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Comes A Stillness
Townhall.com ^ | January 17, 2013 | Paul Greenberg

Posted on 01/17/2013 2:16:28 AM PST by Kaslin

They introduce themselves politely in restaurants or diners, in a movie lobby or at some civic event, even in front of the Little Rock gate in Atlanta, which has become a kind of Arkansas crossroads. ("You don't know me, but . . .") Then they thank me for remembering Robert E. Lee every January 19th with a column on his birthday.

They don't tarry, and I may never see them again. Then they fade away, much like the Army of Northern Virginia (R.E. Lee, General). They have a look about them, or rather a manner. They come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have the same, diffident way about them -- as if they were used to dealing with people as persons, rather than en masse as customers or readers or voters or some other impersonal category. They know how to visit with others. It's a Southern thing, no matter where it happens.

Let's just say they have a shared understanding. They may be older, genteel white ladies or young military cadets. Sometimes they're aging black men, usually with roots in the Deep South, who mention that they had a grandfather or great-uncle named Robert E. Lee Johnson or Robert E. Lee Wilson, much like their white counterparts. Whatever the differences in their appearance, they share a distinctive quality that is never imposing but very much there.

Sometimes they'll let you know they don't make a habit of this sort of thing, that they're not interested in reliving the past or anything like that. They're the furthest thing from the bane of such discussions in these latitudes, the professional Southerner. ("I'm no Civil War buff or big Confederate or anything -- I do well to tell Gettysburg from Vicksburg -- but I just wanted to say . . .")

They're never intrusive. Indeed, they are concise almost to the point of being curt for Southerners, a voluble breed. It's clear they wish to make no display. It's as if they just wanted to . . . enroll. To go on record, that's all, and leave it at that. They know The War is over and, like Lee, they would let it be over.

The quality they have in common may be deference -- not only to others, and certainly not to the general himself, for deference would not in any way approach their feeling on that subject, but a deference to the human experience, with all its defeats and losses. Maybe that is why so many of them are middle-aged or older, as if they had encountered some defeats and losses of their own -- losses and defeats that can never be erased, that will always be a part of them, but that they carry almost with grace. The pain will always be there, but now it is covered by forbearance. They have learned that there are certain hurts that, in order to be overcome, must be gone through. Continually. Till it is part of their ongoing character.

The name for the kind of deference they exude, unmistakable for anything else, a deference to fact and to sacrifice, is maturity. They have discovered that duty is not only burden and obligation but deliverance. They would never claim to understand Lee, and they certainly would not presume to praise him overtly. They just want to indicate how they feel about the General, to let us know the bond is shared, and go on. For where Lee is concerned, there is a silence, a diffidence, that says more than words can. Or as Aristotle said of Plato, there are some men "whom it is blasphemy even to praise."

Ever hear a couple of Southerners just passing the time, perhaps in some petty political quarrel, for we can be a quarrelsome lot, when the name Lee is injected into the argument? The air is stilled. Suddenly both feel ashamed of themselves. For there are some names that shame rhetoric, and when we use them for effect, the cheapness of it, the tinniness of it, can be heard at once, like tinkling brass. And we fall silent, rightly rebuked by our better selves.

To invoke such a presence, to feel it like old music always new, invariably gives pause. The young officer in Stephen Vincent Benet's "John Brown's Body" pauses before he enters Lee's tent to deliver his dispatch. Looking at the shadow of the figure within bent over his papers, knowing that The War is inevitably winding down, the messenger can only wonder:

What keeps us going on? I wish I knew. Perhaps you see a man like that go on. And then you have to follow.

The Lost Cause still has its shrines and rituals, dogmas and debates. For four exhilarating, excruciating, terrible years, it had a flag of its own -- several, in fact -- and an army and even something of a government. But in the end all those proved only transient reflections of what endures: the South, the ever-fecund South.

What held that disparate, desperate concept called the South together, and holds it together still from generation to generation, from heartland to diaspora? After all our defeats and limitations, why do we yet endure, and, in Faulkner's words, even prevail? What keeps us going on? I wish I knew. Perhaps you see a man like that go on. And then you have to follow. If there is a single name, a single syllable for that shared bond and depth and grief and aspiration, it is: Lee.

