of the Pacific Campaign, and presided over the surrender of Japan. In Korea in 1950, his audacious strategy of landing massive forces behind the North Koreans at Inchon was a masterpiece. He drove the North Koreans out of the South and back to the Chinese border. But for that country’s intervention against his forces, the war would have ended in 1950 with MacArthur acclaimed the greatest general of the 20th century. As was, he succeeded in extricating his army intact, and after appointing Ridgeway to lead 8th Army stopped the Chinese advance, stabilizing the line. His disagreement with the Joint Chiefs and President Truman over how to deal with the Chinese situation led to his sacking. Above photo: MacArthur’s landing on Leyte, Getty Images.
6. Ulysses S. Grant

The model for the modern American general, Grant was fearless, aggressive, and determined. He understood better than any of his contemporaries (except Sherman, perhaps) the war he was fighting and waged it to a successful conclusion where less men had failed. Grant was a determined, dogged commander who never lost heart in the face of the enemy, despite hideous casualties. After taking a beating during the first day at Shiloh, he merely shrugged and said, “We’ll lick ’em tomorrow”— and he did. There was a move to relieve him after this most sanguine battle; but Lincoln overruled Grant’s detractors: “’I can’t spare this man; he fights.” Grant was the ultimate pugnacious combat commander, a pit bull who would never let him go once he had sunk his teeth into an enemy. Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
5. William T. Sherman

Hated in the South to this day for the devastation he brought them, Sherman stands out as the most clear-sighted strategist of the Civil War. He understood that to break the Confederacy’s indomitable will he had to make war too terrible to bear. His concept of “tough war” presaged the “total war” concept unleashed in the 20th century. Sherman achieved his famous “March to the Sea” by an advance that constantly threatened multiple objectives, keeping the Confederate defenders off balance. Only Jackson and Forrest marched armies faster, and no one marched one further than Sherman. Unlike Grant, he seldom threw his men away attacking heavily defended places or entrenched enemies; instead obtaining his objective by maneuver. He made war hell for his opponents, not his own soldiers. Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The Story of the South: In Sovereign and Independent Character
4. George Washington

This list could not exist had Washington failed. He was a master of guerilla warfare, using maneuver and audacity both to preserve his inferior army and to defeat British forces where possible. His ultimate victory over the greatest power of the age presaged that of Nguyên Giáp, the North Vietnamese generalissimo who defied America in the Vietnam War. He was an inspiration to his troops, sharing their terrible privations and always placing himself at the point of maximum danger in battle. Tactically he was solid if not overly imaginative. But as a strategist, he ran circles around nearly every commander the British sent against him. His boldness was perfectly matched with prudence, a combination necessary for a general fighting with limited resources against an enemy with control of both the land and the sea. Despite the odds against him, he seldom lost a battle and always succeeded in extricating his army to fight another day. In the end, he understood how to win the war he was fighting, and in so doing birthed the United States of America. Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
8 things to know about the Founding Fathers

Top 10 quotes from 1776
3. Robert E. Lee

Often placed at the top of lists like this, Lee’s legend benefited from dying soon after the war. He made grave tactical and strategic mistakes (particularly at Gettysburg), and was greatly aided by the help of such able sub-commanders as Jackson and Longstreet (who often gets little credit). Lee was also an inspiring commander, a bold strategist, and a tactical innovator who came very close to winning an unwinnable war. His dauntless energy and aggressiveness during the Seven Days Battle are particularly striking when compared to the performance of his adversary, the over-cautious McClellan. His two invasions of the North were well-conceived and had every chance of succeeding. The first was thwarted in part by lost orders falling into his enemy’s hands, resulting in McClellan being able to concentrate his forces against Lee’s at Antietam. At Gettysburg, a campaign which was initially even more successful, he may have been suffering from a mild heart attack (this would explain his lethargy and lack of imagination during the battle). Had anyone else been in command of the Confederate war effort in the last two years, the war would have ended much sooner than it did. Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Robert E. Lee: A man of honor and a Virginian
2. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson

