Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | January 16, 2010

Lee-Jackson Day 2010

These men are why we have Lee-Jackson Day

It’s Lee-Jackson Day 2010.   Next years starts the 150th anniversary of the War of Northern Aggression.  More attention will  likely come this way on this day.  But, for now it is state holiday in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be ignored for the most part.   And, the only holiday hated and feared by many.

Politicians flee. Liberals disdain.   Bigots bay.  “Presentism”  poltroons pretend to pontificate, but piddle in prevarication.  Self-hating Southerners whine.  The history-challenged, PC-infected, government-school indoctrinated half of our voting population sit in their confused, apathetic, and unengaged stupor.

Then, there is us.  Virginians who honor history.  Virginians, especially including new Virginians, who share a common claim to bequeathed greatness.  We all are adopted heirs of great ideas, great valor and a powerful legacy.  We see virtue in simply being a good Virginian.

Finally, there are we few – a minority – in our home state who share family ties and oral history in a personal connection with the soldiers who served under Lee and Jackson.  We take a unmerited pride in the unearned, accident of our birth that graced us with the genetic material imbedded in our bones, blood, heart and mind from the best of brave soldiers, fierce patriots, and devout Christians.  We yearn to live up to their legacy.

Our Southern soldier ancestors honored Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.   The wives, children, widows, orphans, kin and neighbors of Lee and Jackson’s soldiers knew Lee and Jackson were sterling men.  Among the greatest Virginians who ever lived.  Good Virginians honored great Virginians with this holiday.

My veteran GG-Grandfather Holland’s son named two of his sons – Robert Lee and Thomas Jackson.  The son of a Southern soldier felt compelled to honor his father with names of old commanders in his father’s fight.  So did many others.

Lee and Jackson earned their honors that reach down to my generation and my children’s and their childrens’.  If I live long enough, all my grandchildren grow up knowing why we have pictures of Lee and Jackson in our home.


  1. I spent so much energy last year trying to hammer some facts and reason into the PC indoctrinated guys at Bearing Drift that I am still amazed by people who claim to be educated, individual rights/limited government adherents cannot understand why two great men (and no one can dispute their character who has read any biography of either man, or read the comments about them from their contemporaries who were Yankees. All honored these two great men.)

    Your point is good as well as we recognize the great men of honor who served under them. My family was in NC but put many relatives in service during the War.

    Unfortunately, Gen Porter Alexander, Lee’s Chief of Artillery, thought that history would eventually recognize their cause. It hasn’t publicly, yet those who actually read history FROM THE TIME and not just Presenist textbooks, know the truth.

  2. Alas, though men of ill repute plunder the treasury, betray their Sacred Oaths, and conspire to destroy this great nation under the guise of the “general welfare”, the Jackson’s and Lee’s of our Nation’s glorious history are relegated to the dust bin of history. Shame on us for letting it be so.

    Nothing better describes this current administration than this:

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

    For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

    —Cicero (106-43 BC)

  3. JAB – What you are complaining about is government being allowed to teach history.

    Let’s look at the problem. It was once the rule of every society to have a caste system. In times not so far gone, some men existed as part of the aristocracy. Most served as some sort of slave. In the middle there existed free men, men whose freedom the aristocracy chose to tolerate for reasons of their own.

    Until America came to be, slavery existed as the norm. A Christian nation whose people had read the Bible, most Americans found slavery incompatible with their beliefs.

    Unfortunately, early settlers brought slaves to America and thereby cursed their descendants. In the South, the owners of these slaves found slaves moderately profitable for agriculture. Moreover, being human, the slave master’s pride found the ownership of other human beings congenial. So in the South the peculiar institution of slavery survived. With the invention of the cotton gin, slavery thrived, and only war could destroy it.

    Were the people in the North superior? In one respect, the answer is yes. The enslavement of others undermines the value of labor. In a society of slaves, only slaves work hard. In a society of free men, everyone works and takes pride in the value of their work. Thus, by banning slavery and by conniving to drive the Negro out of Northern society, the North prospered.

