Letter: Charlene Sullins, Chesapeake

Editor:   I love the Confederate generic monument in front of the courthouse in Leesburg. The building reminds me of colonial America and the Confederate monument sets it off. I read an article from Capital News where some find it offensive.

The monument represents a generic confederate soldier who should be remembered. The average confederate soldier was not fighting for slavery and the north wasn’t fighting to free them. Their leaders got them into it.

Both sides should be remembered for so many were killed and wounded.

My great grandpa Sullins fought for the Confederacy and four of his brothers were killed; it is believed my great grandpa was killed by a Republican guard shortly after the war. They owned no slaves. Only 6 percent of the soldiers owned slaves and I think they were the plantation owners; poor people couldn’t afford them. Plus 99 percent of the war was fought on southern turf, they were fighting for their homes.

President John Quincy Adams imposed the “Tariff of Abominations.” It caused what the south bought to go up as much as 30 percent and they could not sell their cotton to England and other countries. Lincoln campaigned in the northern textile mills if elected, he would impose a 50 percent tariff on cotton. The South controlled the committees, the only way he could get them out was to make them mad, so they seceded.

Secession at that period was not new, the northeast threatened to secede over Madison’s War of 1812 and because of Virginia’s flurry of eight presidents. The newspapers egged the war on. The north made up stories of slaves being beaten, etc.  Why would anybody beat something that was profitable to them?  The south accused the north of fomenting revolt.  I have never read in any history where the government offered to pay the plantation owners for the slaves and free them.  General Lee was offered the commander in chief position of the union forces; he turned it down because he didn’t want the Yankees invading his home across the Potomac.  He freed his slaves after George Washington died, Grant did not free his on his land in MO.  The reason the war dragged on a little over four years is the south had the best generals.  Lee’s and Stonewall Jackson’s war strategies are studied in military institutes across the country and Europe.  It is wrong to remove their monuments.

Charlene Sullins, Chesapeake

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