His reputation for solidness on the battlefield earned him the name “Stonewall.” But this nickname belies the aggressiveness and rapidity of movement that became his hallmark on the battlefield. During the Valley Campaign, Jackson marched his infantry brigades so quickly and covered so much ground that they came to be known as Jackson’s “Foot Cavalry.” Brave, eccentric, religiously upright, and bold, Jackson was at his best when given independent command, perfectly complimenting his commander-in-chief, Lee, as a Corps commander. His crowning glory at Chancellorsville cost him his life when he was wounded coming back from an evening reconnaissance by his own sentries. It can be argued that the Battle of Gettysburg (and the Civil War) was lost the moment those shots echoed in the woods at Chancellorsville.
1. George S. Patton, Jr.

No general was more controversial—or effective—during WWII than old “Blood-and-Guts.” The only American commander admired and feared by the German high command, Patton was the ultimate progenitor of mobile combat. Like Forrest, he was a prophet of mobile warfare and advocated using every vehicle in his Third Army—artillery caissons to supply trucks to the backs of tanks—to transport his infantry so that they could keep up with the relentless pace he set for his armor. The ultimate warrior, he was the U.S. Army’s Master of the Sword and an Olympic competitor (1912, in the Military Pentathlon). As a young cavalry officer, he chasedPancho Villa into Mexico. (During this campaign, he got into an Old West style gunfight with two of Villa’s lieutenants, killing them both!) He created and led America’s only armored brigade during the First World War. Before the Second World War, he was the primary exponent of armored warfare and quickly became America’s foremost “tank man” during the war. In Sicily at the head of 7th Army and in Europe leading 3rd Army he consistently displayed a boldness and aggressiveness that are the hallmark of great commanders throughout history. He combined the fearlessness of Grant with the aggressiveness of Jackson, and created in Third Army a force as mobile as that of Forrest’s. Even more theatrical than MacArthur, he is the general against which nearly every American general since has measured himself and sought to emulate. Above photo: Wikimedia Commons.

10 fascinating facts about Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant

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This is from the National Constitution Center

One hundred and fifty years ago Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant became forever connected in the home of Wilmer McLean.

Where they sign the surrender that ended The Civil War.

It said the war was started in the kitchen of Wilmer McLean and ended in his parlor.

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The names Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee are connected through their Civil War bond and the historic surrender, 150 years ago today, at Appomattox Court House. But how much did Lee and Grant have in common?

Both were noted military commanders and graduates of West Point. Beyond that here is a look at two legendary figures and their different paths to that day in 1865 that started the end of the Civil War.

1. Robert E. Lee was among the bluest of Virginia blue bloods. The Lees were synonymous with the state and colony of Virginia. His father, “Light Horse” Harry Lee, fought with George Washington and gave the eulogy at Washington’s funeral.

2. Ulysses S. Grant was not a blue blood. Grant grew up in Ohio and his father was a tanner. His grandfather also fought in the Revolutionary War at Bunker Hill.

3. The family of Lee’s future wife didn’t think he was good enough for her. When Lee made his intentions known to marry Mary Anna Custis, his future father-in-law objected, because Light Horse Harry Lee had fallen on hard times. Eventually, the Custis family relented. Mary Anna Custis was also Martha Washington’s great-granddaughter.

4. Ulysses wasn’t Grant’s first name. The future general and president was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in Point Pleasant, Ohio. A mistake on his application to West Point changed his name to Ulysses S. Grant.

5.    Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point. He was called the “Marble Model” because of his drive and focus at the military academy.

6. Grant was an average student at West Point. Coming from humble backgrounds, Grant struggled with some courses at the academy, but he astounded his classmates with this ability as a horseman.

7. Lee’s star was continually rising in the U.S. military. First as an engineer and then as a tactical commander under Winfield Scott in the Mexican-American War, Lee was called “the best soldier” in that conflict by Scott. In 1852, Lee was named as superintendent of West Point.

