As usual, a recent writer has chosen to distort history rather than follow the words with which he ends “… that we may account for what happened … truthfully.”
He wants to give a pass to Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson because they “…did not own slaves” as if that absolves them of (a) ignoring the oaths they had taken to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and (b) their obvious support of the Confederacy and the principles upon which it was founded and for which the Civil War was being fought to maintain. And these principles aren’t “states’ rights” or “economic” issues as the writer often likes to espouse.
If you want to know the reasons for the Civil War, I suggest you read the famous “Cornerstone Speech” given by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah on March 21, 1861. Very clearly he indicated that, “Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” Stephens further states, “This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
Since Lee and Jackson and any others who switched allegiance obviously supported these Confederate government underlying principles and beliefs, I don’t think they deserve any historical recognition, especially monuments in their memory.
Michael F. Vezeau