COS John Kelly’s Civil War

White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly has been criticized for saying the Civil War was caused by a “lack of an ability to compromise.” Kelly made the comments during an interview on “The Ingraham Angle,” on Fox News. Kelly made the statement when asked about the removal of historical but polarizing statues commemorating Confederate figures. Kelly describes it this way, “There will be, 100 or 200 years from now, people that criticize us for what we do, and I guess they’ll tear down, you know, statues of people that we revere today,” Kelly told Laura Ingraham. “It’s dangerous, I think. … It’s just very, very dangerous and it shows you what, how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is.” On further reflection Kelly describes Gen. Lee as an “honorable man, who chose duty to his state over loyalty to the country of which he was an officer, It was always loyalty to state first back in those days, it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War. And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.” Critics immediately unloaded using social media like an AK-47, blasting his version of history to bits.  (Twitter), “Dear John Kelly: The United States of America exists because President Lincoln did not compromise.” and “Hmmm. What exactly, I wonder, would be the right “compromise” between slavery and freedom for human beings?” or ” Sorry John Kelly, the Confederacy refused to compromise ABOUT OWNING PEOPLE. They literally fought an entire war because of it. They should be remembered in history as traitors & losers, but never ever idolized as monuments.” Since this is a editorial, I am going to throw my two cents in also. I know what history says about Gen Lee and why he chose to led the rebellion and that he comes from a long line of Virginia political elite. But I also know that Henry Lee, Gen. Lee’s father was sent to debtor’s prison while Robert was still an infant because he did not pay his bills and eventually had to leave the country because of the constant harassment and threats from creditors. In 1813, Henry Lee skipped bail to sail for the West Indies. Robert Lee never saw him again. This left Lee and his mother in poverty, beholding to relatives for their keep. Although his mother was in poor health, and dependent on him, he convinced her to let him join the Army. I figure he did that because although they were poor, he still had the “Lee” name. Put an officers rank with that and he might do something, like marry into money, which he did. On June 30, 1831, he married his 3rd cousin, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, great-granddaughter of George Washington, our first President. Mary also owned Arlington House. Arlington House set on 5100 acres, had hundreds of slaves, and was making money hand over foot. Old Bobby Lee must have thought he had it made. ” Give me the bump bump be, give me the good life!” That’s until that pesky thing called secession came up. Lincoln asked “Marse Robert”, Lee had a lot of nicknames, “I need you to take control of the Union Army.” This is where the honorable crap goes out the window. Arlington House sits right where Arlington Cemetery is now, across the Potomac in Virginia. Lee had a choice to make. Accept the position offered to him by Lincoln now and have the rebels burn his house to the ground, before the week was out, leaving him with nothing or refuse Lincoln and make as much money as he could before the Feds took it. It was an economic choice. Refusing the rebels leaves him with nothing, he even accepted leading the Rebel Army against the very country that gave him the opportunity to get what he had always wanted, to regain his family name and wealth.

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