8. Grant struggled with his first military career. Although he also fought with distinction in the Mexican-American War, Grant was moved to several military posts and resigned from the Army in 1854 without explanation.

9. Lee was briefly in the Union army at the Civil War’s start. After the war started on April 12, 1861, Lee was offered command of the Union army. But he resigned his Union army commission on April 20, and he accepted command of Confederate troops in Virginia.

10. Grant had to earn his military place in the Civil War. He was first appointed to train a volunteer regiment in Illinois that needed discipline. After tackling more difficult tasks, Grant won the Union’s first victory of war at Fort Donelson, and he became a national figure known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

7 W&L students demand removal of Confederate flags, decry view of Lee’s legacy

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This is from The Roanoke Times.

Look closely at the title of this article it does not say the entire Washington and Lee University student body.

It says seven multicultural,multiracial affirmative action malcontents demand not request, but they demand.

This malcontents are questioning Robert E.Lee’s honor yet they have no honor themselves.

 

Some Washington & Lee University law students want the university to live by its honor code and stop glorifying its namesake by acknowledging the dishonorable side of both Robert E. Lee and W&L.

Seven multiracial students, calling themselves The Committee, have demanded that W&L remove the flags of the Confederacy from the campus and Lee Chapel, acknowledge and apologize for participating in chattel slavery, recognize Martin Luther King Day on the undergraduate campus and ban neo-Confederates from marching across campus to the chapel on Lee-Jackson Day.

If their demands are not met by Sept. 1, they will engage in civil disobedience.

University President Kenneth Ruscio on Wednesday issued a letter to the W&L community that said “we take these students’ concerns seriously. The issues they have raised are important, and we intend to address them.”

Ruscio said W&L invites a prominent speaker during MLK Legacy Week; the undergraduate faculty decides whether classes are held on MLK day; the eight battle flags in Lee Chapel, representing armies of the Confederate States of America, are educational and historical, and the university does not observe Lee-Jackson Day.

His message did not indicate whether W&L would meet any of the students’ demands, but that he invited them to meet with the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate that has been holding focus groups on these same issues.

The students said that they emailed the committee four days ago and had yet to hear a response.

Washington & Lee last fall announced W&L Promise, a program that covers tuition for students whose families earn less than $75,000 a year as a way to broaden the student body diversity along “social-economic, geographical, racial, ethnic — the widest possible use of the term,” Ruscio said then. The private school in Lexington, among the nation’s first universities, has in recent years promoted itself as an inclusive, diverse institution.

Anjelica Hendricks and Dominik Taylor, two of the seven law students who formed the protest committee, said they bought into W&L’s message at first. Both grew up in Virginia and understand the culture but also know that history needs to be presented in its context.

“As a native of Virginia, I understand that every prestigious school in Virginia is named after a slave owner. I went to James Madison University,” Hendricks said. “JMU was very comfortable. The name of the institution didn’t matter. It was all about the atmosphere.”

She found W&L and Lexington welcoming when she visited, but the experience soured immediately upon moving in.

“During orientation we had to go inside Lee Chapel and sign an honor contract to uphold our honor according to the honor of Robert E. Lee,” she said. Signing that contract in the shadow of a slave owner, and beneath plaques honoring Confederate soldiers and battle flags bowing to a movement to keep black people enslaved is hurtful, she said.

“I’m a native of Richmond. I know what it’s like to remember the past; however, I didn’t feel the racism and disrespect as I did in being asked to uphold an honor that aligns with the views of Lee,” she said.

The Committee draws upon the honor code in presenting its grievances. “The time has come for us, as students, to ask that the university hold itself responsible for its past and present dishonorable conduct and for the racist and dishonorable conduct of Robert E. Lee.”