. .

No brief outline of the general's career can explain the effect of that name still: After a shining start at West Point, our young officer spends 12 years of tedium on the Army treadmill, followed by brief renown in the Mexican War, then a two-year leave to attend to matters at home. Returning to the service to put down a fateful little insurrection at Harper's Ferry that cast a great shadow, he declines a field command in the U.S. Army as a far greater insurrection looms, one he will lead. He accepts command of the military of his native country -- Virginia. Then there comes a series of brilliant campaigns that defy all the odds, at the end of which he surrenders. Whereupon he applies for a pardon, becomes a teacher, and makes peace.

What is missing from such an abrupt summary of the general, his life and career, is everything -- everything inward that made the man Robert E. Lee. His wholeness. His integrity. His unbroken peace within. There was about him nothing abrupt but everything respectfully direct -- in his manners, in his leadership, in his life and, when he finally struck the tent, in his death.

Yes, he would fight what has been called the most nearly perfect battle executed by an American commander at Chancellorsville, defeating an army two and a half times the size of his own and better equipped in every respect.

Even in retreat, he remained victorious. One single, terrible tally may say it better than all the ornate speeches ever delivered on all the dim Confederate Memorial Days that have passed since: In one single, terrible month, from May 12th to June 12th of 1864, from after The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, Grant's casualties on the other side would total 60,000 -- the same size as Lee's whole, remaining Army of Northern Virginia, poor devils.

In the end, it is not the Lee of Chancellorsville or of Appomattox who speaks to us, who quiets and assures us. It is not even the Lee of Fredericksburg and his passionate dispassion atop Marye's Heights as he watches the trapped federals below, poor devils, being destroyed. He was no stranger to pity. ("It is well that war is so terrible," he murmured, looking down at the carnage he had engineered, "or we should grow too fond of it.")

It is not even the Lee of Gettysburg who speaks to us, the Lee who would meet Pickett after it was over -- all over -- and say only: "All this has been my fault." And then submit his resignation as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Jefferson Davis may not have had much sense, but he had more sense than to accept that resignation.

In the end, it is the Lee who saw through all victory as clearly as he did all defeat who elevates and releases us, like one of the old Greek plays. It is the Lee who, for all his legend, could not command events but who was always in command of his response to them. Just to think on him now is catharsis. That is why his undying presence, just the mention of his name, was enough to lift men's gaze and send them forth again and again. It still does.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: gettysburg; southernculture
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To: wideawake

It is important to note that Atlanta had been burned by Hood before Sherman got there. Sherman cut off the railroad routes, and in a fit of temper, Hood set fire to his train which fire spread. The Union soldiers entering the city had as their first task, to put out the fires set by the Confederates.


101 posted on 01/18/2013 8:23:44 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: wideawake

Yes, he did one thing and said another.

That is why his two post war books should be classified as fiction - alternative history.


102 posted on 01/18/2013 8:30:22 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham
Jeez, irony is lost on you too. ''Chauvinism? Holy Smokes, that's rich. It's you Johnny Reb-wannabees who are chauvinistic, going on about the glory of ''The Old South'', waving The Stars and Bars all the damned time and venerating Lee like some demi-God. You're the modern equivalent Nicolas Chauvin. Always gets me to see Dixiecrats come here and run down conservatives.Point of fact chum I don't hate Southerners at all. I'm just not crazy about unrepentant modern day Confederates.
103 posted on 01/18/2013 9:06:28 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: wideawake; PeaRidge
wideawake, You contend that Sherman ordered the burning of only Atlanta and nowhere else? Sherman said that he burned Rome, Georgia, and he admitted after the war that he decided at the start of his march through Georgia and South Carolina to destroy Southern cities.

The destruction of Columbia, South Carolina by Sherman's troops is a prime example of Sherman looking the other way while his troops looted and burned wholesale. For information about what went on in Columbia, I suggest that you start at the following link to post 147 and subsequent posts all the way to post 229.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2559536/posts?page=147#147

Sherman later testified the following about his actions at Columbia (documented in Post 169 of the thread I just linked to):

Q. -- You testified, a little while ago, that it was very likely they [Sherman's own men] might burn Columbia, and you permitted them, or your officers did -- permitted them to go about the town?

