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Praise for Lee & Jackson

Chuck Baldwin

[COMMENT:   I am no expert on the war between the states, but, though raised in the North, I have swung much more toward sympathy for the Southern cause, mostly because I think there were many faults in the North which compromised their moral stature. 

Much of that I learned when I listened to 30 tapes by Steve Wilkins, a southern Presbyterian pastor, on America: the First 350 Years.  He ends with some comments on the War which opened my mind to a wholly new perspective.   I am hardly settled on the matter, but the South was not the only villain in the picture.  Not by a long shot.  The piece below touches on some of that.  

Whether the Hand of God was behind the death of Stonewall Jackson, I have no idea.  He was killed by a stray bullet from one of his own troops, apparently.   

The War was a beginning of a drift toward more centralization of government, fueled, as always, by the war in general, and by the refusal to allow the South to depart in peace.  I suspect economic issues were as much at the heart of Northern motives as was the elimination of slavery, especially among the New England industrial class, who apparently hated the South.  

Baldwin has been a candidate for President with the Constitution Party.     E. Fox]

Praise For Lee And Jackson
     By Chuck Baldwin
     January 16, 2009

This column is archived at

January is often referred to as "Generals Month" since no less than four
famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth month: James
Longstreet (Jan. 8, 1821), Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19, 1807), Thomas Jonathan
"Stonewall" Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two
of these men, Lee and Jackson, are particularly noteworthy.

Without question, Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson were two of the
greatest military leaders of all time. Even more, many military historians
regard the Lee and Jackson tandem as perhaps the greatest battlefield duo in
the history of warfare. If Jackson had survived the battle of
Chancellorsville, it is very possible that the South would have prevailed at
Gettysburg and perhaps would even have won the War Between the States.

In fact, it was Lord Roberts, commander-in-chief of the British armies in
the early twentieth century, who said, "In my opinion, Stonewall Jackson was
one of the greatest natural military geniuses the world ever saw. I will go
even further than that--as a campaigner in the field, he never had a
superior.  In some respects, I doubt whether he ever had an equal."

While the strategies and circumstances of the War of Northern Aggression can
(and will) be debated by professionals and laymen alike, one fact is
undeniable: Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson were two of the finest
Christian gentlemen this country has ever produced. Both their character and
their conduct were beyond reproach.

Unlike his northern counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant, General Lee never
sanctioned or condoned slavery. Upon inheriting slaves from his deceased
father-in-law, Lee immediately freed them. And according to historians,
Jackson enjoyed a familial relationship with those few slaves that were in
his home. In addition, unlike Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, there is no
record of either Lee or Jackson ever speaking disparagingly of the black

As those who are familiar with history know, General Grant and his wife held
personal slaves before and during the War Between the States, and, contrary
to popular opinion, even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free
the slaves of the North. They were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment
was passed after the conclusion of the war. Grant's excuse for not freeing
his slaves was that "good help is so hard to come by these days."

Furthermore, it is well established that Jackson regularly conducted a
Sunday School class for black children. This was a ministry he took very
seriously. As a result, he was dearly loved and appreciated by the children
and their parents.

In addition, both Jackson and Lee emphatically supported the abolition of
slavery. In fact, Lee called slavery "a moral and political evil." He also
said "the best men in the South" opposed it and welcomed its demise. Jackson
said he wished to see "the shackles struck from every slave."

To think that Lee and Jackson (and the vast majority of Confederate
soldiers) would fight and die to preserve an institution they considered
evil and abhorrent--and that they were already working to dismantle--is the
height of absurdity. It is equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the
memory of these remarkable Christian gentlemen.

In fact, after refusing Abraham Lincoln's offer to command the Union Army in
1861, Robert E. Lee wrote to his sister on April 20 of that year to explain
his decision. In the letter he wrote, "With all my devotion to the Union and
the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able
to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my
home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the army and save in
defense of my native state, with the sincere hope that my poor services may
never be needed . . ."

Lee's decision to resign his commission with the Union Army must have been
the most difficult decision of his life. Remember that Lee's direct
ancestors had fought in America's War For Independence. His father, "Light
Horse Harry" Henry Lee, was a Revolutionary War hero, Governor of Virginia,
and member of Congress. In addition, members of his family were signatories
to the Declaration of Independence.

Remember, too, that not only did Robert E. Lee graduate from West Point "at
the head of his class" (according to Benjamin Hallowell), he is yet today
one of only six cadets to graduate from that prestigious academy without a
single demerit.

However, Lee knew that Lincoln's decision to invade the South in order to
prevent its secession was both immoral and unconstitutional. As a man of
honor and integrity, the only thing Lee could do was that which his father
had done: fight for freedom and independence. And that is exactly what he

Instead of allowing a politically correct culture to sully the memory of
Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, all Americans should hold them in a
place of highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history
and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity.

Accordingly, it was more than appropriate that the late President Gerald
Ford, on August 5, 1975, signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, "restoring
posthumously the long overdue, full rights of citizenship to General Robert
E. Lee." According to President Ford, "This legislation corrects a 110-year
oversight of American history." He further said, "General Lee's character
has been an example to succeeding generations . . ."

The significance of the lives of Generals Lee and Jackson cannot be
overvalued. While the character and influence of most of us will barely be
remembered two hundred days after our departure, the sterling character of
these men has endured for two hundred years. What a shame that so many of
America's youth are being robbed of knowing and studying the virtue and
integrity of the great General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J.
"Stonewall" Jackson.

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Date Posted -  01/21/2008   -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012