After receiving a complaint from “an unidentified official,” the U.S. Army War College is pondering whether to keep portraits of “enemies” like Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson hanging at the college.
According to the Washington Times, college spokesperson Carol Kerr said the complaining official was “struck by the fact that [the college] has quite a few Confederate images” and described Lee and Jackson as “enemies of the United States Army.”
The official said, “[Lee] was certainly not good for the nation. This is the guy we faced on the battlefield whose whole purpose in life was to destroy the nation as it was then conceived.”
It should be noted that Lee was a graduate of West Point who was wounded fighting for the United States in the Mexican-American War and who “received several battlefield promotions” from the U.S. Army during that war.
In addition to this, anyone familiar with Lee’s writings can tell you he did not fight offensively against the United States during the Civil War. Rather, he wrestled with how to respond to what he saw as a U.S. invasion of the southern states and decided his loyalties should lie with Virginia first and foremost. Thus his decision to lead the Army of Northern Virginia for the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Jackson also received battlefield promotions while fighting for the United States during the Mexican-American War. Moreover, Jackson afterward taught at Virginia Military Institute before taking a position with the Confederacy in defense of what he also saw as an invasion of his homeland.
The tactics and strategies of both Lee and Jackson have long been studied at the U.S. Army War College.
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