Slavery and white supremacist culture
July 2, 2020
To The Eagle:
Of the 360,222 Union casualties who died in the Civil War, 16,000 lie cradled in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery. Each gravestone is a monument to a soldier who gave the last full measure of his devotion toward the preservation of the United States of America.
The first veteran interred there was 21 year old Pvt. William Christman. On May 17, 1864, he was laid to rest beneath an arbor of Arlington mansion where Mary Lee, wife of turncoat Gen. Robert E. Lee, had enjoyed reading in warm weather, surrounded by the scent of honeysuckle and jasmine.
The Lees owned 196 slaves and cherished their 1100 acre Virginia plantation, Arlington, from which they fled upon relocating to Richmond where Gen. Lee began to organize the insurgent forces of the South. As the war escalated, the Union government seized Arlington.
Union casualties mounted and overwhelmed Washington’s cemeteries. Army Quartermaster Gen. Montgomery Meigs designated Arlington to become one of 13 new graveyards for those killed during the Civil War.
Loyalist newspapers lauded the creation of Arlington National Cemetery. "This is a righteous use of the estate of the Rebel General Lee," read the Washington Morning Chronicle.
Unlike military defendants of the Nuremberg trials a century later, secessionist president Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert Lee and his general staff escaped execution for their treasonous bloodletting of this nation, a crime against humanity. Would those who glorified such men with public memorials throughout the South also like to erect statues in fond remembrance of the Nazis who also enslaved and extirpated their minorities in the great cause of preserving Aryan racial purity? It is my opinion that, except for the gravestones of secessionist soldiers, our Federal government should forbid the display of any statue, monument, engraving, flag or place name glorifying the men responsible for the deaths of 618,222 Americans in a civil war devoted to perpetuating the institution of slavery and Southern white supremacist culture.