A. -- I could have had them stay in the ranks, but I would not have done it, under the circumstances, to save Columbia.

Q. -- Although you knew they were likely to burn Columbia, you would not restrain them to their ranks, even to save it?

A. -- No, Sir. I would not have done such harshness to my soldiers to save the whole town. They were men, and I was not going to treat them like slaves.

Words fail me.

Once Sherman's troops got to North Carolina, the order apparently went out to reduce the amount of burning and looting, orders Sherman could have issued at Columbia.

104 posted on 01/18/2013 9:20:07 PM PST by rustbucket
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To: rockrr; lentulusgracchus
Perhaps it is becoming a reoccurring theme on his show?

lentulusgracchus posted about the demonization of the South by the liberal media as a way of splitting the Republican Party years ago in these threads and had noted the New York Times article that Rush cited. Rush is just slower to catch on than lg.

105 posted on 01/18/2013 9:34:18 PM PST by rustbucket
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To: rustbucket

Too bad he is so delusional about any such demonization at FreeRepublic.


106 posted on 01/18/2013 9:44:15 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: rockrr

rockrr, when I look up bigotry in the dictionary it has your picture. Go figure.


107 posted on 01/18/2013 11:13:59 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

“Except that Lee was a slave owner, and a person who served as slave overseer for a slave plantation.”

Let’s see... Lee was a professional soldier right up to the end of the Civil War. But you manage to have him being an overseer for a slave plantation. There is no twisting of history too bizarre for you, is there donny boy?


108 posted on 01/18/2013 11:17:41 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: jmacusa

Self reflection is lost on you, my neo-yankee South-hating friend.

You should try celebrating your own heritage instead of spending your time expressing the hatred that you so lovingly cultivate. But then I suppose you’d have to have a heritage worth celebrating.

Funny how little time our post-modern neo-yankees spend on their own business. They appear to be little more than shriveled souls who can only make themselves feel better by tearing down others. But we’ve all seen that in action, it’s not news.


109 posted on 01/18/2013 11:29:59 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: wardaddy

“William Barksdale was my wife’s great great uncle.

His sister Virginia Barksdale Wade was her great great gandma and the wife of State Senator Levi Wade”

Well, that explains one male offspring’s name. ;o)

“Ironically...all of the descendents I know today are Republicans...it would be hard to explain to them if you could today how the parties have sorta switched as to who is now the progressive.”

Profound! Thanks for writing what I’ve been perplexed as to how to communicate.


110 posted on 01/18/2013 11:48:39 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill.)
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To: Pelham

Let me help remind you. He took a leave of absence to settle his father in law’s estate.
To do that he had to work the slaves to pay off debts.

Accordingly as executor he installed himself as overseer, put the slaves to work on the plantation, as well as renting them out.

Ring any bells yet?


111 posted on 01/19/2013 1:07:41 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: rockrr; rustbucket
I didn’t catch today’s show but I heard him mention something along those lines yesterday or the day before. It had to do with the left attempting to isolate the southern states in their continuing agenda of divide and conquer.

And of course the reason why they are doing so is because the south is more unified in its opposition to Øbongo’s agenda than any other geographic area.


Well, not quite, but pretty close.

The more-resolving telescope is supplied by RiNO/Neocon contributing editor of the Weekly Standard Christopher Caldwell, who has discussed this memetic warfare extensively, particularly in a series of articles, speeches, and reviews that he wrote between 1996 and about 2003. In 1996 he wrote in The Atlantic Monthly (alias The Atlantic) an article entitled "The Southern Captivity of the GOP". You can metasearch his name and find most of these articles and speeches.

In the article, hereafter SCGOP for short, he listed all the unfavorable images of the South (some of them imaginary and actually libelous) that Clintonoid propagandists, sometimes called "journalists", were propagating in an attempt to drive Western and Midwestern moderates and conservatives away from knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, Southerners who, as everybody knows, secretly eat Negro babies and hang black men from trees on Saturday night and set them on fire as a form of community entertainment, like the Romans' noxii ad bestias in the amphitheaters of the Empire.

