Generals not ‘traitors’
In response to Mr. Peca’s column, “Removal is not destruction” referred to General’s Lee and Jackson as “traitors” because they took up arms against the government. Had George Washington lost his war with the British, history books today would read in this “British colony of America” George Washington was a traitor who justly deserved a traitors death. The Civil War was a fight over freedom. If from the North, the fight was for Union and to free slaves. If from the South, the fight was about freedom/independence from an overbearing government.
People have fought and died for their particular brand of freedom for centuries. The ones who were not shot or hanged became presidents or noblemen. Mr. Peca assigns the name “traitor” to those Confederate soldiers who could not vindicate their definition of freedom on the battlefield. Since the Confederacy lost the war Peca has labeled all southern soldiers as ”traitors”… who fought for the wrong side. Did the Confederacy have the right to secede? Did the original colonies have a right to break from Britain? The answer to those questions were decided on the battlefield. Concerning Washington’s win of the Revolution, there was a right to break. Concerning the Confederacy’s loss … they had no right. Victory and defeat also determines if one becomes a patriot or traitor.
In part, the Constitution reads, “Governments are instituted among men deriving their just power from the consent of the governed. That when any form of that government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government….” The North was a threat to the Southern way of life and armed with these words from the Constitution the Confederacy was born.
To the contrary Mr. Peca, German tank Gen. Erwin Rommel deserves a statue if any man does. Though he fought for, “the wrong side” during WWII his execution was ordered by Adolf Hitler. Rommel’s name was discovered on a list of possible successors who would opt for peace with the Allies once Hitler was overthrown. The assassination attempt failed against Hitler, Rommel was a part of it and lost his life in trying to end the war sooner… possibly saving millions of lives.
I strongly disagree with Mr. Peca stating statues of generals are put up for political reasons. I submit that statues of certain men, in American history at least, were erected to pay tribute to their valor and honor. A tangible testament to what we should all strive to be deserving a place to be seen by all.
Karl Schmidt lives in Prince Edward County. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.