Robert E. Lee: January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870

Robert E. Lee: January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870

This weekend I celebrate the birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee, a true Son of the South!

I do NOT celebrate this *other* so-called holiday. You can celebrate YOUR heroes and holidays as you wish and I will celebrate MINE! I bear no ill will to those that celebrate the *other* holiday, I hope they are open-minded enough to feel the same in return.


Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War.


January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, a joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee was introduced into the Senate by Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (I-VA). The resolution was to restore the U.S. citizenship to Robert E. Lee effective June 13, 1865. This resolution was the result of a five year campaign to posthumously restore Robert E. Lee’s U.S. citizenship.

On September 28, 1870, Lee suffered a stroke. He died two weeks later, shortly after 9 a.m. on October 12, 1870, in Lexington, Virginia from the effects of pneumonia.

Here in Texas we take our holidays, traditions and heritage quite seriously.

Confederate Heroes Day in Texas

Confederate Heroes Day is a Texas State Holiday created by Chapter 221, Senate Bill 60, of the 63rd Texas Legislature. Approved June 1, 1973 and Effective August 27, 1973, this bill deleted June 3rd as a holiday for Jefferson Davis’ birthday and combined it with Robert E. Lee’s Birthday, January 19th. It is the last holiday in the State of Texas dedicated to Confederate Veterans. We as “Sons of Confederate Veterans” are dedicate to the preservation of this holiday, the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which we love also, and those ideals which made him glorious. We celebrate this day in remembrance of those gallant individuals who bravely defended their families and their homeland in the war for southern independence. SOURCE

Admin Note: It appears that the link to Confederate Heroes Day is a Texas has gone to the inactive side of the ‘net, the info is still correct though.


Some say we fly the Confederate Flag because we are racists and haters. Those people are what I like to call WRONG. Hatred and racism have NOTHING to do with pride and our heritage.

I grow frustrated by those that insist the War Between the States was a war fought over the issue of slavery, it was not. Many still refer to it as The War of Northern Aggression.

So, let us examine some Confederate history, MYTH vs FACTS, and a bit of REAL history concerning those many myths as they are properly taken to task in the following:

History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispel some of these rampant inaccuracies.

MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.

FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain and simple. When the South started Secession, Lincoln was asked, “Why not let the South go in peace?” To which he replied, “I can’t let them go. Who would pay for the government?” Sensing total financial ruin for the North, Lincoln waged war on the South. The South fought the War to repel Northern aggression and invasion.

MYTH- Only Southerners owned slaves.

FACT- Entirely untrue. Many Northern civilians owned slaves. Prior to, during and even after the War Of Northern Aggression.

Surprisingly, to many history impaired individuals, most Union Generals and staff had slaves to serve them! William T. Sherman had many slaves that served him until well after the war was over and did not free them until late in 1865.

U.S. Grant also had several slaves, who were only freed after the 13th amendment in December of 1865. When asked why he didn’t free his slaves earlier, Grant stated “Good help is so hard to come by these days.”

Contrarily, Confederate General Robert E. Lee freed his slaves (which he never purchased - they were inherited) in 1862!!! Lee freed his slaves several years before the war was over, and considerably earlier than his Northern counterparts. And during the fierce early days of the war when the South was obliterating the Yankee armies!

Lastly, and most importantly, why did NORTHERN States outlaw slavery only AFTER the war was over? The so-called “Emancipation Proclamation” of Lincoln only gave freedom to slaves in the SOUTH! NOT in the North! This pecksniffery even went so far as to find the state of Delaware rejecting the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 and did not ratify it (13th Amendment / free the slaves) until 1901!

MYTH- The Confederate Battle Flag was flown on slave ships.

FACT- NONE of the flags of the Confederacy or Southern Nation ever flew over a slave ship. Nor did the South own or operate any slaves ships. The English, the Dutch and the Portuguese brought slaves to this country, not the Southern Nation.