Lee, a native Virginian and West Point graduate, resigned his commission in the U.S. Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during most of the fighting. He was named president of the then-Washington College in Lexington months after his surrender at Appomattox and died in office in 1870. The college trustees added his name to George Washington’s almost immediately. The former commander-in-chief of Confederate forces is buried in Lee Chapel. Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is buried nearby in Lexington.

Taylor said that even if the university does not officially celebrate Lee-Jackson Day, it hurts students and faculty of color by granting a permit to neo-Confederates to march across campus and hold a ceremony at Lee Chapel. The private university can ban this group, the law students said.

“They are not entitled to not be offended,” said Brandon Dorsey, commander of Camp 1296 of the Lexington-based Stonewall Brigade of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who each year organizes Lee-Jackson Day in Lexington. “Second, it’s an indictment on the university that they aren’t better educating their students on the values and principles that Lee stood for that they would consider having these demands met.”

Dorsey said Lee was called the “marble man because he was considered exemplary for his behavior toward others.” He said Lee only had slaves when he acted as executor of his father-in-law’s estate for a brief period of time and that he released them.

The students said that benign view of Lee whitewashes history.

Lee’s wife inherited 196 slaves upon her father’s death in 1857, and the will required that they were to be freed within five years. Historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor, who wrote “Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters,” has said that Lee continued to work the slaves for five years to make the estates more profitable. He broke up families, hired slaves to other families and petitioned the court to extend their servitude. They were granted their freedom on the same day the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.

The students want W&L to acknowledge that Lee owned slaves and oversaw their beatings.

Dorsey said W&L’s alumni would protest if the university bowed to the students’ demands to “remove Lee’s legacy.” He said he isn’t surprised by the demands and suspects liberal professors are behind the movement just as they were in pressuring the city of Lexington to ban all but government flags from its street poles. Dorsey’s group lost a lawsuit against the city’s flag ban.

“The university is a hotbed of these kinds,” he said. “They would fit better in Communist China than in the United States. They don’t have the right to control other people’s actions.”

Ruscio wrote in his letter that he impaneled a special committee last year “to explore the history of African Americans at Washington and Lee and to provide a report to me and to the community.” So far, the group has “met in only a preliminary manner,” he said.

 

Top 13 gifts politicians (and bureaucrats) gave to Virginians in 2013

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This is from the Virginia Bureau of Watchdog.org.

Now Virginia you have elected Terry The Puck McAuliffe as

governor the taxpayer giveaways have only begun.

What would Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Robert E. Lee about their beloved Virginia? 

 

By Kathryn Watson | Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau

 

                              13 WONDERFUL GIFTS: As you celebrate the holiday season, don’t forget the top 13 generous gifts Virginia officials gave the Commonwealth in 2013.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As you finish Christmas shopping, using all those hard-earned dollars, take comfort in knowing Virginia politicians and bureaucrats have been spending your money just the same.

In 2013, Virginia leaders used taxpayer dollars and time to give back to the commonwealth and the people who put them in power. They’ve doled out millions to an NFL team with a losing record; millions on state equipment that’s gone missing; and hundreds of thousands on the governor’s legal bills, to name just a few.

Of the many ways Virginia officials gifted the commonwealth in 2013, here’s are our top 13 picks:

13. Doling out millions in taxpayer money to an NFL team with an atrocious record 

The Washington Redskins may be embarrassing all their NFL fans this season with a losing record, but don’t blame their malfunction on Virginia government. Richmond city taxpayers forked over $11.2 million to help build the team a new 17-acre practice facility, which it has been using since July. On top of that, Gov. Bob McDonnell handed the team a $4 million grant to keep its headquarters in Virginia. So much for all that taxpayer assistance.

                                                       GAME PLAN: With the Washington Redskins’ losing record this year, it looks like all those Virginia tax dollars for their facilities went to waste.