    Nevertheless, with or without slaves, men remain men. Since there are no perfect men, we can only honor good men. For our own sake, to remind us copy their example, good men deserved to be honored. Therefore, the South has every right to honor its heroes. If that is not true, then we must trash a great deal of history. Most historical figures either owned slaves or ruled over men such as serfs, men and women who were virtually enslaved.

    Thus, when Liberal ideologues demand that Southerners cease honoring Southern heroes, they ask too much. They ask us to revise the very purpose for teaching history. The Liberal’s version of history goes so far as to teach us to hate America’s origins. Instead honoring past heroes, they would they have us honor their Utopian ideals, things which exist perfectly only as a figment of the imagination.

    We have a choice. We can study history by studying people in all their imperfections, or we can turn the study of history into mere dull and boring propaganda. If we cease to study what some find politically incorrect, then we will have nothing left but the propaganda.

    If we continue to allow government to teach history, then we will continue to see propagandizing, that is, the political correction of history to promote certain Utopian ideals. That is one reason why we should not allow politicians to interfere with our schools.

  4. Thanks for your comments. I’ve been off the net. Thank you very much.

  5. I grew up in the North, but came to Virginia at 18 and have lived in Virginia for most of the ensuing five decades. I love Virginia’s history and land. General Lee has been a major example of how I expect others and myself to behave since even before I left the North. So I have a vantage point that enables me to appreciate both sides of the argument.

    But one thing that I have observed is that there is no similar hero worship for Northern leaders in the Civil War. Is it because the North won militarily and doesn’t have the void to fill that defeat left for the South? If the South had prevailed, would there be less emphasis on individuals like Lee and Jackson? Are the Northern leaders simply less admirable as humans? Did Grant’s subsequent years as a President not in control of his Administration diminish him? Does esteem for Lincoln eclipse all of his Northern contemporaries?

    My mother’s family comes from the same cluster of small towns in Southern Ohio as did Grant’s family. My great-grandparents’ generation all knew the Grants and several of the males served either with or under Grant in various theatres. After the war, one of my mother’s relatives, an Admiral in the US Navy, was said to be the only man that Grant ever allowed to ride Cincinnati, Grant’s favorite mount. Another, a Major General in the United States Army, led the first Colored Troops into Richmond. Both my mother and father, who are elderly, but still very much alert and alive, remember their grandfathers as clearly as I remember mine. Those Grandfathers fought in the Union Army. So I know people who know people who fought in the Civil War. It wasn’t that far away, folks.

    I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that I regret the fads of American history, where things fall in and out of favor due to contemporary pressures. If Lee and Jackson were admirable men (and I believe they were) why not honor them and their links to the history and culture of the Commonwealth? Don’t turn a blind eye to the evil of the system their talents ended up defending, but give them credit for being admirable men who found themselves in a more horrible situation than any of us have had to face.

    Hope everything is going well for you, JAB. Looking forward to when you come up for air.

    • Hero worship may have served as some balm to wounded pride. But, I don’t see how that could be self-sustaining for 150 years – long after the sting is gone.

      I think it was the whole picture for Lee and Jackson. What West Point used to call the “whole man” development. These 2 West Pointers had it.

      Their success on the battlefield added much luster. Lee made the Yankees pay dearly for the 4 years to conquer 100 miles. Meanwhile, the Armies of the West conquered how many hundreds of miles? The key difference was the leadership.

      Agree on how short 150 years is. My grandparents knew their grandparents – the ACW II vets – very, very well. I grew up on their stories.

  6. Things like Lee-Jackson Day and the Marr Monument in Fairfax were meant as permanent reminders to generations like mine that the war was fought for reasons besides slavery. Are they working? Sadly, not so well as had been hoped. Too many people of our generation are steeped in PC garbage to really understand why Lee would refuse command of the United States Army.

  7. […] […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: