Skip to comments.Remembering Two Great Americans
Posted on 01/19/2006 11:20:56 AM PST by sheltonmac
You probably won't find anything special printed on your calendar for the 19th and 21st of January. In case you are wondering, those are the respective birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
As a nation we have already honored Martin Luther King, Jr., and will commemorate the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln next month, but Lee and Jackson are especially dear to my heart. They were great men who embodied the inspiring courage, uncompromising honesty, principled conviction and moral fortitude we no longer see in our leaders today.
Both Lee and Jackson were men of action who fought valiantly to defend their homes and families. Jackson made it clear that if it were up to him, the South would "raise the black flag" and show no quarter to the enemy invading their homeland. They realized that while war was sometimes necessary, it should never be entered into lightly. As Lee put it, "It is good that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it."
Lee and Jackson were Southern gents through and through. Consider Lee's Definition of a Gentleman:
The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the sillythe forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light.
The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past.
A true man of Honor feels humble himself when he cannot help humbling others.
Jackson's wife, Mary Anna, wrote of her husband that he "was a great advocate for marriage, appreciating the gentler sex so highly that whenever he met one of the 'unappropriated blessings' under the type of truest womanhood, he would wish that one of his bachelor friends could be fortunate to win her."
Both Lee and Jackson believed in principle over pragmatism. Lee once said, "I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in so doing, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity." Jackson summed it up this way: "Duty is ours; consequences are God's."
Jackson never lived to see the fall of his beloved South, but Lee was gracious even in defeat. When approached by those who wished to remain bitter after surrendering he said, "Abandon your animosities and make your sons Americans." It was his position that "we must forgive our enemies. I can truly say that not a day has passed since the war began that I have not prayed for them."
Above all, Lee and Jackson were men of God. Lee loved to pray. He would be sure to let people know that he was praying for them, and he felt encouraged when he was remembered in their prayers. Once, upon hearing that others had been praying for him, he remarked, "I sincerely thank you for that, and I can only say that I am a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone, and that I need all the prayers you can offer for me."
Jackson was the epitome of a life devoted to prayer. No matter was too insignificant that it did not warrant communion with the Father: "I have so fixed the habit in my mind that I never raise a glass of water to my lips without asking God's blessing, never seal a letter without putting a word of prayer under the seal, never take a letter from the post without a brief sending of my thoughts heavenward. I never change my classes in the lecture room without a minute's petition for the cadets who go out and for those who come in."
Jackson had an intimate knowledge of the sovereignty of God and rested in the promises of his Heavenly Father. Following the loss of his first wife, Ellie, who died almost immediately after giving birth to a stillborn son, he wrote to his sister-in-law, "I have been called to pass through the deep waters of affliction, but all has been satisfied. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. I can willingly submit to anything if God strengthens me." It was this unshakeable faith that taught him "to feel as safe in battle as in bed."
The more I see what passes for leadership today in our government, in our churches and in our homes, the more I am convinced that we need men like Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson. I guess it's time for me to watch Gods and Generals again.
The days have long passed in this country where it could raise up a Lee OR a Jackson.
Another great article from Sheltonmac
I saw "Great Americans" and I thought the article was about Sean Hannity. ;^)
God Bless "Marse Robert" and "Stonewall" Jackson
Didn't you love the things that they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free
Some day soon, and it's a-gonna be one day ...
Anybody here seen my old friend Robert?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walkin' up over the hill,
With Stonewall, Nathan and John.
I do not celebrate or acknowledge MLK day and neither does my company. It frustrates me that banks and the Post Office do.
We should however have a Reagan day.
'Has anybody here seen'
With 18 brigades (over 30,000) they crossed into Fredericksburg, then a canal and into an open field. They marched in columns 300-400 yards for 8hrs and were slaughtered like sheep. The Irish Brigade was able to get within 50yrds. Not the original stone wall along Sunken Rd., but the original remaining open field a victim to development.
The only remaining part of the original wall. During the battle it was 500yrds long as high as 6ft. and made for a perfect breastwork.
On May 2, 1863 Lee and Jackson meet for the last time at 8AM here at Furnace Rd. and Old Plank Rd.
As sunset comes and night begins to fall Jackson makes the decision to recon Old Mountain Rd. but when the 18th North Carolina fire upon stragglers from the Union, their volley hits Jackson in three places. Here is where Jackson was hit on Old Mt. Rd.
Finally, from the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA., this is the frock worn by Robert E. Lee during the signing of surrender at the McClean house. This was a brand new frock that he wore (departing from his customary garb) because he wanted to depart wearing the uniform of a Confederate General. That is his saber and scabbard which the display said was never offered during the surrender nor did Grant ever request it. Finally, the pen he signed with.
THE SWORD OF ROBERT LEE by Abram Joseph Ryan (1839-1894)
Forth from its scabbard, pure and bright,
Flashed the sword of Lee!
Far in the front of the deadly fight,
High o'er the brave in the cause of Right
Its stainless sheen, like a beacon light,
Led us to Victory!
Out of its scabbard, where, full long,
It slumbered peacefully,
Roused from its rest by the battle's song,
Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong,
Guarding the right, avenging the wrong,
Gleamed the sword of Lee!
Forth from its scabbard, high in the air
Beneath Virginia's sky--
And they who saw it gleaming there,
And knew who bore it, knelt to swear
That where that sword led they would dare
To follow--and to die!
Out of its scabbard! Never hand
Waved sword from stain as free,
Nor purer sword led braver band,
Nor braver bled for a brighter land,
Nor brighter land had a cause so grand,
Nor cause a chief like Lee!
