US Army War College considers removing Confederate portraits

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US Army War College considers removing Confederate portraits

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The U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania is considering removing its portraits of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate generals after at least one official questioned why the school honors those who fought against America.

The college is currently conducting an inventory of its paintings and photographs, which feature Confederate generals such as Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The school plans to re-hang the images later in historical themes to tell a story, the Washington Times reports.

College spokeswoman Carol Kerr told the newspaper that at least one official -- who was not identified – asked the administration why the school honors generals that were enemies of the U.S. Army.

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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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I am sure General Sherman's portrait would remain and the argument could be made that he is a war criminal for his scorched earth policy that targeted civilian as well as military targets.
“There will be a dialogue when we develop the idea of what do we want the hallway to represent,” she said. “[Lee] was certainly not good for the nation. This is the guy we faced on the battlefield whose entire purpose in life was to destroy the nation as it was then conceived. … This is all part of an informed discussion.”
WTF ...as it was then conceived ?
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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My class print was of the Confederate leadership at Gettysburg. People do not have enough to keep busy! Comments from the AWC Commandant:

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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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Jim wrote: People do not have enough to keep busy!
Thanks you Sir. I am curious if the alleged quote from the college spokeswomen is indeed a mis-quote.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by rgrokelley »

“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?

Sincerely yours,

“Leon W. Scott”


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 Lee’s 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 nation’s 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.

Sincerely,

Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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Even I know this is crap! If it has been fine all this time, why now? (rhetorical)
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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He almost whipped the North's ass. In fact, he did whip the North's ass on various occasions. Lee should stand as a paradigm for the maxim, "history's only crime is losing".

As to a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest gracing War College wall space, well, I can certainly see where that might raise some hackles. Forrest was probably the greatest cavalry general since Genghis Khan. He'd entered the Confederate Army as a private and exited in 1865 a lieutenant general. Even during the war he was treated by his general staff peers as a pariah. He was crude, barely literate, and he'd been a slave dealer in Memphis, an occupation considered (hypocritically) most contemptible even in the South. Worse than that, Forrest was the creator of the Ku Klux Klan. He'd formed this terror movement shortly after the war as a check against Yankee carpetbaggers. The KKK's further devolution as a racist intimidation network came later.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by centermass »

Gotta love him:
I would much rather have portraits of Lee and Jackson, who are prominently featured on the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia, than that of Rep. Charlie Rangel which hangs in the House Ways and Means committee room.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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hobbit wrote:He almost whipped the North's ass. In fact, he did whip the North's ass on various occasions. Lee should stand as a paradigm for the maxim, "history's only crime is losing".

As to a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest gracing War College wall space, well, I can certainly see where that might raise some hackles. Forrest was probably the greatest cavalry general since Genghis Khan. He'd entered the Confederate Army as a private and exited in 1865 a lieutenant general. Even during the war he was treated by his general staff peers as a pariah. He was crude, barely literate, and he'd been a slave dealer in Memphis, an occupation considered (hypocritically) most contemptible even in the South. Worse than that, Forrest was the creator of the Ku Klux Klan. He'd formed this terror movement shortly after the war as a check against Yankee carpetbaggers. The KKK's further devolution as a racist intimidation network came later.
Just for historical accuracy, and to give Forrest the benefit of a doubt, Forrest did not create the KKK. After the war numerous organizations were formed by former Confederates. These were more like the VFW and the American Legion. The KKK was formed by six former Confederates, no Forrest, and started out as a political group to fight the methods used during reconstruction. They had not turned to violence yet, when Forrest joined them. Since Forrest was the highest ranking and most famous guy in the group, they made him the leader, a "grand wizard". However once the group turned to violence Forrest attempted to bring some sense of order and discipline into the group. In less than a year he realized this was hopeless, so he resigned from the KKK. If not for this, he would probably be looked on, the way that Sherman saw him, as "the finest soldier produced by the war".
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

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rgrokelley wrote:
hobbit wrote:He almost whipped the North's ass. In fact, he did whip the North's ass on various occasions. Lee should stand as a paradigm for the maxim, "history's only crime is losing".

