Some Ironies

There are a few facts that seem rather humorous in retrospect.

At the outset of the Civil War, General Lee owned no slaves. The ones he had received through his marriage had been freed long ago. On the other hand, General Grant did own slaves. He freed them during the war.

It was illegal in the South to teach a slave to read. Most people paid no attention to this as most considered the slaves incapable of such a talent. Thomas Jackson (General “Stonewall” Jackson, taught his slaves to read and built them a church and school for their own use. It was illegal, but he did it anyway. He must have seemed very progressive as many Americans (North and South) thought blacks had no soul, just like the Native Americans.

We have come quite a way since then.

Imagine where we’ll be in another hundred and fifty years.

Another thing I always thought was strange is the amount of support U. S. Grant got from Southern leaders when he ran for the Presidency. One of the main thorns in his side during the war had been Col. John S. Mosby yet Mosby was a very vocal supporter for Grant’s run at the Presidency. So much so that there were several attempts on his life in Warrenton, VA, where he lived after the war.

The National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, is the final resting place for many of the greats in American history. It had been the residence of Robert E. Lee before the war. It was captured early on in the conflict and became the headquarters of the Union Army in Virginia.

Lee never regained ownership of Arlington house and its grounds. Although after many years of petitioning, the Lee family did get some compensation for the Union spoils but it was long after the owner had died.

Another irony is that many of the shippers who brought the slaves to America were from New England States like Massachusetts and Connecticut. Less than a century later, it was primarily their descendants who were the most outspoken abolitionists.

Weird, huh?


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