US US History

Gates of Vienna: The Confederate Burka…….

My views on the American Civil War have been tempered by the many historical books that I have read on the subject, and novels from the period from all different perspectives. One of my favorites is the three (massive) volume tome by novelist Shelby Foote, featured speaker in the now famous PBS 9 part series titled The Civil War.


NOTE: Shelby Foote’s Cspan interview where he elucidates even further on the war and that time in American history can be seen here.

I won’t dwell on the whether the Civil War was fought early on (primarily) about slavery or states’ rights, the end result of the 4 year conflict was the institution of slavery being rendered to the dust heap in American history, and rightfully so. My focus however is on the understanding after the hostilities were over, that being, of reconciliation, and afterwards, on mutual understanding and respect, for there was no other way going forward as a nation after the 200 year atrocity of slavery, and the massive blood letting tragedy of the Civil War that ended it.


What’s missing today is that sense of reconciliation, and needed understanding, the former being one of coming together as a family, a society of one, a union, and the latter being a respect of differing perspectives that were, and still are, wrapped in family, community and regional ethos. Letting bygone be bygones and agreeing to disagree. This is all being uprooted and ended with a resounding thud of the nihilists and deconstructionists of the Leftist era. They are ripping apart the national fabric on purpose and throwing it back into all of our faces, dancing not only the grave of Robert E.Lee, but upon Lincoln’s as well.


We have the community disorganizer to thank for that.

The Confederate Burka

And, yes, it’s come to this,
It’s come to this,
And wasn’t it a long way down,
Wasn’t it a strange way down?
— Leonard Cohen, from “Dress Rehearsal Rag”

This is what happened to General Robert E. Lee and his horse Traveller in Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 23, 2017:

You thought it was over when you signed the surrender document, didn’t you?


That was on April 9, 1865, in Wilmer McLean’s parlor in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. You gained an honorable parole for the men under your command. You advised your subordinates not to continue the conflict as a guerilla war. You laid down your sword and retired to your home.


You thought it was over, didn’t you?


One hundred and fifty-two years later, and it’s still not over.


Your enemies will not be satisfied until every daguerreotype, every painting, every engraving, every statue of you is effaced from our public spaces. They will not relent until your name has been scrubbed off, painted over, and chiseled away from every wall where it appears.


You and Traveller will have to endure the Confederate Burka for a while. But only for a while. Soon enough you and your soldiers and your valor and your love for your homeland will be completely erased. You will be relegated to oblivion. Not a trace of you will remain. You will have been deconstructed.


Non fiat lux.


I’d like to say a quick word about what that statue of General Lee means to me. Personally.


It doesn’t mean that I support slavery, or condone slavery, or hate anyone of a different race. It doesn’t mean anything about slavery. It doesn’t have anything to do with white supremacy, or racism, or fascism, or Nazism, or any other -ism.


It means that my great-great-grandfather served honorably in the War of Northern of Aggression. He rode to the Second Battle of Manassas and fought in defense of his homeland, the Sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia. He was in the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee.


His country had been invaded by an army that confiscated property, torched farms and fields, and took civilian hostages. He and his brother, my great-great-great uncle, volunteered to fight to defend their commonwealth against that invasion.


When he returned home to his plantation between Richmond and Petersburg — yes, he was one of those slave-owners — he found that his house and property had been burned by the invaders. What little the family had saved had to be lowered out of the windows at the last minute.


I don’t know how he felt about that. I don’t know how he regarded the fact that those who had formerly been his slaves had become free men and women. I think it was a good thing. He may not have. But it doesn’t matter.


He served his country, and his country lost the war. He and his family lost their wealth and were reduced to penury.


He paid the price. And hundreds of thousands of his comrades-in-arms paid an even higher price. They paid the ultimate price.


And hundreds of thousands of brave men on the other side paid the ultimate price.


The debt has been paid.


So the Recent Unpleasantness should be over. But it isn’t over. It won’t be over until the bones of the last Confederate soldier are dug up, crushed to powder, and scattered to the four winds.


Will that satisfy the enemy?


Probably not…

How can we cut this canker from our collective soul?
How can one forget? Millennia hence,
When English is just the language of the scholiasts
Or the key to ancient software, Gettysburg
Will mean no more than Thermopylae does to us,
And Jackson’s tactics, like Hannibal’s,
Will be studied by commanders
Training for the galactic wars.
Then Appomattox will no longer appear on any map,
With Bull Run just a vague rumor,
A place somewhere off to the east
Of the Blue Ridge Islands.