12. Borrowing money to fund pension liabilities it can’t afford

What does desperate look like? Taking on bonds to pay for unfunded city employee pensions. That’s what the Portsmouth City Council decided to do in April when it voted to borrow $175 million so it can have 80 cents for every dollar promised to its 1,200 members, instead of the roughly 30 cents per dollar it had before. The taxpayers, of course, will be footing that bill for years to come.

11. Only bungling $19 million in food stamps

This summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Virginia a $2 million “high performance bonus” for over-issuing “just” $19 million of the $1.4 billion in food stamps it dispersed in fiscal 2012. Of course, all that is taxpayer money. How would you like a bonus at your job for such a small oversight?

10. Misplacing millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded property

What are state agencies doing with all the expensive assets they buy with taxpayer dollars? Nobody knows. From incinerators to grand pianos, Virginia public universities and agencies have lost track of about $8 million in fixed assets since 2010. Nice to know your money is being well spent, right?

9. Making taxpayers foot the PR bill for corruption charges, controversial projects

In 2013, politicians and bureaucrats managed to spend your taxpayer money to make themselves look good. In the wake of insider deals, cronyism and a lack of transparency within the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Northern Virginia, the maligned authority decided to pay $90,000 a year for a strategic communications firm to fix its image. Not to be outdone, this fall the Virginia Department of Transportationbudgeted nearly $300,000 to bolster its image and another state agency’s image, and to persuade the public the controversial Bi-County Parkway linking Prince William and Loudon Counties is a great idea.

8. Recording citizens’ license plates and keeping them in a database

There’s no need to fret — the Virginia State Police have your back. And possibly, your license plate information. From 2009 until early 2013, the state police randomly collected license plate data at events such as political rallies. But after Virginia’s attorney general earlier this year said that wasn’t quite legal, the police changed their practice. Now, they destroy any collected data within 24 hours, so long as it isn’t related to an ongoing criminal investigation.

IT’S A BIRD! Virginia is leading the way in drone research, like it or not.

7. Volunteering to pursue (more) drone research

Virginia isn’t only looking out for you on the roads, but from the sky, too. Virginia leaders have volunteered the commonwealth as frontrunners in drone research. Once a moratorium on drone research ends in July 2015, one expert says the technology will invade people’s privacy everywhere.

6. Sticking taxpayers with the legal bills for the governor’s many woes

The governor’s office assured taxpayers everywhere that they were covering Gov. Bob McDonnell’s legal bills only in the governor’s official capacity in the embezzlement case against former Executive Mansion chef Todd Schneider. But when that case finished, the bills continued to come. You can thank the governor for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he’s billing you, the taxpayer, to sort out his plethora of personal and professional legal woes.

5. One of the largest tax increases in memory — from a Republican governor and House

Before he was elected, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell pledged not to raise taxes. But, with the winter 2013 transportation legislation, he has — by about $6 billion over the next five years — and he had plenty of Republican support to back him up. Your pocketbook will probably feel one of the largest tax increases in recent Virginia memory for years to come. PolitiFact gave the Republican governor a “full flop” ratingfor breaking that promise.

4. A state spending list with no real plan to fund it

Everyone wants to have nice things. So, while running for governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe pledged those nice things. But, as debate moderators such as NBC’s Chuck Todd painfully pointed out, McAuliffe has no real way to pay for them. And Medicaid expansion — McAuliffe’s revenue plan — isn’t a reliable piggy bank for funding government, some experts say. The upshot of it all is that if McAuliffe goes forward with his 10-point plan as governor, taxpayers will get the bill someway, somehow.

3. The nastiest election maybe ever  

A NASTY RACE: The nasty race between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe couldn’t be over soon enough for voters.

It’s bad enough that Virginia’s two major political parties had to pick gubernatorial candidates with larger unfavorable poll ratings than favorable ratings. But on top of that, largely out-of-state donors funneled millions into some of the nastiest TV ads the Old Dominion has seen. And throughout campaign season, Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe focused on attacking each other, rather than honing their own positions. It’s no wonder that 6.5 percent of Virginia voters picked Libertarian Robert Sarvis for governor. And it’s no wonder the most common reaction from people of all political persuasions the day after the election was something along the lines of, “I’m just glad it’s over.”