The period 1990-present has represented a crescendo of this kind of political lying, as the Alinskyites labor to break the United States to the wheel of Marxism-Leninism by turning against one another everyone who isn't a Marxist.

It remains to comment that Caldwell was offering in gross another example of what Rush was commenting on, about the eagerness of RiNO's to throw "problem" people (people and groups that are being attacked by Media Mau-Maus) out of the lifeboat and under the bus -- to mix metaphors in a higher cause. This was what Caldwell was arguing about Southern conservatives, who practically singlehandedly had recaptured the Speakership and the leadership of the Senate for the GOP less than two years before after 40 years of wandering in the desert, that the RiNOate illuminati should bend every fiber to minimize and eliminate the obsecrate Southern Menace to the good name and electability of the GOP.

What Caldwell does not fess up to, is that East Coast RiNO's and Neocons have their own strong distaste for Southerners (and social conservatives generally, and their issues), and the "they're going to cost us offices! we'll lose our majorities!" meme was really cover for a different meme: "I hate these g***amn cracker-publicans -- they can't even talk right, never mind their never having gone to an AAU Listed Eastern Liberal Arts University. (That, FYI, is author Paul Fussell's -- in Class -- snob list of universities; if you didn't go to one of these, you are as unlettered and unqualified as a Slobbovian yak herder. Google "Palin +education" if you don't believe me.)

Rustbucket, thank you for the courteous ping, and the kind words.

112 posted on 01/19/2013 2:29:01 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Pelham

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/People/Robert_E_Lee/FREREL/1/22*.html

Reference to Lee’s unhappy time as executor and overseer of his father in law’s estate.


113 posted on 01/19/2013 2:32:08 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker
Do you have a point in there somewhere? Can you tell me the answer to the riddle, "So ****ing what?"

Or are you just getting up a vigorous game of "Mark of Cain" again? -- which used to be imputed to other people, mind.

Or is it more serious, a zealous desire to break into other people's churches -- like the homosexuals did who defecated on the altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York in the 80's -- and besmear and desecrate their objects of veneration?

That would seem to bespeak a certain pathological hatred.

Well?

114 posted on 01/19/2013 2:38:38 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

So do you agree that Lee spent several years as overseer of his father in law’s estates?

So his alleged spotless character is somewhat marred by his association with the horrific institution of human slavery.

Feel free to venerate him. Far be it from me to interfere with your heresy. Just understand that others may disagree.


115 posted on 01/19/2013 2:59:27 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker
It's really, really important to you, isn't it, to smear dog feces on Lee? You are driven to make Southerners understand your hate and contempt, and acquiesce in it.

Well, guess what? Your impulse is naked now, even if your arms are still as short as ever. Run along, little man. Honest people don't have the time of day for reflexive backbiters like you.

116 posted on 01/19/2013 3:10:19 AM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus

No. I have no need to smear. He rolled around in it himself. I merely report what others have reported. Freeman who I referenced is a kind reporter of events in Lee’s life.

That you are embarrassed by his flaws, speaks well of you. That you project that embarrassment onto me speaks poorly of you.


117 posted on 01/19/2013 3:25:55 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

Two posts in a row referencing fecal issues.

I think you need to do some soul searching.


118 posted on 01/19/2013 3:32:09 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker

...or use a better grade of toilet paper.


119 posted on 01/19/2013 6:55:18 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: Pelham

Go fly a kite Bozo. I don’t hate Southerners. I have no use for morons like you. You’d flatter yourself thinking I waste the effort to hate you.


120 posted on 01/19/2013 7:10:04 AM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

So it is true that the entire world is conspiring against you. That must be frightful to endure. Bless your little heart.


121 posted on 01/19/2013 7:40:15 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: jmacusa

“Go fly a kite Bozo. I don’t hate Southerners. I have no use for morons like you. You’d flatter yourself thinking I waste the effort to hate you.”

lol. It’s amazing how you lack the ability to see yourself as you are. But maybe alcohol is involved.

You seek out threads having to do with the South solely so that you can spew your vitriol and insult the posters who have an interest in the subject. That’s been your MO for as long as I’ve seen you post at FR.