As to a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest gracing War College wall space, well, I can certainly see where that might raise some hackles. Forrest was probably the greatest cavalry general since Genghis Khan. He'd entered the Confederate Army as a private and exited in 1865 a lieutenant general. Even during the war he was treated by his general staff peers as a pariah. He was crude, barely literate, and he'd been a slave dealer in Memphis, an occupation considered (hypocritically) most contemptible even in the South. Worse than that, Forrest was the creator of the Ku Klux Klan. He'd formed this terror movement shortly after the war as a check against Yankee carpetbaggers. The KKK's further devolution as a racist intimidation network came later.
Just for historical accuracy, and to give Forrest the benefit of a doubt, Forrest did not create the KKK. After the war numerous organizations were formed by former Confederates. These were more like the VFW and the American Legion. The KKK was formed by six former Confederates, no Forrest, and started out as a political group to fight the methods used during reconstruction. They had not turned to violence yet, when Forrest joined them. Since Forrest was the highest ranking and most famous guy in the group, they made him the leader, a "grand wizard". However once the group turned to violence Forrest attempted to bring some sense of order and discipline into the group. In less than a year he realized this was hopeless, so he resigned from the KKK. If not for this, he would probably be looked on, the way that Sherman saw him, as "the finest soldier produced by the war".
"Just for historical accuracy"? I could quote the first few lines I find in Wikipedia too, but I know how ridiculous that'd make me look since Wikipedia is 100% anonymous and non-quotable. Nobody takes credit for anything; no one lists their academic background; no one explains their political platform; and no one makes their motivation for writing very clear. No accredited college in the country will accept a reference to Wikipedia as source material for papers, because aside from anonymity, what Wikipedia presents is opinion, not historical empiricism. You're a teacher, right?

Believe what you want to believe. The KKK/Nathan Bedford Forrest controversy has gotten awfully muddy of late. I suspect the Sons of Confederate Veterans is behind that. They've got lots of money, lawyers, and time on their hands. They're cleaning up Forrest's image. One fact seems indisputable however. In its first year of existence, Nathan Bedford Forrest was the KKK's top dog. No one in this country was more responsible than Nathan Bedford Forrest for spreading the KKK into almost every state and for recruiting a membership that later swelled into the hundreds of thousands. His name became inseparable from that of the KKK. To try and excuse him on some point of esoterica is to excuse Hitler his crimes because he didn't actually found the Nazi Party.
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US Army War College considers removing Confederate portraits

Post by Silverback »

hobbit wrote:
rgrokelley wrote:
hobbit wrote:He almost whipped the North's ass. In fact, he did whip the North's ass on various occasions. Lee should stand as a paradigm for the maxim, "history's only crime is losing".

As to a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest gracing War College wall space, well, I can certainly see where that might raise some hackles. Forrest was probably the greatest cavalry general since Genghis Khan. He'd entered the Confederate Army as a private and exited in 1865 a lieutenant general. Even during the war he was treated by his general staff peers as a pariah. He was crude, barely literate, and he'd been a slave dealer in Memphis, an occupation considered (hypocritically) most contemptible even in the South. Worse than that, Forrest was the creator of the Ku Klux Klan. He'd formed this terror movement shortly after the war as a check against Yankee carpetbaggers. The KKK's further devolution as a racist intimidation network came later.
Just for historical accuracy, and to give Forrest the benefit of a doubt, Forrest did not create the KKK. After the war numerous organizations were formed by former Confederates. These were more like the VFW and the American Legion. The KKK was formed by six former Confederates, no Forrest, and started out as a political group to fight the methods used during reconstruction. They had not turned to violence yet, when Forrest joined them. Since Forrest was the highest ranking and most famous guy in the group, they made him the leader, a "grand wizard". However once the group turned to violence Forrest attempted to bring some sense of order and discipline into the group. In less than a year he realized this was hopeless, so he resigned from the KKK. If not for this, he would probably be looked on, the way that Sherman saw him, as "the finest soldier produced by the war".
"Just for historical accuracy"? I could quote the first few lines I find in Wikipedia too, but I know how ridiculous that'd make me look since Wikipedia is 100% anonymous and non-quotable. Nobody takes credit for anything; no one lists their academic background; no one explains their political platform; and no one makes their motivation for writing very clear. No accredited college in the country will accept a reference to Wikipedia as source material for papers, because aside from anonymity, what Wikipedia presents is opinion, not historical empiricism. You're a teacher, right?
I completed my BS in the internet era and I can assure you that no professor would accept wikipedia as a source. More importantly when writing a paper for general education classes (like history) you were required to have at least three sources (properly cited) and if you wanted a slam-dunk you used peer reviewed material.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by rgrokelley »

hobbit wrote:
rgrokelley wrote:
hobbit wrote:He almost whipped the North's ass. In fact, he did whip the North's ass on various occasions. Lee should stand as a paradigm for the maxim, "history's only crime is losing".

