Lee’s burial site was not intended to be a *Lost Cause shrine to the Confederacy and the flags that adorned the space, before they were removed last year, only arrived in the 1930s. ~ *Kevin Levin at Civil War MemoryWell, not exactly. Actually, one might make an argument that Lee's burial site was indeed intended, at least in the mind of many, "to be a Lost Cause shrine to the Confederacy."And one does not have to look to "Lost Cause apologists" to support that argument. Simply examining the historical evidence objectively will suffice.
Per the Encyclopedia Virginia:
Lee Chapel, whose spired clock tower rises above the tree-shaded campus of Washington and Lee University (formerly Washington College) in Lexington, Virginia, is the final resting place of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and is popularly known as "The Shrine of the South."And, as history clearly shows, there most definitely was a connection to the "Lost Cause." Again, per the Encyclopedia Virginia:
A ceremony at the chapel on January 19, 1872—Lee's birthday—featured an address by Jubal A. Early in which the former Confederate general argued for Lee's "marvelous ability and boldness as a military commander." The speech was delivered in the context of arguments among former Confederates over who was to blame for Confederate defeat in the Civil War (and especially the defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863) and was a landmark event in the creation of the so-called Lost Cause view of the war.And there's more from the same source:
Lee's tomb and statue were venerated from the moment of their creation—in line with Lee's status as the ultimate hero in the Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War . . . the chapel and its grounds continue to serve as a site for important collegiate and civic events, and to honor the legacy of its namesake.And yet more:
1928 - The United Daughters of the Confederacy, in conjunction with Washington and Lee University, open a museum in the Lee Chapel basement.And, moreover, were it not for the fine ladies of the UDC, Lee Chapel as we know it today would not even exist. And don't many who are on the cleansing crusade consider the UDC one of the guardians of "the Lost Cause?"
All this being said, if one is really concerned about the original intention for the Chapel, then I would have to assume one would be all for supporting Lee's original motivations, which he expressed in his 1868 President's report:
“The completion of the new chapel, which has recently been dedicated to the service of Almighty God, is a pleasing as well as useful addition to the College buildings.” ~ Robert E. LeeSo, take your pick about the intended use of Lee Chapel - a Shrine to the South, the Confederacy and the Lost Cause or, a building dedicated to the service of Almighty God.
*I inserted that link for context. It was not part of the original quote.