The Decision

Arlington House National Park Service.jpg

image – Public Domain

What does loyalty to one’s country mean?  What sacrifices need to be made to uphold honour?  And what does “one’s country” even mean?

The fifty-seven year old Army engineer pondered – no agonised over these questions.   He paced, fretted, and then sat to write a letter.  Colonel Robert Lee, had made up his mind.  Loyalty for one’s country requires sacrificing one’s own life for it.  Honour demands it.  Loyalty to one’s country – your home, the “state” is greater than some vague “national ideal.”

Lee would serve Virginia, not the union of other states.  He finished his resignation letter from the US Army, had left Arlington House for the vary last time.  He was going to Richmond, and his destiny.

(117 Words)


What Pegman Saw – Arlington, Virginia/Washington, D. C.

5 thoughts on “The Decision

  1. Lee was second in his West Point graduating class (Grant was 21st). The Civil War was a series of terrible choices for him, starting with this one. It is important to remember that the chief reason he served the Confederacy instead of the Union was this: Lee was a stalwart believer in slavery and white supremacy. Years of apologist campaigning has tried to reframe the southern revolt as a states’ rights issue, but it was always a fight for rich white men’s right to own black slaves.

    Lee was a principled man, but at his core he was defending the right of a certain set of men to own other men, and to do with them whatever they liked. Does that invalidate his better traits? This is up to the individual to decide, but the facts are the facts.

    Liked by 1 person

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