Your view: Take a history lesson before tearing down statues

August 23rd, 2017 4:36 pm

As a Civil War re-enactor and history teacher, I am disgusted with the ignorance of so many people who feel they must tear down statues of Americans.

Every time a Confederate statue is moved or comes down, it is a statue of an American. The American Civil War happened. It is a fact and cannot be changed.

Of course, we all know the cause of the American Civil War was slavery. At least that is what the history books say.

The actual cause of the American Civil War was in fact economics. Slavery was part of it, but not the main cause. Look up the “Morril Tariff” if you want the real cause of the war.

How can slavery have been the cause of the war when northern states still practiced the institution? Yes, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were all slave states.

Why did Robert Edward Lee, commander of only one of the Confederate armies, and there were more than one, free his slaves at the beginning of the war when Ulysses Grant and William Sherman kept them?

How do you explain the fact that there were regiments of black soldiers in the Confederate army actually used for fighting from the war’s beginning, and not just for labor as in the Union Army?

In fact, 95 percent of the Confederate army did not own slaves. Many were too poor. Slavery was too expensive and was slowly dying out when the war began. If left alone, it would have been gone within a few years.

By an act of Congress in 1957, all veterans of the Confederacy were considered American veterans.

What happened 153 years ago cannot be changed. Those who remove or tear down and kick these statues need a history lesson. You may well disagree with me on some, if not all, of what I said — that is your right as an American. But just remember, if you don’t know where you have been, you cannot know where you are going.

Mark Kahn

West Wyoming

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