Not that you’re much different from the other neo-yankee haters who routinely show up to disrupt southern threads. But to then protest that you’re not a hater... that’s rich. Self delusion is an amazing thing.


122 posted on 01/19/2013 9:24:25 AM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

Everyone knows that Lee was the executor of his father in law’s estate. Arlington House belonged to George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington’s heir.

But that isn’t what you said. You claimed that Lee was a slaveowner and an overseer.

Interestingly enough that description does fit George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and most every other early President besides the Adams, but neo-yankees are notably silent on that issue. Neo-yankee moralizing seems to begin only at 1860.

When I first read your post that I suspected that you were attempting to twist Lee’s role as executor of the Arlington estate into something that would suit your agenda. You’re predictable in your lack of truthfulness when it comes to the south.


123 posted on 01/19/2013 9:43:48 AM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

“Ring any bells yet?”

Yes, and it was a warning bell that you were engaged in twisting history.

You tried to pass off the claim that Lee was a slaveowner and a slave overseer.

In truth he was acting as executor of his father in law’s will, which you conveniently left out of your initial post.

No surprise there, donny. Your style is to just leave out what doesn’t suit your agenda.


124 posted on 01/19/2013 10:18:13 AM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

“Except that Lee was a slave owner, and a person who served as slave overseer for a slave plantation...One that the worshipers at the alter of Lee pretend didn’t happen...”

Not sure what your point is. Many of the founders had slaves. Does that forever nullify other, more positive aspects of their personalities? I stated the man had character worthy of admirition, I didn’t say he was perfect. Nor did I express any veneration for him. I am no Lee/Southern worshiper, but neither am I a Lee/Southern hater. These are our brothers and sisters we are talking about...and talking to.

Why is it so hard to be generous to an old foe, long dead and buried? The fact that he was an honorable, if flawed, man seems to really stick in your craw.

Maybe President Lincoln’s words will help ease your anger towards our Southern friends:

“Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.”

And, the more familiar:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”


125 posted on 01/19/2013 11:27:59 AM PST by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
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To: Pelham

I see myself just fine chum. If you’d been to as many Hells as I’ve been because of a once self -destructive life style and only by bearing my soul in inventory

humility and by the grace of God did I find my way back to be a human being.Alcohol is not a problem for me today. In fact next month will be twenty-three years that it hasn’t.How is it for you? I spew out ‘’vitriol’’? God it AMAZES me just how ironic you can be .Don’t you know I’m one of the ‘’Lincoln Coven’’ the neo-Yankee’’and a ‘’Lincoln boot licker’’ I had one Johnny Reb here actually say he wanted to kill me. I go to threads on The Civil War because it interests me historically , all history does and because, on behalf of my ancestors(Army of the Potomac) I come to these threads so that there be a counter argument to you Confederates. And again, I don’t hate Southerners. But you and your ilk can certainly muster up the piss and vinegar for us Northerners.


126 posted on 01/19/2013 7:34:38 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: jmacusa

“Alcohol is not a problem for me today.”

That could be. I had a customer once who was just as filled with vitriol and just as deluded about how she was acting. A dry drunk with a nasty disposition and no brakes on expressing it. Always managed to justify her rudeness. I guess it’s not just the alcohol, it’s a whole set of psychological issues that go along with drinking.


127 posted on 01/19/2013 9:31:31 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: Pelham

Washington freed his slaves on his death. Jefferson, faced with the state making it illegal to free his slaves, paid them a salary, which practice was partly responsible for his dying in debt.

Lee owned slaves himself personally, not just administering his father in law’s estate.


128 posted on 01/19/2013 9:53:31 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham
No it's not ''could be'' it is. You're right however , it is a matter of psychological issues. They're called ''character defects''. It isn't just putting the cork in the bottle. It's about changing the person within or the person within will drink again. The woman you speak of is self-centerness personified. Okay for her to treat the world however she sees fit but by God Almighty the world had better walk on eggs around her. "Nothing consumes a man more completely than a passion for resentment''. Resentment is the number 1 sure-fire thing to lead an alcoholic back to the bottle. That's why I try not to have them.
129 posted on 01/19/2013 9:55:11 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: donmeaker

“Washington freed his slaves on his death.”