As to a portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest gracing War College wall space, well, I can certainly see where that might raise some hackles. Forrest was probably the greatest cavalry general since Genghis Khan. He'd entered the Confederate Army as a private and exited in 1865 a lieutenant general. Even during the war he was treated by his general staff peers as a pariah. He was crude, barely literate, and he'd been a slave dealer in Memphis, an occupation considered (hypocritically) most contemptible even in the South. Worse than that, Forrest was the creator of the Ku Klux Klan. He'd formed this terror movement shortly after the war as a check against Yankee carpetbaggers. The KKK's further devolution as a racist intimidation network came later.
Just for historical accuracy, and to give Forrest the benefit of a doubt, Forrest did not create the KKK. After the war numerous organizations were formed by former Confederates. These were more like the VFW and the American Legion. The KKK was formed by six former Confederates, no Forrest, and started out as a political group to fight the methods used during reconstruction. They had not turned to violence yet, when Forrest joined them. Since Forrest was the highest ranking and most famous guy in the group, they made him the leader, a "grand wizard". However once the group turned to violence Forrest attempted to bring some sense of order and discipline into the group. In less than a year he realized this was hopeless, so he resigned from the KKK. If not for this, he would probably be looked on, the way that Sherman saw him, as "the finest soldier produced by the war".
"Just for historical accuracy"? I could quote the first few lines I find in Wikipedia too, but I know how ridiculous that'd make me look since Wikipedia is 100% anonymous and non-quotable. Nobody takes credit for anything; no one lists their academic background; no one explains their political platform; and no one makes their motivation for writing very clear. No accredited college in the country will accept a reference to Wikipedia as source material for papers, because aside from anonymity, what Wikipedia presents is opinion, not historical empiricism. You're a teacher, right?

Believe what you want to believe. The KKK/Nathan Bedford Forrest controversy has gotten awfully muddy of late. I suspect the Sons of Confederate Veterans is behind that. They've got lots of money, lawyers, and time on their hands. They're cleaning up Forrest's image. One fact seems indisputable however. In its first year of existence, Nathan Bedford Forrest was the KKK's top dog. No one in this country was more responsible than Nathan Bedford Forrest for spreading the KKK into almost every state and for recruiting a membership that later swelled into the hundreds of thousands. His name became inseparable from that of the KKK. To try and excuse him on some point of esoterica is to excuse Hitler his crimes because he didn't actually found the Nazi Party.
I have no idea what the wikipedia comment was about. That came out of my head, not wikipedia. I've don't this argument many times over the years, to include the whole idea that Forrest did an evil massacre of women and children and puppies at Fort Pillow... (an awful lot of prisoners for a massacre). As for the rest, I will have to wait until I get home where the resource material is... not wikipedia.
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Re: US Army War College considers removing Confederate portr

Post by rgrokelley »

Before I post a rather long answer, let me give you my bonafides. This is not Wikipedia research (and I still wonder where the fuck did that come from?) this is also not from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I could belong to them many times over, but I have better things to do... however, just to let you know, I have been paid to speak to them over the years. The reason for that is that I am one of the authorities on the Revolutionary War in the two Carolinas. If you go into Amazon.com and google my name, or one of my books, you will see the five that I have had published (one series "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" is four volumes). Many times I have spoken to the SCV by comparing the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Two of my most requested talks are "The Two Wars for Independence" and "Tarleton and Forrest".

Now, you asked for documentation, and it is coming, but I guess I can throw the same back at you. You wrote
No one in this country was more responsible than Nathan Bedford Forrest for spreading the KKK into almost every state and for recruiting a membership that later swelled into the hundreds of thousands.
I would love to know where you came up with that. First, when Forrest was the leader of the KKK he was doing it in a very covert way, denying his membership. He had to do this because the South was under Reconstruction... basically US military occupation. Anyone who was suspected of furthering the Confederate cause was imprisoned and in some cases, killed. Forrest was in the KKK, but I would love to know how a leader of an organization, pretty much contained in Tennessee (and a few States nearby) spread "the KKK into almost every state". If by "every" state you mean four, then I guess you are right. The KKK of Forrest was not that large and very short lived. It numbered at the most around 50,000 (though Forrest exaggerated the figure to 550,000 in a newspaper interview). What I think you are getting it mixed up with is the KKK of the 1920s.

You also wrote
His name became inseparable from that of the KKK. To try and excuse him on some point of esoterica is to excuse Hitler his crimes because he didn't actually found the Nazi Party.
There is a huge, major difference between Hitler and Forrest (though I think we just hit Godwin's Law in record time). Hitler took a pretty mellow Nazi Party and turned it into an evil entity, doing exactly what he wanted them to do. Forrest took an organization that was becoming evil, and disbanded it. He realized it was going to be uncontrollable and it would no longer serve its original purpose.

And now, the longer post...
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