Skip to comments.President Eisenhower Letter-Honor Robert E. Lee
Posted on 10/17/2006 5:18:26 PM PDT by bushpilot1
Eisenhower letter regarding Robert E. Lee
President Dwight Eisenhower wrote the following letter in response to one he received dated August 1, 1960, from Leon W. Scott, a dentist in New Rochelle, New York. Scotts letter reads:
Dear Mr. President:
At the Republican Convention I heard you mention that you have the pictures of four (4) great Americans in your office, and that included in these is a picture of Robert E. Lee.
I do not understand how any American can include Robert E. Lee as a person to be emulated, and why the President of the United States of America should do so is certainly beyond me.
The most outstanding thing that Robert E. Lee did was to devote his best efforts to the destruction of the United States Government, and I am sure that you do not say that a person who tries to destroy our Government is worthy of being hailed as one of our heroes.
Will you please tell me just why you hold him in such high esteem?
Leon W. Scott
Eisenhower's response, written on White House letterhead on August 9, 1960 reads as follows:
August 9, 1960
Dear Dr. Scott:
Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War Between the States the issue of Secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lees caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the nations wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
My opinion of Ike just went up.
The letter writer obviously did not know his history.
The CSA never sought to destroy the US government,only to secede from it.Had the South won, the US would still have existed....but somewhat smaller.
I always knew there was good in that man (Ike)
If he had only treated Gen. George Patton better. Eisenhower and Bradley used Patton and then threw him away when he spoke the truth about the Soviets.
This letter from Ike is just a Rove plot to get votes in the South [/DU moonbat tinfoil hat mode]
I liked Ike, but, not as much as Patton or MacArthur.
I think you might be being a bit harsh on Ike on that one. Ike and Patton were counter parts to each other in many ways. Ike, the consummate politician, but possibly a weak field commander. Patton, the ultimate field commander and a terrible politician.
Recall that after the notoriously overblown 'slapping' incident, it was Ike and others who fought hard to save Patton's job and get him back into the fight. That was done for one primary reason: Ike recognized Patton as being the best we had.
After the War to do what Patton proposed would never have been unacceptable to Truman, Congress and the American people. If Ike had not reined him in, Truman would have, just like he did Mac.
Ike read the writing on the wall, Patton was just a better predictor of the lack of character in the Soviets.
Remember also, Patton believed he was a man of destiny, born to serve one primary purpose: to defeat a strong opponent thus preserving that which he was fighting for. He achieved that, and I am sure, departed the world content with what he had achieved.
Robert E. Lee was a solid soldier from the time he graduated from West Point. Legend has it that his first officer efficiency report as a 2LT was - "He seen his duty, and he done it." That was it - short and sweet.
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