Proving that while he lived Washington was both “a slaveowner and a slave overseer”, the substance of your accusation against Lee?

What is interesting is how neo-yankees either ignore the inconvenient fact of Washington’s slaves, or seek to exempt Washington from their usual heavy handed moralizing and condemnation by offering up “but he freed them after he died”.

But even that is misleading and untrue, which I’m sure that you know. Washington freed less than half of his slaves.

The majority, which he had acquired upon marrying Martha, passed on to his step-grandson George Washington Parke Custis.

Their descendents were among the very slaves that were Robert E Lee’s responsibility when he was executor of the Custis estate. The same ones that you tried to enlist in your claim that Lee was “a slaveowner and a slave overseer” when in fact he was the executor of the Custis estate.

“Lee owned slaves himself personally, not just administering his father in law’s estate.”

That must be why, when challenged to produce evidence, you produced a link to Lee being the executor of the Custis estate and nothing more. Oops.

Just keep adjusting your story, donny. Then to amuse ourselves we can go back and compare your original version to the final product.


130 posted on 01/19/2013 10:54:40 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: Pelham

I don’t recall being pressured to provide evidence. which post was that?

The evidence is in Lee’s will which is available on line.


131 posted on 01/19/2013 10:58:39 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham

In 1846, just before he left Arlington to join General Scott’s Army of Invasion, in Mexico, Lee wrote a will which identified Nancy among his property. The will was probated in Rockbridge County courthouse shortly after Lee’s death in 1870. Here it must be said, that Lee’s manumitting Nancy as part of his action as executor as the Custis estate is curious. According to his will, Lee wished “Nancy and her children” “to be liberated as soon as it can be done to their advantage.” But apparently not before his death. Yet, in the midst of war he decided to include Nancy—apparently his property, not Custis’s—in the emancipation of the Custis slaves. Perhaps, he just wanted to be done with it.

http://americancivilwar.com/authors/Joseph_Ryan/Articles/General-Lee-Slaves/General-Lee-Family-Slaves.html


132 posted on 01/19/2013 11:21:01 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker

My post 108 where I question your claim and your post 113 where you link to Freeman’s chapter on Lee being the executor of GWP Custis’s estate.


133 posted on 01/19/2013 11:23:55 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

I will say good things about Lee. Lee applied for pardon for his role in the insurrection, which is, itself an admission of error. Grant protected him from prosecution when that was considered, as Lee had kept the terms of his parole, and thus should not have been prosecuted.

He certainly worked to transform Washington (and Lee) College, and was successful. He also seems to have sought to do his part in the reunification of the country.

Certainly his prior service with the US Army was honorable, at least, and in some instances valiant and brilliant.


134 posted on 01/19/2013 11:38:49 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham

I didn’t read your 108 post as pressure to provide evidence, and certainly you requested no evidence of his owning slaves. Rather I read it as falsely or incorrectly asserting that Lee could not have acted as a planter and overseer because of his military duties.

Of course he could and did act as a planter and overseer when he asked for and was granted his leaves of absence from 1857 to 1859, but his stints as a planter were interrupted by orders to perform various services or duties.


135 posted on 01/20/2013 12:11:01 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: donmeaker

“In 1846, just before he left Arlington to join General Scott’s Army of Invasion, in Mexico, Lee wrote a will which identified Nancy among his property.”

Lee had no property when he married, a fact that displeased GWP Custis.

Nancy and the other slaves at the White House Plantation listed in his 1846 will were his wife’s property. Husbands had charge of their wife’s property in that era.

“Here it must be said, that Lee’s manumitting Nancy as part of his action as executor as the Custis estate is curious. According to his will, Lee wished “Nancy and her children” “to be liberated as soon as it can be done to their advantage.” But apparently not before his death. “

It isn’t curious at all, and it is spelled out in the Freeman chapter that you linked to.

GWP Custis’ will was a contradictory mess, in one section stating that the slaves were to be freed within 5 years while in another stating that they were not to be freed until Custis’ substantial debts were paid off. Lee had to turn the will over to the courts for the legal system to determine what should be done.