BUT, even more monumental, it is also very important to know and understand that Federal, Yankee, Union ships brought slaves to America! These ships were from the New England states, and their hypocrisy is atrocious.

These Federals were ones that ended up crying the loudest about slavery. But without their ships, many of the slaves would have never arrived here. They made countless fortunes on the delivery of slaves as well as the products made from raw materials such as cotton and tobacco in the South.

This is the problem with Yankee history. History is overwhelmingly portrayed incorrectly by most of the Federal & Yankee books and media.

MYTH- The Confederate Battle Flag represented the Southern Nation.

FACT- Not true. While the Southern Battle flag was carried into battle, the Southern Nation had 3 different National flags during the course of the war.

The First National flag was changed due to a resemblance of the US flag.

The Second National flag was subsequently modified due to the similarity to a flag of truce.

The Third National flag was the adopted flag of the Confederacy.

The Confederate Battle Flag was never a National Flag of the Confederacy. It was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army Of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee. Was also used as a Naval Jack by the Confederate Navy.

MYTH- The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the “Stars & Bars”.

FACT- A common misconception. The First National Confederate Flag is correctly known as the “Stars & Bars”. The Confederate Battle Flag is known as the “Southern Cross”.

MYTH- The Confederate Battle Flag represents racism today.

FACT- The Confederate Battle Flag today finds itself in the center of much controversy and hoopla going on in several states. The cry to take this flag down is unjustified. It is very important to keep in mind that the Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism? This myth is continued by lack of education and ignorance. Those that vilify the Confederate Battle Flag are very confused about history and have jumped upon a bandwagon with loose wheels.

MYTH- The United States Flag represented freedom.

FACT- No chance. The US flag flew over a slave nation for over 85 years! The North tolerated slavery and acknowledged it as a Division Of Labor. The North made a vast fortune on slavery and it’s commodities. It wasn’t until the South decided to leave the Union that the North objected. The North knew it could not survive without the Southern money. That is the true definition of hypocrisy.

MYTH- Abraham Lincoln was the Great Emancipator.

FACT- While Lincoln has went down in history as the Great Emancipator, many would not care to hear his real thoughts on people of color. Martyred President Abraham Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed slaves to the jungles of Central America once the war was over. Knowing that African society would never allow the slaves to return back to Africa, Lincoln also did not want the slaves in the US. He thought the jungles of Central America would be the best solution and conducive to the freed slaves best interest. The only thing that kept this from happening, was his assassination.

MYTH- The South revered slavery.

FACT- A very interesting fact on slavery is that at the time the War of 1861 -1865 officially commenced, the Southern States were actually in the process of freeing all slaves in the South. Russia had freed it’s servants in 1859, and the South took great note of this. Had military intervention not been forced upon the South, a very different America would have been realized then as well as now.

MYTH- The Confederate Army was comprised of rich slave owners.

FACT- Very far from true. The vast majority of soldiers in the Confederate Army were simple men of meager income. Most of which were hard working farmers and common men. Then, as now, very few rich men ever fight a war.

MYTH- Only the North had men of color in their ranks.

FACT- Quite simply a major falsehood of history. Many blacks, both free and of their own will, joined the Confederate Army to fight for their beloved Southern home. Additionally, men of other ethnic extraction fought as well. Oriental, Mexican & Spanish men as well as Native American Indians fought with pride for the South.

Today, many men of color are members in the heritage group SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans. These men of color and pride rejoice in their heritage. The continued attacks on the Southern Nation, The Confederacy, and her symbols are a terrible outrage to these fine people. These attacks should be denounced with as much fervor as those who denounce the South.

MYTH- The Confederate Flags are an authorized symbol of Aryan, KKK and hate groups.

