NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 24th 2017

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Confederate General Robert E. Lee advised no Statuary for fear of war’s sores kept open

According to historian Jonathan Horn, Lee was often consulted in his lifetime about proposals to erect monuments to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson and others.

In a 1866 letter to fellow Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser, Lee wrote,

“As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated, my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt … would have the effect of … continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour.”

Three years later, Lee was invited to a meeting of Union and Confederate officers to mark the placing of a memorial honoring those who took part in the battle of Gettysburg.

“I think it wiser not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered,” he wrote in a letter declining the invitation.

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