Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Robert E. Lee comments on the results of the Civil War



"The South has contended only for the supremacy of the Constitution, and the just administration of the laws made in pursuance to it. Virginia to the last made great efforts to save the union, and urged harmony and compromise.... Although the South would have preferred any honourable compromise to the fratricidal war which has taken place, she now accepts in good faith its constitutional results, and receives without reserve the amendment which has already been made to the Constitution for the extinction of slavery. That is an event that has been long sought, though in a different way, and by none has it been more earnestly desired than by citizens of Virginia."


Today being Robert E. Lee's birthday, the Washington Times has reprinted a letter from Robert E. Lee, written in 1866 to an Englishman who asked for his reflections on the results of the Civil War. Thanks to the Southern Appeal for the Link.

While one can certainly debate how quickly the South would have ended slavery, left to its own devices, and though I agree with Lincoln that the Civil War was God's judgment on this country for the sin of Slavery, on purely constitutional grounds, the South had a better legal case for its rights to withdraw from the Union than the Union had for forcing it to stay. It is just unfortunate that the South pressed their rights primarily in defense of an evil. I wish today, however, that a state or two would at least threaten to secede because of the unconstitutional actions of the Supreme Court, particularly on such issues as abortion on demand.

Today is a state holiday in Texas, which works out great for me, because today is also an Orthodox holiday... the Feast of Theophany (aka Epiphany).

So thanks to Robert E. Lee, I don't have to take leave to celebrate this wonderful feast. :)

Theophany is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and the beginning of his public ministry. In the west, it is also known as Three Kings Day. For those wondering why it is celebrated on January 6th by those in the west, and today by those on the Julian Calendar, you can read this post.