2. A governor-elect tied to not one, but two federal investigations

When governor-elect Terry McAuliffe takes his gubernatorial oath on Jan. 11, he’ll be sworn in against the backdrop of not one, but two federal investigations. The inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are conducting separate inquiries into actions involving McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive company and its use of a federal investor-visa program. Time will tell how those investigations play out during McAuliffe’s term. But Virginians who voted for McAuliffe can’t complain on this one. They asked for this gift when they gave him 47.74 percent of the vote Nov. 5.

1. The stain Gov. Bob McDonnell’s ‘Gift-gate’ scandal leaves on Virginia’s noble name

Above perhaps all else, Virginians value honor. So when the story unraveled throughout early 2013 that Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife had dubious ties to a wealthy businessman and accepted thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of gifts from him, Virginians everywhere lamented. And with that scandal, the “Virginia Way” — the term Virginians associate with the state’s history of honor, trust, mutual respect and compromise — was perhaps forever stained. The scandal isn’t just embarrassing to the governor and to the state’s lax gift and disclosure laws, but also to the entire commonwealth. Perhaps the best true gift Virginia politicians could offer in 2014 arestronger disclosure laws to help mend the state’s transparency for taxpayers and reputation to the rest of the country.

— Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau, and can be reached at kwatson@watchdog.org.

 

 

Southern Discomfort: U.S. Army seeks removal of Lee, ‘Stonewall’ Jackson honors

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This is from The Washington Times.

This is outrageous Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Thomas  

Johnathan ” Stonewall Jackson were great tacticians.

This history revision bullshi* has gone too far.

ILLUSTRATION Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson (L) and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee

Revisionist history would remove portraits of Confederate legends.

The U.S. Army War College, which molds future field generals, has begun discussing whether it should remove its portraits of Confederate generals — including those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

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.


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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 person was struck by the fact we have quite a few Confederate images,” she said, adding that the portraits were rehung on a third-floor hallway. “[Lee] was certainly not good for the nation. This is the guy we faced on the battlefield whose entire purpose in life was to destroy the nation as it was then conceived. … This is all part of an informed discussion.”

It is the kind of historical cleansing that could spark an Army-wide debate: Lee’s portrait adorns the walls of other military installations and government buildings.

Two portraits of Lee are on display at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.: In the Cadet Mess Hall is a painting of Lee when he was superintendent as an Army captain. A portrait of Lee in full Confederate regalia hangs on the second floor of Jefferson Hall, the campus library.

Opened in 1901 to study the lessons of war, the Army War College is a history class and modern warfare symposium for lieutenant colonels and colonels who know that a diploma from the institution helps their chances with the promotion board. The college graduates more than 300 U.S. officers, foreign students and civilians in two classes each year.

Lee’s life story is full of personal conflict.

Born and raised in Virginia, the son of a Revolutionary War hero and governor, Lee graduated from the Army’s premier undergraduate school, West Point, and returned as its superintendent. Serving as a combat engineer, he distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War, during which he was wounded and received several battlefield promotions. Yet he broke with the Union and agreed to lead the Army of Northern Virginia for the Confederate States of America.

Jackson, who also received battlefield promotions during the Mexican-American War, is another West Point graduate.

In 1975, Congress enacted a joint resolution reinstating Lee’s U.S. citizenship in what could be considered a final act to heal Civil War wounds. The resolution praised Lee’s character and his work to reunify the nation. It noted that six months after surrendering to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Lee swore allegiance to the Constitution and to the Union.

“This entire nation has long recognized the outstanding virtues of courage, patriotism and selfless devotion to duty of General R.E. Lee,” the joint resolution stated.

President Ford traveled to Arlington HouseLee’s former home in Virginia, to sign the resolution into law on Aug. 5, 1975.