FACT- Quite the contrary. These despicable organizations such as the KKK and Aryans have taken a hallowed piece of history, and have plagued good Southern folks and the memories of fine Confederate Soldiers that fought under the flag with their perverse agenda. IN NO WAY does the Confederate Flag represent hate or violence. Heritage groups such as the SCV battle daily the damage done to a proud nation by these hate groups. The SCV denounces all hate groups, and pridefully boast HERITAGE - NOT HATE.

MYTH- The SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a racist, hate group.

FACT- This is a blatant attack on one of the finest heritage groups ever. The SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans are a historical, patriotic and non-political organization comprised of descendants of Confederate Soldiers and sailors dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861 -1865 period is preserved and presented to the public. The SCV continues to educate the public of the memory and reputation of the Confederate soldier as well as the motives for his suffering and sacrifice.

The SCV - Sons Of Confederate Veterans are in NO WAY affiliated with, nor does it recognize or condone the terrible legacy of hate groups such as the KKK. SOURCE

You can’t get a much more comprehensive, in-depth explanation than that.

Additional Reading: Gen. Robert E. Lee: January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870

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5 Responses to Robert E. Lee: January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870

  1. Lee says:

    Thank you Fred,,,,I also learned a couple of things from this fine article.
    I fly three flags, the US, Texas, and the Southern Cross

  2. Katie says:

    Irony plagues this issue. Lincoln signed the “Emancipation Proclamation” and freed 0 slaves. The first slave owner in the US was a black man. Heck many of the slave owners and plantation owners in Louisiana were black. The Sons of the Confederacy have Black members, White member, Indian members. US Grant signed an order evicting every Jew from the South. And the Civil War was fought for States Rights. But thanks to liberal New England historians it was changed to slavery to make the South look racist, while true racism was in the North. If you don’t believe so how many remember this? And the idea of White Flight.

  3. Longstreet says:

    As a long time, and very PROUD, member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans — Thank You, Fred, for publishing this piece! The First National Flag of the Confederacy was flying off the door post of Longstreet’s office all day Saturday as the state of North Carolina recognized the great man’s day of birth. The First National was also flying over the state Capitol Saturday.

    It is a rare thing , indeed, to be offered command of the Union Army and have the courage to defer to his home state of Virginia to serve as a general in the Confederate Army as was Lee. Only later was he promoted to Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

    If I may, I’d like to relate a story I have heard many times, which may shed some light on the character of the man Lee.

    It is said that shortly after the war, on a Sunday morning in Virginia, a local church was celebrating the Eucharist (communion, the Lord’s Supper) As the pastor/priest stepped to the communion rail with the Eucharist, an elderly black man, a slave just a short time before, rushed down the aisle to be the first person to arrive and kneel at the rail. A commotion ran through the congregation. “How dare he?” “Why, this was just awful!” For a few minutes the commotion continued to build.

    Then slowly an elderly white gentleman rose from his pew, side stepped out into the aisle, and slowly and gingerly made his way down the aisle and gently settled on his knees, right beside the black gentleman, and both held out their hands to receive the bread and wine — the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

    The church went silent. Utterly silent. Then, suddenly, there was a rush down the aisles to the alter rail by the remaining congregants.

    A leader of men had stepped forward to right a wrong that Sunday morning. And he did. That elderly white man was General Robert Edward Lee … a Son of the South and a great American.

    Thank you, again, Fred!

    J. D. Longstreet

    • BobF says:

      I believe back during that era, most men pledged their loyalty to God, State, and Country in that order. Reading on Stonewall Jackson, it was loyalty to his state too as the reason he left the union army.

  4. BobF says:

    Fought because Lincoln said government (North) needed the money of the South. I cannot find the link but I just recently read of the economic power of the Southern States today and how that power has shifted from the Northern industrial states. Today, in America, your Southern states along with most of those in the Central United States are literally supporting the Northeast, California, Illinois, and Michigan. Still, because of their populations which are sucking the rest of the nation dry, they’re controlling our national elections and voting themselves Free Cheese out of our pockets. They’re also the states who are trying most to thwart our Second Amendment Rights

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