Gates of Vienna blog

4 Responses

  1. Thank you for this.

    Before I met the Baron I swore I would never live in The South again. The weather was(is) too hard on my Irish DNA. But I did meet him and “thy people shall be my people…” became my song. So here I am in the Sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia. Though it’s not so “sovereign” anymore, not with Northern Virginia being an annex of Washington D.C. now.

    Even before the Civil War ended, the Federals began exacting their triumph over the Lee-Custis family. His wife watched from the windows of their home as graves were dug for Union soldiers who died in the camp hospital established on their land. That was a deliberate ploy by the Federals to make the Confederacy lose heart. And it was the start of what was to become Arlington National Cemetery.

    Echoes of “The War” remain here because most of the battles were fought on Confederate soil. [And family DNA holds onto that horror the same way that the families of any large devastation carry the memory, in their epigenetic makeup. The survivors of the Dutch Starvation Winter during late WW II still carry the damage of that starvation. The great-grandchildren of those who were liberated from the Nazi camps have been found to exhibit some of the same “survivor PTSD” their ancestors had. ]

    Cultural memory is a strangely persistent thing. Ask the (southern) Irishman what they think of the English…the latter destroyed every single piece of paper in the whole country that testified to ancestry – including baptismal records, family bibles, etc. The Irish were deprived of all cultural memories before the 16th-17th centuries. They were forbidden to speak Gaelic or teach it to their children. The Scots were moved into the north to take over the farms and property of Irish landholders…that is the same thing that was done to the Kurds, btw, only moreso. Kurds in Turkey are not permitted to give their children Kurdish names.

    Suppression of cultural memories, destruction of icons, etc., only drives those memories underground. And doing this is so absolutely a sign of cultural Marxism, or in the case of the Kurds, Islamic tyranny, for they openly state they are Kurds first, Muslims second.

    Lee didn’t like the statues. When invited to Gettysburg to attend the ceremonies unveiling the statues of all the Civil War generals, he refused to attend and called all such memorializations “divisive”. But back then he had fled to the relative peace of Washington College (later Washington and Lee – will it be pressured to revert to the original name?) in Lexington, Virginia. He didn’t experience the travails of Reconstruction that the deep South did.

    If only Lincoln hadn’t been assassinated! From that death and absence flowed a great ruination which remains with us. Today I live among descendants of slaves who established their homes not far from the plantations where they worked. We celebrated our marriage in the black Baptist church which abuts our property. In their graveyard are the first stone markers set over the graves of those freedmen. Their first descendants were illiterate, so there is only the year, roughly hewn.

    I also know the descendants of those who owned slaves. Neither side talks about it because there is no need to do so. We have statues of black leaders (local heroes) now; the fires are banked but they still remain.

    On our website, Eastern Europeans re-fight bitter battles from half a millennium ago. Cultural memory thrives there…

    Our American cultural Marxists are deeply ignorant of the human heart. Like the Soviet Communists, they refuse to consider history because they are busy revising it to better suit their own dogmas.

  2. As has often been the case, your (both of you) writings touch me and I feel your strength and honest passion for that which has gone before and recognition of what looms ahead in this time of danger. The danger is brought to bear from an ancient enemy to Freedom, in the growing swarm from Islam, but made so much worse by our own “leaders” who seem to embrace those who destroy all history deemed Haram. As the tarps are being placed on the best of America’s past and graves are being desecrated, National Cathedral cowards are set to remove stained glass reminders of our Nation’s history. I am a Virginian, an American who grows more angry with the totalitarians who demand my heritage be denied, wiped out and reviled.
    The life of Robert E. Lee has always been a guide to how a man should live his years with honor, faith, courage and devotion to Country. The writings of a war weary General Lee, collected and published by his son, Captain Robert E. Lee, are some of the most touching tributes to God, Country and troops who fell in defense of The Southern Cause. Another book, which is so telling, is Marse Robert by James C. Young as it traces the Lees from the old world to Virginia. It is the story of those who helped make The United States from British Colonies. All of Lee’s past is woven into the fabric of America. THAT is what is being torn apart, destroyed and rejected by the leftist fascists who demand “social justice”- the destruction of America’s History and foundation.
    These tributes, privately funded and placed “in trust” within Virginia and other states, are not the reason for the ills of our decaying modern society. Statues are not causing some minority run cities to explode in crime rates and murders within their own communities. The furled banner of The South and her men, long dead, are not the reason for much of what the antis blame on Whites- in general.
    The Second Un-Civil War was declared years ago and is now in full blown view with “Charlottesvile” and “Nazi” as the fascists battle cry. It is not a Battle Cry of Freedom. Thank you neighbors and fellow American Citizens from a fan in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I wish you both well and safety in our difficult times. God Bless and keep you in His care. Charles Whiting

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