Scott Sternlieb’s remarks on Nov. 7 were uninformed and unfair. He inferred that instances of slave murder, torture and rape were common. They were not. Slavery, then as now, was an uncivilized and inhuman institution, but the slaveholders were not the Simon Legrees depicted in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Assuming them to be so is an affront to any intelligent discussion of the subject.
But that argument is beside the point. The fine young men of the Confederate Army were not slaveholders. Do you believe that men in their teens and early twenties possessed the wealth to own slaves? No, they were patriots, fighting for the right to end a voluntary association with the other states. If Mr. Sternlieb considers them to be traitors, he must apply that appellation to George Washington and Nathan Hale, who also fought heroically to end an association they rejected. I consider all the above to be patriots, worthy of our praise.
The so-called "Civil War" was not that, at all. It was originally entitled "The War Between the States," which is more factual. In the South, a few still refer to that tragic conflict as "The War of Yankee Aggression," which is also more accurate than "Civil War."
I do not believe that Mr. Sternlieb adds anything constructive to the difficulties of today’s society by slandering heroes of the past and by degrading thoughtful men who seek to bring dignity to their memory.