Forth from its scabbard! How we prayed
That sword might victor be;
And when our triumph was delayed,
And many a heart grew sore afraid,
We still hoped on while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee!
Forth from its scabbard all in vain
Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
Defeated, yet without stain,
Proudly and peacefully!
Don't kid yourself, we've got Americans today as great as these two men. It's just a lot harder to hear about them. Thanks to the lamestream media!!!!
I have noticed the coverage of Lee's birthday is lighter than previous years.
I wish the very nice pic of Nathan Bedford Forrest had come out, but that's the potluck you take when you GiggleSearch a pic. And it would have been nice if I could have worked Pat Cleburne in, [Stonewall's middle name was in fact *John*] but you get the idea.
. . . although, as my grandmother remarked, General Forrest was someone that you could not POSSIBLY ask to dinner ( . . . and if you had known my grandmother you'd understand why. She'd kill Forrest, or he'd kill her.)
Please! Do not dignify their opinion of themselves even by using the derogitive variant of that particular term.
They act like the enemy media, and should be so designated for so long as they continue.
up here we celebrate gen logan day.
in the mid-nineties they decided that one of the main roads in town needed to be changed from Logan st to dr. martin luther king jr blvd. it was said for a long time that the two were completely interchangeable and either could be used. we figured that since the street names were interchangeable, then that must mean the holiday was also.
incidently, they apparently aren't interchangeable any longer, all written references to logan are gone.
Out Texas way, we used to refer to that as prickly. But such are usually handy folks to have on your side during a scrap, and more often than not, they do a pretty fair job of leading by example, too.
Some are native Texans, others are drawn to Texas later in life, by inclination or circumstance. Forrest came to the Texas 1836 fight for independence from Mexico in his youth, but arrived after most of the affray was concluded. It likely made an impression on his future activities, however.
What do you mean we wouldn't know about today? Perhaps a damned Yankee wouldn't but here in Texas we're having a state holiday today. Confederate Heroes Day!
But she STILL wouldn't have invited him to dinner!
(I will say in my grandmama's defense that she left her white gloves and pearls behind when she was a Red Cross Gray Lady beginning at the end of WWI and a nurse in WWII.)
Great Generals who were TRAITORS to the Union and therefore the United States.
The Union was very loosely held together at that point in time, and whether official policy or not, the states wielded the power. It is unfair to call great Southern warriors traitors.
By that definition, the Revoloutionary generals and soldiers would be considered traitors.
Excellent job! I wish I could have the baby on Saturday - one on Jackson's birthday to match the previous one on Lee's birthday - but my daughters are going to a dance with their father and they'd never forgive me!
Civil War Post
In other words, by 1861, it was largely understood what the Union was. The secessionists were tilting at windmills by then. Even Lee and Davis thought secession to be wrong up to the moment (in Lee's case) of Virginia's secession from the union.
This is to honor a great gentlemen who (in hindsight) erred in supporting his State over the Union. Intent is an element of treason (well established by USSC case law) and he had no intent.
In the case of the Confederates, however, they were traitors to the Union, aka the United States.
I know. See post #29.
I understand what you are saying, but it is hard to back that far in time and make judgments. It was a completely different world, and they did what they thought they had to. I can respect that, and taht being said, I can also respect the resolve of Lincoln and the Union to fight.
And I wouldn't take Andy Jackson's word on anything. A stone cold brave man and a bonny fighter somewhat in the mold of Forrest, but a completely irresponsible occupant of the White House. And not fit to shine R.E.L.'s shoes.
It was what it was. The Union was victorious and we were better for it.
The only positive that would have come if Lincoln had let the south go (as many New Englanders wanted anyway) is that Cuba would have likely been annexed by the Confederacy. Therefore, when, by the 1870s and 1880s, when the Confederates would rejoin the union (due to high inflation caused by the printing of fiat money, and the lack of a coherent national economic policy in general, to say nothing of the need for industry), Cuba would have been a part of the United States.
And look how the tables have turned. Many of us, in the South, midwest, mid-atlantic, and west, would gladly give New England away.
Amen brother! The days of Americans being born with "the bark on" are long past. I truly pity the kids of tomorrow.
GREATEST General of the Civil War, IMHO!
When is George Thomas' birthday? He was the most consistently successful of any major Union field commander, but then I am prejudiced being a Virginian.
Sure...you might notice that the day goes practically uncelebrated or unnoticed in our state. Much to my dismay.
I however am flying my flag :)
Typical ignorant statement, from a typical ignorant Yankee.
Sherman....one of the greatest I agree
Typical ignorant statement, from a typical ignorant Yankee.
Don't kid yourself. There were plenty of mostly poor white Southerners who did not want to fight to maintain the southern aristocracy.
Hardly. The generals of the Confederacy came closer to upholding the ideals of the U.S. Constitution than most of those following the Unionist dictator.
I would not presume to claim to know which most of the founding fathers would have joined alongside. But we do know which was raised by Revolutionary War hero *Lighthorse Harry* Lee.
Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.
No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.
This is a most valuable, a most sacred right.'
--Abraham Lincoln; 1848
Though I disagree with the southern cause, I hold Lee in very high esteem. He was a rare and wonderful man. I'm so pleased I have a son who shares his birthdate today!
Read my posts. Andrew Jackson threatened to invade South Carolinia for the treasonous act of secession. Central Texas (the hill country) and Eastern Tennessee provided more troops to the Union than to the confederacy.
Born on July 31, 1816, in Southampton County, Virginia.