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Letter: Lee and Jackson were Virginia patriots

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I am writing to express my opposition to the renaming of Lee-Jackson Elementary School. Several historical mistakes were made on Tuesday, July 21, which need to be addressed in considering the question.

Despite Mr. Payne’s allegation, neither R.E. Lee nor T.J. Jackson owned a single slave. General Lee was never tried for treason. In fact, not one Confederate soldier or office holder was so tried. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Confederacy had a right to secede. Further, Lee was offered the command of all Union forces by Lincoln but refused and resigned because he “could not raise his sword against his native Virginia.” Thomas Jackson was, at the time of secession, an artillery and mathematics instructor at VMI. As such, he was an officer in the Virginia militia. Therefore, his service on behalf of the Confederacy could not be treason.

The claim that slavery was the proximate cause of the War Between the States is utter nonsense! Lincoln repeate...

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