February 14, 2014
13th Virginia Mechanized Cavalry
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp #9
P.O. Box 5037
Driver, Virginia 23435
To the Editor:
I read with saddened heart of the fusion of the politically-correct Tredegar establishment and the soon-to-be-former Museum of the Confederacy. As was inevitable given it’s “leadership” over the years, the Museum has finally embraced that full anti-Southern mindset that cheers the victory of Lincoln’s Leviathan State over the last Republic in North America. But, parenthetically, what can one expect when Virginia’s various Sesquicentennial groups chose such slogans as “On to Richmond”—the cry of Union armies—and an “educational mobile unit” nick-named the Custermobile for the large image of Union General George Armstrong Custer which appears on its side! And this is the vehicle touring Virginia—Mother of States and Mother of Presidents—teaching the history (according to Lincoln sycophants and politically correct “historians”) of the War Against Southern Independence. Alas! The only story being told by Virginia’s heritage establishment seems to be that predicated upon the need to make a war against tyranny into a war for slavery!
But the effort to remove the word “Confederate” from the Museum’s name is not new.
As a member several years ago, I received an e-mail from Mr. Rawls asking my opinion about doing just that. Being naïve—and believing that Rawls was being pressured to be politically correct—I advised him to hold fast to the name of the last Republic on American soil and not to support the crusade of cultural genocide against the South.
Silly me! It appears that in fact he wished to reject the name and was seeking support from members of a similar persuasion.
I have advised those involved in the preservation of Southern heritage to challenge at law any who wish to make of the Museum one more politically-correct vehicle for the current false “historical narrative.” The mission statement of the its founders and all those who have supported it throughout the years by donations of personal treasures and money has not just been ignored by the current regime, but openly rejected. Not only does the Museum no longer recognize and promote the noble cause of the South and the sacrifice of those who fought and fell in her defense, but it has become another establishment vehicle to condemn and vilify those heroes and their cause—a cause which hero Col. John Singleton Mosby called “the noblest…ever defended by the sword…”
The original spirit of the Museum is to be found in the first appeals for donations in 1892:
“The glory, the hardships, the heroism of the war were a noble heritage for our children. To keep green such memories and to commemorate such virtues, it is our purpose to gather together and preserve in the Executive Mansion of the Confederacy the sacred relics of those glorious days.”
The final declaration is found in the first paragraph of the Introduction Page, Catalogue of the Confederate Museum of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, 1905, to wit:
“The need of an organization to preserve a true and faithful record of the gallant struggle made by the soldiers of the South for independence being keenly felt, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society was chartered and organized under the laws of Virginia, its object being to teach all future generations the true history of the war and the principles for which these soldiers laid down their lives."
Is there anyone who sincerely believes that the current administration of the Museum is acting in accordance with these founding declarations? Rather are they not acting in a manner diametric to those noble goals? This was never to be a collection of uniforms and flags! It was always intended to memorialize the struggle of the South against federal tyranny in the War of Secession.
Surely, such an intentional rejection of the fundamental meaning of the institution placed in one’s trust must preclude one remaining in a position of trust. It also requires that several pertinent questions be asked—and answered! When was the avowed purpose of the Museum of the Confederacy recast so as to make it into another component of anti-Southern propaganda? And as this new “mission” is now in effect, when was this matter made public and by what vote was the original mission removed and replaced by this current enterprise? And, again, what right did Mr. Rawls and his minions have to institute this new understanding of an institution founded before the beginning of the last century on a very different program? Yet, as it is obvious that a new “program,” diametric to the original vision for the Museum, is now in effect, is that not contrary to the legal, not to mention moral obligations of the authorities who have brought it about?
If those in charge of the Museum of the Confederacy and not of the American Civil War—a title which is mendacious in itself—could not and/or would not abide by their duties to that institution, were they not then honour-bound to remove themselves from those positions? I would say that anyone with any understanding of the meaning of those words would have said, “yes!” If they could not support an institution venerating Southern heritage as intended, they should have removed themselves from their positions. That they did not do so but chose to use those positions to force their will upon those who looked to them to honourably serve their charge only shows that the agenda of Lincoln and his armies did not end with Appomattox.
To my mind, I would rather that these noble relics be returned to those who gave them in good faith and placed in smaller right-thinking repositories around the South for proper recognition, understanding and reverence than for them serve as trophies for those whose victory was a matter of might over right and who continue to work ceaselessly to remove all remaining vestige of Southern heritage and history from the minds of men.
Very truly yours, etc.
Lady Val Protopapas