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
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