“Yet, in the midst of war he decided to include Nancy—apparently his property, not Custis’s—in the emancipation of the Custis slaves. Perhaps, he just wanted to be done with it.”

Nancy came to be Lee’s responsibility through marriage. She was his wife’s property, but he was responsible for Nancy just as George Washington was for the slaves that Martha brought into their marriage.


136 posted on 01/20/2013 12:31:26 AM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: Pelham

My understanding is that he came to own Nancy through inheritance from his mother. The 4 children of Nancy have been reported as Lee’s children by some, but at this divide, I don’t think that can be sustained or denied with evidence other than hearsay testimony by persons long dead.


137 posted on 01/20/2013 12:39:30 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham

In your post 108 you did not pressure for evidence.
Accordingly it is you who are changing your story.

Projection. Look it up.


138 posted on 01/20/2013 12:48:25 AM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: rustbucket; lentulusgracchus
Rush is just slower to catch on than lg.

Off topic, but lentulusgracchus identified something else early on (that even Rush hasn't caught on to yet) - Obamacare was a foregone conclusion regardless of what Americans wanted.

139 posted on 01/20/2013 1:50:11 PM PST by southernsunshine
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To: donmeaker
No. I have no need to smear.

Yes, you do -- a desperate, desolate need to vilify men whose boots you couldn't even reach to shine. With metaphors like "he rolled around in it," you directly equate Robert E. Lee to dogs and pigs. Your language is vile, your intention unjust, cruel, and utterly, utterly small.

Get a life, Smeagol.

140 posted on 01/20/2013 9:33:22 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: donmeaker
Two posts in a row referencing fecal issues.

Of course. I was speaking about you.

I think you need to do some soul searching.

You? You, who have no reflection, think I should do some "soul searching"? Yeah, right.

141 posted on 01/20/2013 9:36:02 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Pelham
Interestingly enough that description does fit George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and most every other early President besides the Adams, but neo-yankees are notably silent on that issue.

I noted with interest today that Barky got sworn in while standing beneath the portrait of one of the above-named gentlemen (either Madison or, I think, probably Monroe) to be sworn in to his second fraudulent term of office.

Someone on his "historical correctness" police should have gone through the White House long ago to drive out all the profane images of the unclean, slave-owning Presidents. (James Knox Polk, who extended the United States to the Pacific Ocean under the banner of Manifest Destiny, was the last, I think.)

Obama should have been sworn in while standing under a portrait of that champion of humanity and honesty, Lyndon Johnson, instead. Or maybe Slick Willie.

142 posted on 01/20/2013 9:41:55 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: donmeaker

“In your post 108 you did not pressure for evidence.
Accordingly it is you who are changing your story.”

You obviously thought I was asking for evidence, which I was, since you attempted to provide the evidence in your own reply, post #113.

Good try, donny. Next time just be sure that you aren’t the one disproving your own story.


143 posted on 01/21/2013 1:53:23 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: donmeaker

“My understanding is that he came to own Nancy through inheritance from his mother”

Small surprise that you would have little actual knowledge of his history since that isn’t as useful to you as disparagement and scurrilous rumor. But then that’s just you expressing your character through your writing.

Lee’s father was famously bankrupt when Lee was a small child. His father died when Lee was 11 and Lee and his mother went to live with relatives. They had no assets and no inheritance, other than the ones in your well fertilized imagination.

The White House property belonged to the Washington-Custis family and Nancy and her family came with it.


144 posted on 01/21/2013 2:10:51 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: Pelham

Wow, he really married up, didn’t he?


145 posted on 01/21/2013 2:15:51 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: lentulusgracchus

“Your language is vile, your intention unjust, cruel, and utterly, utterly small.”

You say that as if that isn’t his goal.

And I’m not sure that you were being fair to Smeagol.


146 posted on 01/21/2013 2:35:02 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: rockrr

“Wow, he really married up, didn’t he?”

Not exactly. The Lees were a very prominent family and he married into the society that he was part of.

His father was Light Horse Harry Lee, who lost his fortune in the financial panic of 1797. His mother was a Carter, another of the first families of Virginia as were the Lees.


