In the month of January, we have the birthdays of two Southern icons.
They fought in a tumultuous war over our country's future. Some historians have made efforts to demean their places in our history. Their unquestionable character has stood the test of time against these attacks. They were devout Christians who fought for their beloved Virginia. It was their belief that whatever outcome that prevailed was God's will.
In their days, the state's sovereignty was considered equal to or greater than the limited powers of the federal government. When President Lincoln ordered the invasion of Virginia and other Southern states, Virginians responded against this calamity. Their secession was provoked by his order.
Many sons of Virginia stepped up to defend her borders. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson had no other choice.
Neither man believed in forced servitude. Gen. Lee freed his family's slaves in 1857. Gen. Jackson bought and freed a young black man who worked with him at Virginia Military Institute.
They fought to maintain their state's liberty. Virginians knew what the Constitution meant. They wrote it.
Gen. Robert E. Lee was born Jan. 21, 1807. He was called the greatest American general by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was born Jan. 19, 1824.
Robert L. Gordon
North Augusta, S.C.