A ghost had spoken to me today as I arrived at the Virginia White House of the Confederacy. On this cold, December morning in Richmond,Virginia, a black servant led me through a great door and I entered a time of Confederate glory. In my imagination, this gray-bearded host had been patiently awaited for my presence today. His name was Robert E. Lee.
“Thank you for visiting our beautiful capital in Richmond. I appreciate that you took the time to understand how difficult it was for me to leave my Virginia home to remain true to the Southern cause in 1861. You might have been experiencing a similar confusion about your allegiances as you left friends and family in your travels. Imagine how it felt in my time to see the anguished eyes of a rebel soldier as he realized he might never return home to his beloved family homeland.”
“How could the loss of these brave warriors in this war ever be understood? In your time, such bitterly contested battlegrounds as Petersburg, Shiloh, and Antietam were distant curiosities.To the men in gray, however, I watched in horror as our chosen path of secession brought unspeakable bloodshed upon our people”.
“So many times on the battlefield I doubted my decisions to fight on for the Confederate cause. The determination of my loyal soldiers to fight on, however, gave me no choice but to inspire them to victory. Do the leaders in your own time find the will to similarly serve country and state for the good of their constituents?”
“I truly appreciate that you have chosen me to experience the reality of our antebellum existence. You must understand then that honor and principle must prevail in all life circumstances.Travel in peace, sir.”