Rewriting history

Re: “To save the South: We are gradually erasing reminders of our past,” (March issue): You are right, the politically correct are trying to revamp and remove history. Here in Louisville, Ky., there is a move to remove a very large monument that is over 110 years old dedicated to Confederate soldiers from Kentucky who were killed in the War Between the States.

I’m 58 and spent 26 years in the military as a Coast Guard aviator, stationed mostly in the South. In fact, I only had one tour of duty north of I-10, and that was Elizabeth City, N.C. My ancestors have fought in every war since the American Revolution and when the South was invaded, they joined the 50th Virginia Infantry and served with distinction.

Because of the numerous attacks on anything Confederate in the last few years, I have become active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization made up of the descendants of Confederate soldiers dedicated to preserving the honor and the reputation of the Southern soldier and the South’s history. I’m a proud Southern man and I’m not going to stand by and let anyone tell me that my great-grandfather and his three brothers were racists, traitors or bigots. That is not true. They were hard working farmers in Lee County, Va., who never owned any slaves. They fought for their homes, their land and the protection of their families, and I’m proud of them.

Now, on a lighter subject, I have a copy of a letter from Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., to Major General William Connor, superintendent of West Point in 1937, where Gen. Buckner describes the ritual of preparing a Mint Julep. It’s classic and will almost bring tears to your eyes. Gen. Buckner was the son of Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, who surrendered Fort Donelson to General Grant and gave Grant the nickname of Unconditional Surrender Grant.

William M. Hayes
Louisville, Ky.

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