I read your OpEd piece published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on this date. The VMI Honor Code, may I remind you, simply states that "A VMI Cadet neither lies, cheats, or steals, or tolerates those who do." You both are tolerating a lie in your assertions that "Stonewall" Jackson, a VMI professor, "took up arms to destroy the union in defense of the institution of slavery." This is "The Myth of American History," which is a lie. Voltaire said "History is the propaganda of the victorious," propaganda are steeped in lies by definition, and thus you both have tolerated a lie in violation of the VMI Honor Code.
If Jackson's statue offends your righteous sensibilities now that you have graduated, I question the sincerity of your convictions. Why didn't you speak out while you were a cadet? Better yet, why did you go to VMI in the first place? Now you post your righteous virtues by claiming as VMI graduates that VMI should "move forward" and remove Jackson's statue from in front of Jackson Arch. Will that appease your "Woke" sensibilities? As Kipling observed, "As long as you pay the Dane-geld/You never get rid of the Dane."
If your righteous sensibilities compel you to advocate the removal of Jackson's statue, won't they compel you by the same token to advocate renaming Jackson Memorial Hall? What about doing away with the New Market Day Parade, and the passing in review and saluting those ten boys who died fighting for the Confederacy who rest beneath Sir Moses Ezekiel's "Virginia Mourning Her Dead"? Or will you suggest digging them up and getting them off of the post altogether? Or how about removing Ezekiel's statue along with them? He, you know, was in C Company at the Battle of New Market, making him another one of those reprehensible people who evidently offends your righteous sensibilities.
There is more. How about digging the Yankee cannonballs out of the barracks that were fired there by the vandal Union General David Hunter, who shelled and burned the Institute, who burned Governor Letcher's home in town, and who left in his wake on his march to Lynchburg burning houses and plundered and wailing civilian women and children, both white and black, until he met General Jubal Early, who chased this Yankee "Georgie Porgie, puddin' and pie" clean out of the State like the coward that he was in meeting real soldiers.
Now I know there are "extenuating and mitigating circumstances" that you might plea in your defense before the VMI Honor Court. You may not have realized that your accusations against General Jackson and his statue are based upon this hundred-and-fifty-year-old lie known as "The Myth of American History." Therefore, I would think an honorable VMI Honor Court would not have you drummed out had you honestly not known the Truth. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to attach the Truth herein, so that in the future you will not find yourself in error. But now that you do know the Truth, you cannot be exonerated next time on a plea of ignorance.
H. V. Traywick, Jr.
VMI Class of 1967
“Divide et impera” – Ancient political maxim quoted by Machiavelli
The agitation over Confederate monuments rests upon The Myth of American History, which proclaims that “The Civil War was all about slavery, the righteous North waged it to free the slaves, and the evil South fought to keep them. End of story. Any questions?”
Well, yes. Something doesn’t compute, here. If the North were waging a war on slavery, why didn’t she wage war on New England cotton mills and their profits from slave-picked cotton? Or on New York and Boston, the largest African slave-trading ports in the world according to the January 1862 Continental Monthly? Or on Northern shipyards that outfitted the slave ships? Or on New England distilleries that made rum from slave-harvested sugar cane to use for barter on the African coast? Or on the African slavers themselves, such as the Kingdom of Dahomey, who captured their fellow Africans and sold them into slavery in the first place? And why did Abraham Lincoln choose to inaugurate the bloodiest war in the history of the Western Hemisphere to, in effect, drive Southern slavery back into the Union? And why did his Emancipation Proclamation – a cynical, desperate war measure of his total war against the South that did not pretend to free any slave who was not behind Confederate lines, and which was not issued until halfway through the war when the South was winning it - say that slavery was alright as long as one was loyal to his government – proven the following summer when he admitted West Virginia, a “slave State,” into the Union? And why did he work until the day he died to deport blacks back to Africa? And why was slavery Constitutional in the North throughout the entire war?
Do not make the common mistake of confusing the many causes of secession – including slavery in the Territories (racist Northerners wanted to keep the Territories, as well as their own States, “lily-white”), Radical Abolitionist terrorism, the North’s extortionate tariffs against the agrarian South, Southern States’ rights vs. the North’s unconstitutional empowerment of the central government, and, finally and particularly, the election of Lincoln, the presidential candidate of a strictly Northern sectional political party in vitriolic enmity against the South – do not confuse all of these causes of secession with the single cause of the war, which was secession itself! With the South’s “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union and set up as a free trade confederacy on the North’s doorstep, the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” would collapse! So Lincoln rebuffed every Southern overture for peace, launched an armada against Charleston Harbor to provoke South Carolina into firing the first shot, got the war he wanted (causing Virginia and four other States to secede when he called for their troops to help subjugate the “Cotton Kingdom”), and drove the Southern States back into the Union at the point of the bayonet. Then, with an Army of Occupation and the pretense of law, a corrupt Northern political party imposed a vindictive Reconstruction on the South that transformed the voluntary Union of sovereign States into a coerced industrial Empire.
Results? For the North? “The Gilded Age.” For the South? Grinding poverty in a land laid waste until the Second World War. For the Blacks? A recent study of military and Freedman’s Bureau records has revealed that between 1862 and 1870 perhaps as many as a million ex-slaves, or twenty-five percent of the population, died of starvation or became seriously ill from disease epidemics and neglect under their Northern “liberators”! Freed from their master’s care, Lincoln had told them to “root hog, or die.” Black enfranchisement in the South (but not in the North), was merely another cynical tool of the North’s subjugation of the South, and once she had achieved it, the North abandoned her Black puppets to the upheaval she had wrought in Southern society and turned her attention to the Plains Indians, who were in the way of her trans-continental railroads. But let the Indians tell you that story. Freedom? Union at the point of the bayonet is slavery to a totalitarian government. Equality? Chronic Black riots in segregated Northern ghettos speak for themselves, but they keep Desperate White Liberals busy designing crusades upon which to post their own specious virtues and to divert credulous Black attention onto Southern scapegoats.
The latest are attacks on Confederate monuments honoring men who defended our homeland against invasion, conquest, and a coerced political allegiance - just as their fathers had done in 1776 when the thirteen slave-holding Colonies – from Georgia to Massachusetts – seceded from the British Empire. But I have some bad news for the crusaders: You may tear down every Confederate monument on the face of the earth and it won’t change a thing. That is the monumental truth! But these attacks have nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with Progressive virtue-posting and their divide-and-rule identity politics, so when all of the Confederate monuments have been vandalized and torn down, who will their next targets be?
A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, the author graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1967 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Regular Commission in the US Army. His service included qualification as an Airborne Ranger, and command of an Engineer company in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star. After his return, he resigned his Commission and ended by making a career as a tugboat captain. During this time he was able to earn a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, with an international focus on war and cultural revolution. He is a member of the Jamestowne Society, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Society of Independent Southern Historians. He currently lives in Richmond, where he writes, studies history, literature and cultural revolution, and occasionally commutes to Norfolk to serve as a tugboat pilot