As a crowd chanted “Take him down, Take him down,” a statue of Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee that has stood in New Orleans for over 130 years was removed by activists last week.
With efforts by liberal activists to erase Confederate history growing across the nation, some worry that the Arlington House memorial for deceased Gen. Lee might be next.
Situated in Arlington, Virginia, the memorial is in fact a mansion (Arlington House, but formally known as Custis-Lee Mansion) adjoining a former plantation that overlooks the Potomac River and the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and whose sacred grounds constitute the home of Arlington National Cemetery.
The property was inherited by Gen. Lee’s wife, Mary Lee, in 1857 from her father, George Washington Parke Custis, and served as the Lee’s family home up until 1864, or approximately three years into the Civil War.
Two years earlier, Congress passed a law allowing commissioners to impose heavy levies “on real estate in ‘insurrectionary districts,’” according to Smithsonian magazine. The bill was designed “to raise revenue for the war, but also to punish turncoats like Lee.”
Stuck elsewhere due to the raging war and poor health conditions, Mary Lee reportedly sent her cousin to pay the tax sometime afterward. The commissioners rejected her money, arguing that Lee had to be present in person — and subsequently declaring the property in default. It was sold on January 11, 1864, in an auction to the federal government.
Given that “the increasing number of battle fatalities was outpacing the burial capacity of” cemeteries in Washington, D.C., 200 acres of the plantation were immediately set aside as a cemetery, according to the Arlington National Cemetery’s official website.
As of 2016, more than 400,000 Americans have been buried there, according to CNN, making it the second-largest cemetery in the nation. Among the dead were heroes of every stripe, including former President William Howard Taft, former President John F. Kennedy, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, etc.
As for Gen. Lee and his family, they never returned to the property, as noted by the National park Service. Instead they resettled in Lexington and were later financially compensated for the estate.
Last but not least is Arlington House, which still stands tall and proud in 2017, serving as a stark reminder of the unintentional but still fundamental role the deceased Confederate general and his family have played in the lives of over 400,000 American heroes and leaders.
To try and destroy this memorial would be the worst decision of a pitiful liberal’s life. We understand loud and clear that liberals loathe history, particularly if it offends their sensibilities, but here’s the thing: History cannot be changed; it’s an inexorable component of existence.
Moreover, the history of this particular memorial is especially ironclad, and any attempt to pervert it would be more than just wrong; it would be sacrilegious, and we’d like to think that liberals are above sacrilege.
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