Historical accounts not always accurate

DEAR EDITOR:

In a Sept. 17 letter, a writer said Robert E. Lee was a traitor. Robert E. Lee, the son of Revolutionary War hero, Henry “Light-Horse” Lee, was George Washington’s cavalry officer.

Robert E. Lee was a most respected soldier in the 19th century and was asked by Lincoln to command the Union army in April 1861. Lee refused saying he could not go to war against his friends, family and homeland of Virginia. Rather, he accepted a commission of general in the Confederate army.

Lee was quoted as saying, “A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets has no charm for me…”

There was nothing unconstitutional about Lee’s actions nor the states seceding from the Union. Proof of this was that Lee was never tried for treason.

The letter writer continued with myths about the Confederate battle flag.

The Confederate battle flag never flew over slave ships that originated from New England; however, the U.S. flag did. These slave ships came from northern ports and had northern financing and navigated by northern captains. In recent years the Confederate battle flag has been increasingly attacked as a symbol of slavery. If it was immoral for southern plantation owners to own slaves, shouldn’t it be just as immoral to import them?

A common myth about Lincoln’s war was that it was about slavery. This is not supported by fact. Case in point: the Corwin amendment, written in February 1861, “…would shield domestic institutions” of the states (which in 1861 included slavery) from the constitutional amendment process and from abolition or interference by Congress…”

Lincoln, in his first inaugural address on March 4, said of the Corwin Amendment:

“I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution … has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service … holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”

Senators and representatives from the seven slave states did not vote on the Corwin Amendment. They had already declared their secession from the Union.

Lincoln’s tyrannical presidency was responsible for the deaths of over 620,000 Americans. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus. He had newspaper editors jailed for disagreeing about his war. Lincoln’s term was just another example where the victor tells history and how inaccurate history can be.

Many young U.S. citizens have fallen into this mob mentality trap created in the PC snowstorm. What happened having a mind of your own?

THOMAS HUFNAGEL

Niles

COMMENTS