Ford quoted from a letter that Lee wrote to a former Confederate soldier: “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 said: “As a soldier, Gen. 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.”
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/17/robert-e-lee-and-stonewall-jackson-tributes-face-a/?page=2#ixzz2nt859clN

 

Surprising Story: True Courage Not Confined to the Battlefield

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This from Clash Daily.

This is a story about General Robert E. Lee.

This is one more reason I admire Robert E. Lee.

 

It was a relatively small church. The parishioners knew each other quite well. Or did they?

Families had helped build each other’s houses. Barn raisings had been a common, even social event. Their children had courted each other, some having gone on to marriage. They had stood together and cried together at the gravesides of countless loved ones over the past five years. They had gone through a most traumatic period as a community. Now it was time for the healing to begin.

Together in church one day, they would be challenged, and together, most would fail.

Such is the story of human history, and sadly, of the Body of Christ known to the world as “the Church.” Sometimes, there is but one man who has the courage of his convictions and that sole man’s General-Robert-e-lee (1)faithfulness in the heat of battle may melt the hard-hearted and inspire the lesser men around him.

One sunny day in a little Virginian church, parishioners gathered to observe what is known in much of Christendom as The Lord’s Supper – the Eucharist. As the people were about to keep the ritual, a young man – a young, “black man” entered from the back and approached the podium to, himself, partake.

There was a noticeable gasp, an uncomfortable, drawn out silence and even the parson seemed at a loss for this was no mere mistake, this was an outright offense.

Did this man know not of his station in life? What insolence! He had his own place of worship – a “black” assembly, but this was “ours?” Something had to be done!

Just when it seemed that chaos might break out, a distinguished elderly man arose from a middle pew.

Well known and well respected, not just in this little Virginia chapel but also in the whole of the Confederacy, and throughout the entire country, he would set things straight. There seemed to be a collective sigh of relief, the congregation was able to breathe again and some of the men were eager in their anticipation of the coming “fix.”

Approaching the young man – the young, “black man” whose head was now bowed as he kneeled at the altar, the elderly gentleman, to the surprise of those assembled, took his place next to him; next to the black man.

Without saying a word, he slowly kneeled; his age and the cost of war made it slow but deliberate, then looked his parson in the eyes and nodded as if to say, “get on with it.” He then bowed his head again to wait his turn.

It may have shocked some in attendance, though they’d never challenge their hero on it, in public or private. It most certainly shocked the young man who rightly or wrongly decided to interrupt a church service to make a statement.

The parson began the ritual and the young man, (who never really was that young, “black man” but a fellow believer, even a brother in Christ), was able to partake.

Shamefully, not because of the will of the people, or the wisdom of the parson, but because of the courage of one old man what could have turned into a terrible wrong was made right, the wind and the waves rebuked.

As the old man took the wafer, another man rose and slowly made his way to the front, and then another followed by another.

It would have been very easy for the old man to stay in his seat; they were his friends, they were his family and he, their hero. The peer pressure must have been overwhelming, but he did the right thing, he did the hard thing.

A few years prior, on another battlefield, this “old man” faced the pressure of another battle with an overwhelming enemy. Outnumbered nearly three to one, poorly supplied, and facing the annihilation of his army, he had to make another hard choice. Surely the easy thing to do would be to retreat, fight the battle another day or to at least dig in and let someone else take the initiative, but not he. He did the hard thing, what many would call, the impossible thing: he attacked and he won.

Many may know what General Robert E. Lee achieved at Chancellorsville in early May of 1863, but only a few, what he accomplished in that little chapel after the war had ended.

Some say that bravery in the face of the enemy is the highest and most honorable of virtues. Others would argue that it is the courage one must muster in the face of friends, family and peers, when those dearest to you are out of line, that is the epitome of valor.

