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SAM DEAN | The Roanoke Times 9/1/11--Supporters of a Sons of Confederate Veterans anti-ordinance rally held at Hopkins Green in Lexington, Virginia, Thursday, September 1, 2011, wave flags to protest a Lexington City ordinance under review that would effectively ban flags, such as the Confederate flag, from flying from public lamp posts.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Civil War in thecontext of its time
Re: “ ‘Arrogant’ abolitionists were right,” Brett L. Shadle commentary, Sept. 15:
Associate professor Shadle’s attack on John Cahoon’s thoughtful commentary (“Committed to many causes,” Sept. 3) on why Civil War soldiers fought is yet another case of a poorly vetted faculty member from my alma mater inappropriately sounding off.
Shadle’s next task at correcting history should be to explain to noted Virginia Tech history professor William Davis why the entire 11th chapter of his book “The Cause Lost” is incorrect. Davis is the source of many of Cahoon’s points.
Also, Shadle should ring up distinguished historian Thomas Fleming and lecture him on the inaccuracies in his recent book “A Disease in the Public Mind.” Fleming explains the efforts at emancipation.
Cahoon’s article extracts thoughts from noted scholars and helps us see the building conflict in the context of its time. Good men struggled for emancipation but lost out to extremists on both ends.
Shadle’s article falls into the sophomoric trap of attempting to judge an event from the past using current social mores. Cahoon’s sources help us better understand, while Shadle’s article is little more than divisive regurgitation.
Cahoon’s article seeks simply to honor the soldiers, not justify slavery.
CARTER T. GILL
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