147 posted on 01/21/2013 2:52:41 PM PST by Pelham (Treason, it's not just for Democrats anymore.)
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To: lentulusgracchus

My language is polite. My character is noble. I have never been accused of beating slaves, nor of treason, nor of assault on another. Nor am I descended from a notorious deadbeat.

Unlike Lee.


148 posted on 01/21/2013 8:09:03 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham

And because his mother had no assets, does that mean that she never again had assets?

No.

Your protest is incorrect.


149 posted on 01/21/2013 8:10:57 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: Pelham

Lee’s own personal papers — which were pretty much unavailable for 150 years — show a drastically, profoundly, stupendously different view of Lee.

In fact, Alan Nolan, author of Lee Considered, says EVERYTHING we think we know about Lee, should be discarded, and start over.

For example, in Lee’s OWN HANDWRITTEN papers, he keeps obsessive track of certain escaped slave girls — mulatto girls. He paid six times his normal bounty for the return of one girl, about 13-14 years old, who escaped with her white looking child.

Lee’s bounty hunters searched for her for months, and when they found her, Lee had her bought to him, tied up, and tortured. He screamed at her during her torture — then rented her out to a plantation known for cruelty to slaves. To top it all off, he apparently sold her white looking child.

Elizabeth Pryor, author of “Reading The Man” had access to Lee’s papers. She adores Lee, and tries very hard to keep his halo on his head. But she reveals astonishing, baffling things.

She excuses what she can. She calls his torture of slaves “due to Lee’s poor cross cultural communication skills” — as if he could just talk to the slaves better, he wouldn’t have to torture the girls.

This is a man who had young girls TORTURED.

Not sorta, not kinda, he had them tortured, and while it was the law in Virginia to whip escaped slaves, Lee needed no law, he seemed to VERY much get into it.

Pryor excuses that too. She claims Lee “failed to appreciate his slaves desire to be free”.. Hello! How could he not notice! They kept running away! Despite promises of torture – which Lee made good on –Pryor said Lee had “an epidemic of escaped slaves”.

Who ever said Lee was loved by his slaves is goofy. Pryor says Lee’s slaves said he was “the meanest man I ever saw”.

Far from being against slavery, Lee was one of the biggest defenders. Yes, there is a letter to his wife, and in one sentence he says slavery is a political and moral evil — but the letter doesn’t stop there. IT goes on. Lee says the blacks are fortunate to be slaves!! He also writes that God knows slavery is cruel and painful – but pain is “necessary for their instruction”. And Lee was very willing to “instruct” they young mulatto girls.

Most stunning of all, Lee SOLD the white looking babies. Lee regularly sold the children of his slave girls. Pryor puts it this way “Lee separated every family unit, but one”.

Separated every family UNIT? Pryor deserves a lot of credit for exposing Lee’s torture, his cruelty to slaves — but the way she writes, you would think Lee just had a bad day. Lee could not sell the slaves themselves — due to the terms of the will.

But the will said nothing about the children born to his slaves. Pryor says he separated every family unit, and elsewhere she says all the female slave girls under 5 were gone. Okay — where did they go?

Did they vanish? Did they go up in a space ship? Pryor apparently knows, but doesn’t say. There is only so much the public could stand, Furthermore, her audience is wildly pro Lee — if she came out and said he sold white babies– and I mean this literally – her life could be at risk. Southern Lee lovers get that upset. Selling white babies? He would NEVER?

Oh, wouldn’t he? He would torture 13 year old girls. He would sell babies. What is he going to do with a white looking slave girl? Would he say “Oh my, this is a line I won’t cross” Are you kidding me?

In fact white looking slave girls — it was well known — sold for a premium. I will let you guess why. But whore houses loved to buy white looking slaves — more men would pay more money for that service. Books written AT THE TIME discussed this horrible reality.

But if he sold black women that would go to whore houses, and light skinned women, why on EARTH would he say, no, no this one is too white. Get real.

The real history of Lee has yet to be written. But then, the real history of the South has yet to be written too. Lee is very much a metaphor for the entire South, and the myths we have been told.

One more thing — If Lincoln’s papers were discovered, and showed he had young girls tortured, paid six times his n


150 posted on 01/21/2013 8:17:28 PM PST by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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