Hollywood loves the charged ending with a charismatic character in righteous indignation calling down fiery condemnation on those in the wrong – a scorched earth campaign like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men or Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Sadly, in the face of unrepentant sin, this is sometimes necessary. But notice the grace bestowed by the good general: grace to a young black man with an agenda, grace to a hesitant, paralyzed parson, but most of all, to the stilted crowd.

There was no condemnation here, no presumption about their character. The old general simply did the right thing and led by example and he did it in a manner so as to give those in his company an “out” so that they too could join him in victory.

This is noble! This is magnanimous! This is the heart of true, Christian courage!

*To find out more about the inspiring life of Robert E. Lee, read R.E. Lee: A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman (preferably the 4 volume set).

Image: Courtesy of: http://billingshistory2010.wikispaces.com/Brian_Battlefield_Tactics

Read more at http://clashdaily.com/2013/11/surprising-story-true-courage-confined-battlefield/#Jwrb37F4ZCdMvBlY.99

 

NAACP to Lee County: ‘Racist’ Robert E. Lee portrait must go

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This is from BizPac Review.

 

The NNALCP  needs to just shut up and go away.

I say leave General Robert E.Lee‘s right where it is.

RE Lee-full

The president of the Lee County, Fla. chapter of the NAACP has petitioned theLee County Commission to remove a portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee, claiming it symbolizes racism.

The painting that the NAACP’s James Muwakkil finds so offensive has hung in the Lee County Commission chambers for years. The county was named for the late military hero 22 years after the close of the war between the states, according to The Washington Times.

“That painting is a symbol of racism. It’s a symbol of divisiveness, and it doesn’t unify Lee County. It divides Lee County,” Muwakkil said in a letter, the Fort Meyers News-Press reported.

Muwakkil’s petition will force a public hearing on the issue, according to Commissioner Larry Kiker.

“I would be looking for thoughtful conversation based upon the historical value and why it was put there to begin with, mainly because I don’t know too much about it,” Kiker told the News-Press.

Virginia assisted Lee County in obtaining a suitable Lee painting — in 1939, according to the News-Press.

Lee’s position with the Confederate Army had nothing to do with his position on slavery, and everything to do with his loyalty to Virginia.

In an 1856 letter to his wife, Lee wrote, (ACCORDING TO WHAT SOURCE)“In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country.”

He also supported the efforts of his wife and daughter to maintain an illegal school for slaves on their plantation and petitioned slave owners to allow slaves to volunteer for the army, saying he could make soldiers out of any human being with arms and legs, according to Wikipedia.

Despite Lee’s history, every now and then the local NAACP chapter petitions the county to take some action regarding the painting. The last time was in 2007, when it asked the commission to hang a painting of President Abraham Lincoln near Lee’s. The measure failed.

 

148 Years Ago Today

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On Good Friday April 14,1865 Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

It was five days after Confederate General Robert E.Lee 

Surrendered to Union General Ulysses S.Grant.

President and Mrs.Lincoln along with Major Henry Rathbone

were attending a play at Ford’s Theater.

The play was Our American Cousin staring Miss Laura Keene.

Some time after 10 pm. John Wilkes Booth entered the

Presidential box sneaking up behind President Lincoln.

After stopping behind the president Booth fired a .44 caliber ball

Behind Lincoln’s left ear which lodged behind his right ear.

Major Henry Rathbone attempted to stop Booth’s escape

Booth had a knife and stabbed Major Rathbone severally.

Major Rathbone was able to grab Booth’s booth that caused

Booths spur to catch on the bunting on the box.

In the fall Booth broke his leg brandishing his knife

Both shouted Sic Semper Tyrannis and escaped.

The unconscious President was carried across the street

to The Petersen boarding house.

Lincoln was placed diagonally across the bed as it was

too short for the president.

So the death watch had begun for President Lincoln.

At 07:22 am President Abraham Lincoln died at age 56

Secretary of War Edwin M.Stanton said “Now He Belongs To the Ages”.

 

 

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