Letter: America shouldn’t be guilty of social, ethnic cleansing

To the editor:

I would like to give a couple of quotes that Robert E. Lee made in 1856 in response to a speech made by President Franklin Pierce. “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery, as an institution, is a moral and political evil.”

Also, “Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. . . .This influence, though slow, is sure.”

These quotes are from “Recollections and Utterances of Robert E. Lee” written by his son. Gen. Robert E. Lee did not own any slaves, but General Grant did. Robert E. Lee was not going to be involved in the war unless his state and his people were attacked.

They were, and like any true man, he fought back. General Lee did not want any public display for himself because he was afraid the North would use this to further punish the people of the South during the awful period of martial law and Reconstruction.

When John Hunt Morgan invaded Indiana, what did the people of southern Indiana do? They fought back. It was not legal for a state or a group of states to invade another state or group of states. The federal government did not create the states, but the states created the federal government.

I believe that since states had the right to vote themselves into the Federal Union, they also have the right to vote themselves out. Nowhere in our Constitution did it say they could not withdraw from the Union.

The Articles of Confederation said it was permanent, but it was not. They voted to lay it aside. According to our Constitution, West Virginia is an illegal state because no state was to be created out of another state.

There was a revival in General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. As many as 150,000 men came to Christ as their Savior which prepared them for when they went home to houses that had been burned, families that had been scattered, livestock that had been scattered, killed or stolen.

Bankston, Mississippi, was about two miles from where I grew up. The Union Army came and burned the town down and everything in our area. Their only crime was that they made bricks. That is why men who owned no slaves rose up and fought. The enemy came to steal, kill and destroy. By the way, General Lee was the most beloved general in human history.

President Lincoln in 1863 issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves in the South, the area he did not control. However, he kept slavery in the states of Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland which he did control. Pretty good evidence that the war was not started over slavery.

I am 69 years old, and in my wildest imagination, I never believed America would be guilty of historical, social and ethnic cleansing. To destroy our past is to destroy our future.

James Brown