January is often referred to as "Generals Month" as 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 Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two of these men, Lee and Jackson, are especially noteworthy.
Without question, Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson were two of the greatest military leaders of all time. Even more, the Lee and Jackson tandem is regarded by many military historians as perhaps having formed the greatest battlefield duo in the history of warfare. If Jackson had survived the battle of Chancellorsville, it is very possible that the South would have prevailed at Gettysburg and perhaps would even have won the War Between the States.
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 T.J. Jackson were two of the finest Christian gentlemen this country has ever produced! Both their character and their conduct are 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. As for General Jackson, it has never been demonstrated that he ever had any slaves to free. In addition, unlike Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, neither Lee nor Jackson ever spoke disparagingly of the black race.
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 even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free them. They were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed after the conclusion of the war. Grant's excuse for not freeing his slaves was that, "good help is so hard to come by these days."
Of course, Lincoln's views on slavery and the black race are widely known (at least by those familiar with history). In fact, if Lincoln were alive today, he would no doubt be identified as a white supremacist.
For example, in an 1858 debate Lincoln said, "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior. I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." Lincoln routinely made such comments.
Contrast the sentiments of Lincoln and Grant to those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jackson. For example, it is well established that Jackson regularly conducted a Sunday School class for black children. This was a ministry he took very seriously. As a result, he was dearly loved and appreciated by the children he taught.
Furthermore, 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. Jackson said he wished to see "the shackles struck from every slave."
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 is the height of absurdity! It is equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the memory of these remarkable Christian gentlemen!
Instead of allowing a secular humanist, politically correct culture sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson (and their compatriots), 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!
© Chuck Baldwin
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