What was that that Lord Acton said?
But perhaps there's hope for their rehabilitation. Virginia Governor Terence McAuliffe recently issued an official proclamation honoring the admirable character qualities of Generals Lee and Jackson. If these three morally lacking Governors would just study the lives of these great men, along with their character, perhaps they could avoid these moral lapses in the future. As I recall hearing Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. once note: "Robert E. Lee never existed [in the minds of some] because we don't have a Robert E. Lee today." And, as Dr. Robertson wrote of Jackson in his book, Stonewall Jackson's Book of Maxims:
Jackson's success in character building approached perfection. An early biographer concluded: "Jackson's personal character was absolutely without blemish. His habits were of the manliest that a Puritan could wish; his honor clean, and his courage superlative; while as a gentleman in expression and action, he had no superior."Indeed he could. And indeed he is.
A man who would not use liquor, tobacco, or profanity, Jackson could be a role model for any age. (Emphasis mine.)
1/17/2014 WHEREAS, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson were native Virginians, having served our great nation and Commonwealth as educators, leaders, and military strategists; and
WHEREAS, Lee served in the United States Army for more than three decades until he left his position to serve as Commander in Chief of Virginia's military forces and as Commander of the Army of northern Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Jackson taught philosophy and military tactics as a professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington for nearly a decade before serving briefly in the United States Army and later joining the Confederate Army to fight for his native Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Lee dedicated his life after the Civil War to reforming higher education in the South by serving as President of Washington College, now Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, where he helped to greatly increase the school's funding and expanding the curriculum to create an atmosphere most conductive to learning for young men of both Southern and Northern heritage; and
WHEREAS, Jackson's leadership and bravery enabled him to rally his troops to several improbable victories against opposition forces much larger than his own, and Jackson's inspired "Stonewall Brigade" fought alongside General Lee's troops toward another victory even after their leader was fatally wounded on the second day of the Battle of Chancellorsville; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting to recognize Generals Lee and Jackson as two of our nation's most notable military strategists, as beloved leaders among their troops, as pioneers in the field of higher education and as faithful and dedicated Virginians;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize January 17, 2014; as LEE-JACKSON DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and call this observance to attention for all our citizens.